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NonStop SQL and Friends – The Best Choice for the Cloud

Frans Jongma, HPE Advanced Technology Center



At the time of this writing, E-BITUG is still more than a month away, but time is moving fast. Demos are being worked on and the abstract for my presentation has been written and uploaded to the conference site and viewable in the Whova app.

The Cloud

The Cloud is a general term that is used to describe a type of computing where data and applications are stored and accessed remotely over the Internet. Additionally, cloud computing allows for more agile and scalable business models, such as the ability to easily provision and de-provision computing resources on-demand to changing business needs. HPE NonStop SQL/MX, as a robust, scalable, and fault-tolerant database is a perfect candidate to provide the reliable persistent data store, regardless of the operating model, whether it is based on on-prem, private-, public- or hybrid cloud environments.

While the cloud operating model itself is seen as hot and new, NonStop systems have been operating in a networked environment from the beginning and as such, the move to being accessed over the internet is not a dramatic change.

A familiar application model

The scalability that is promised by cloud-native applications is because they are architected without bottlenecks while the resilience of those applications is thanks to the replication of multiple instances over multiple, independently operating compute engines (aka servers). These same principles, stateless services and the use of instances all providing the same business service and running on multiple logical processors, were fundamental of the working of the NonStop architecture. Consider these logical processors, or CPUs, as many still like to call them, as nodes in a cluster and is not hard to spot the resemblance with a small private cloud.

Because of the NonStop architecture, SQL/MX did not have to be changed to support a cloud infrastructure with the benefit that the storage architecture, the table layout, and storage assignments do not have to be changed when moving an application to the cloud. Even existing NonStop applications require no change since they were already designed to run in a cluster of servers even though many long-time customers do not see their system as such.

Automation brings velocity and standardization

The cloud model is all about standardization and automation and is capable to provide infrastructure in just a few clicks. Compare this to the traditional way of ordering systems that are built to order where delivery times are measured in months. With SQL/MX DBS the same model is used. Users can request databases just based on their storage needs. Compute power is added automatically along with the storage, and elasticity is achieved by adding, on-demand, more storage to an existing database, if needed later. Removal of storage from an existing deployment may come in a future release.

When a database is no longer needed, un-deploy is done by the database owner or the service provider and with a single click all resources are returned to the pool for re-use by other users.

The same user-interface, WebDBS, is used for private cloud or public cloud environments. However, we have integrated the WebDBS user-interface with frameworks that provide end-user self-service such as ServiceNow! in combination with the HPE Database Platform Automation solution. HPE DBPA allows provisioning a variety of database management systems such as NonStop SQL/MX, Oracle, and PostgreSQL. Iqbaal Singh from HPE Global Solutions Engineering explained this as “Automation brings velocity, standardization and includes best practices for setting up databases”.

SQL/MX DBS provides the same by enforcing a set of standards and best-practices that provide database isolation through assignment of dedicated storage volumes to a database and creation of MXCS datasources specifically for that database for only those users that have been granted access by the database owner. This database owner uses WebDBS to manage their database, for example adding additional users and privileges, without having to refer to a system manager or service provider for the most used administrative functions. Come and see the HPE booth or my presentation on Wednesday where we can show you SQL/MX DBS in real time and explain the functionality in detail.