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HPE NonStop Corner – one partner’s perspective

NonStop Insider



hpe corner - sep 20 - 1

It’s worth taking another look at some of the presentation slides used by HPE CEO Antonio Neri at this year’s HPE Discover Virtual Experience. Among the more intriguing slides were those slides alluding to a greater presence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) on HPE product roadmaps. Not surprisingly really, as during his keynote address, Neri emphasized that enterprises today were not just transforming their IT presence but were about to enter the age of insight.

In an Enterprise.nxt quiz on AI, as posted to the HPE VIP community, Matt Armstrong-Barnes, Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s chief technologist for AI in the U.K. and Ireland said, “AI is now accounting for about 40 percent of all digital transformation initiatives.” Digital Transformation (DX) is being driven by the need of enterprises to think differently in the way their businesses are run to better deliver on customers’ expectations given as how today’s customers are already digitally savvy. Of the many descriptions about what exactly DX is, the following appeared in a blog posting to Enterprisers, What is digital transformation?

“ … we define digital transformation as the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business resulting in fundamental changes to how businesses operate and how they deliver value to customers. Beyond that, it’s a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment often, and get comfortable with failure.”

Yet another writer refined it further by saying:

“Digital transformation closes the gap between what digital customers already expect and what analog businesses actually deliver.”

How does it play into AI and into HPE’s Age of Insight and more importantly perhaps, what are the likely immediate ramifications for the NonStop community? Even as there is some consideration being given to NonStop being an outlier in this regard, focused as it is on mission critical transaction processing, the presence of NonStop in industries as diverse as manufacturing, transportation and yes, financial services means that AI will make its presence felt even as greater insights are needed today for better business outcomes. You cannot simply continue looking at raw data feeds expecting to discover a Eureka or an AHA moment!

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an “AHA!” moment as being “a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension.” This dictionary then added how:

“Various images of an ‘enlightened’ person with a lightbulb hovering overhead have become common-place over the past several decades.”

For the NonStop community such “AHA!” moments can be about greater optimization of equipment or services just as it can be about better addressing a customer’s simple inquiry. And if this is indeed recognized as such within the NonStop community, where exactly do you deploy AI and how best do you tap into its wisdom?

hpe corner - sep 20 - 2

Before looking at this further, it’s good to return to what actually Neri said in his keynote. If you haven’t had an opportunity to dig through transcripts from the 2020 HPE Discover Virtual Experience, this is what Neri said beginning with quote from Mary Meeker’s COVID-19 report, “We are awash in data, and lacking connectivity and insight.”

“We’ve collected an overwhelming amount of data, but we aren’t able to analyze it all, and what we did analyze created conflicting answers about the virus.

“We cannot repeat this failure. I believe we are nearing the end of the information era, which focused on generating and collecting massive amounts of data, data that could not be brought together to create timely insights and actions to change our future. The next decade will be about insights and discoveries that are shared and elevate the greater wellbeing of every human being on this planet. Today we are entering the age of insight.

“The focus is to build an edge-to-cloud platform that connects, protects, analyzes, and acts on all your data and brings agility to your apps to unlock your enterprise’s full potential.”

Obviously, it doesn’t take too deep an understanding to realize that this message is about clouds and everything as a service, but equally as importantly, it’s about integration. It’s about access in real times. It’s about ensuring data created on NonStop can be acted upon even as it is freshly captured. Conversely, it’s also about feeding enriched data back into NonStop applications in real time so that actions can be better influenced by what is going on in the real world.

The “AHA!” moment for the NonStop community comes when we recognize that, yes, we can do that! There isn’t a system on the planet that does connectivity and networking better than NonStop. After all, NonStop began life as possibly the earliest if not most successful intelligent front-end or pre-processing computer of all time. This is what NonStop does and why we continue to turn to NonStop. The AI we turn to will not likely be running on NonStop but as a service in a cloud – private or otherwise – or even as an attached processor. An essentially peer-based solution using current technology, a “super CLIM” if you like or possibly even a specialty processor sourced from HPC.

This was also hinted at by HPE Master Technologist Justin Simonds who referenced not a super CLIM but rather another product in the HPC portfolio:

“The HPC Apollo systems run InfiniBand so a NSADI (YUMA) connection is possible.  For large transfers of information that could be very quick.  NonStop does need access to AI as models are developed for various things – fraud comes to mind but I know there are AI models for e911 calls, Telco fraud, Healthcare and various others as well. The HPC Apollo systems are specifically designed for compute intense, AI workloads – side by side platforms with NonStop as transactional with query analytics and Apollo for AI/ML/DL workloads.” 

By way of an explanation, Simonds then said, “With the inclusion of ML into the processing stream and how about also historical information residing on NonStop in a standard MX database we are elevating OLTP into On-Line intelligent/smart Transaction Processing.  Instead of just accepting transactions and applying them to the database we compare them to ML models and history.  An example might be I’m at the ATM Friday night and request $100 and a message comes back that says ‘Justin, you typically spend $140 on Friday night.  Would you like me to add an additional $40 to this withdrawal?’   Maybe I’m doing an on-line purchase for Hockey tickets and I get a text asking if my good friend Keith is in town (since I don’t usually go to Hockey games)? “

Whether your conversations about gaining better business insights, integrating with an AI processor or simply continuing on your digital transformation journey, it matters little in the end. NonStop plays extremely well with others and when it comes to demonstrating its prowess in this age of insight, keep an open mind. In many cases, when it comes to that digital transformation journey, NonStop has already arrived. How insightful is that!


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All opinions and observations expressed here

are those of Pyalla Technologies, LLC,

and unless otherwise expressly identified,
are not provided by HPE employees.