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Looking to the future of NonStop

DataExpress left 2016 Boot Camp most impressed with vNonStop and comfortable that DataExpress is well positioned to work with future virtualized and hybrid systems …




Time is passing quickly with some of the buzz surrounding the 2016 NonStop Technical Boot Camp subsiding, but the memories remain intact. According to those from DataExpress present at the event, when it comes to a general impression, this year’s TBC was great and perhaps the best TBC ever. While not having attended all previous TBCs, it truly felt like ITUG Summits of old. Networking with peers always comes easy at these events but there were attendees that hadn’t been sighted in years and for DataExpress, the good news is that with this year’s TBC, there were visibly a lot more customers than had been seen previously.

There was no escaping the storyline behind virtual NonStop (vNonStop). Right from the outset, with pre-conference workshops, it seemed like vNonStop worked its way into every presentation given by HPE, and for DataExpress simply absorbing all that is going into vNonStop was the highlight of TBC. Watching a demo of vNonStop running on industry standard ProLiant servers we could easily envision this as anchoring future development at DataExpress. And this was a big part of the message coming from HPE NonStop development – vNonStop is a cost-effective way for smaller shops to move forward on projects involving NonStop, so much so that we are actively looking to get on the validation / certification list.

HPE NonStop team made it very clear on several occasions that where today customers may have a separate development, test and even staging NonStop system, with considerable excess capacity going unutilized, the shift to vNonStop on ProLiant servers is not only going to support greater productivity and reduce systems costs, but will also make it easy to bring to production NonStop systems applications that may otherwise never have been considered for NonStop deployment. HPE continues to evangelize the benefits of hybrid infrastructure and to illustrate likely vNonStop deployments as hybrid configurations of NonStop and Linux, so looking ahead to a future where ProLiant server farms all running hypervisors with NonStop and Linux intermixed (according to the workloads being processed) makes a whole lot of sense.

DataExpress participated in a preconference workshop on vendor experience with NSADI / Yuma. In the weeks leading up to the workshop we had been working with comForte, taking advantage of their NonStop X system and their prior knowledge of hybrid deployments involving NonStop to Linux. In this demo rather than moving just data buffers DataExpress was moving whole files between DataExpress NonStop (DXNS) and DataExpress Open Platform (DXOP). In an apples-to-apples comparison, we saw comparable performance numbers between running via Ethernet and CLIMs (and a full TCP/IP stack) to InfiniBand (IB) and NSADI. However, it became apparent that should we open more paths via IB, the performance would likely improve significantly and this additional testing is still under consideration within DataExpress.

Expressed a little differently, it was considered by those attending the workshop that moving files via Ethernet and CLIMs was like loading up a single lane highway whereas moving files via IB was like utilizing every lane on a multilane freeway where the benefits of parallelism could be fully exploited. On the other hand, it was also recognized that perhaps file transfer may not be the best use of NSADI and that moving data directly from one application (e.g. on NonStop) directly to another application (e.g. on Linux) is a better use of IB. Again, this observation is based on our experience with file transfer along with any other data manipulation incurring disk reads and writes, there will always be some type of latency introduced. Overall, and from the feedback we have received to date, the workshop Sunday went really well. There was a good audience who all had an opportunity to hear a lot more about DataExpress. And if you would like to watch a video taken during the workshop, then check follow this link to the comForte web site:

We were surprised, however, at just how many attendees already knew about DataExpress, and for many years apparently. For those users attending the workshop, the surprise came when they all saw the extent of the ongoing investment DataExpress is making in hybrid infrastructure and in support for both NonStop and Open Platforms. Clearly, while we at DataExpress came away impressed with the vNonStop, this message left an even bigger impression with the user community! If you missed an opportunity of networking with us then, as always, please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have on moving files and we look forward to seeing you at the next TBC which will be held in beautiful San Francisco. | +1.972.899.3476