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NonStop CEOs have their say – Billy Whittington, DataExpress

Billy Whittington, DataExpress

NonStop Insider


What is the business of DataExpress and how do you work with the HPE NonStop team today? HPE is a partner but you have many others (in this case, of course, comForte) – how would you rate HPE today?

DataExpress is a secure, managed file transfer solution that moves data, getting it to where it needs to be, when it needs to be there, and without fanfare.

Originally built on the NonStop platform in the early 90’s, later replicated in the Open System environment, DataExpress has been out there successfully doing its job since inception and it is the product nobody has heard about. Considering the criticality of the data we move, that is a great thing – in the world of securely moving files and only being notified upon exception, no news is good news!.

Our relationship with HPE has grown over the years because as each NonStop platform came out, we needed to ensure that we could comfortably function within the new environment. The last couple of years this has improved exponentially and we have successfully certified DataExpress on both the NonStop X and vNonStop through HPE’s ATC program. We have also attended the newly implemented partner meetings to try and deepen that relationship.


What have you learnt about NonStop this year that has you excited for the future of NonStop? Will NonStop continue to play a dominant role when it comes to your product development at DataExpress?

Having been in the industry for as long as we have, naturally we have experienced the crests and troughs of NonStop’s market value. “Is it staying or is it going?”. To hedge our bets in the early years, we developed a functionally similar technology in the Open Systems environment which today stands shoulder-to-shoulder with its competitors.

Today however there can be no doubting that there is a strong push by HPE to be competitive, aggressive and future-bound in the NonStop arena. All this keeps us enthusiastic and the great thing is that with evolving technologies on the NonStop platform, it is not unfeasible to say that we can run our Open Systems product within the NonStop framework, or integrate with it any way we want to, which is exciting.


What is the status of your work with NonStop X – do you have customers now? In the near term? And, do you see NonStop customers planning on upgrading to NonStop X? Have you installed NonStop X for your own usage?

Budgets prevent us having our own NonStop X but as I previously mentioned, we have certified our NonStop product on the X platform as well as the vNonStop offering by having a great working relationship with HPE and access to their ATC. We have had discussions with a couple of our customers about their plans for NonStop X implementations and one customer has their equipment and is on target for a Q1 2018 to start the upgrade process into Production.


What role do you anticipate seeing for the new Virtualized NonStop within the traditional NonStop community? Will this be for testing and pilots or will this be for production systems? Will you be ready or do you have concerns? Do you see it having the potential to open new markets for NonStop?

Truthfully when vNonStop was announced we were ecstatic because we felt that this would allow the technology to push a wide path into the market, obviously a great thing for every vendor supporting it. However, after the initial wonderment of the announcement had burned out, we asked the same obvious questions that everyone should be asking of “how good will NonStop be on a platform that is NOT NonStop?”

As time has moved on, HPE has done a better job of explaining the concept of a vNonStop deployment and this in turn toned down our initial excitement.

Right now, we must see how the published pricing model will be received by the market because that will be what decides whether it will be successful or not. In the meantime, we did take the time and effort to thoroughly test DataExpress on vNonStop and are happy to have the HPE certification behind us.