The final quarter of HPE’s financial year 2018 has just come to a close and the press announcements and analyst reports are...
Prognosis enjoys positive outcome from N2TUG.
Spending time with Prognosis users is always valuable and working with them as new products arrive from HPE NonStop helps set priorities.
Setting aside time to spend with Prognosis users is always important for those in the IR sales and support organization. There is something special about interacting with Prognosis users running NonStop systems and gaining insight that is neither filtered by the media nor obtained second-hand is always beneficial for IR. When there is a major gathering of NonStop users, the benefits from such direct interaction always prove helpful and when there is as large a gathering of NonStop users as happened recently with the N2TUG user event in Dallas, there were plenty of interactions taking place.
So much has happened with NonStop of late and there are now multiple product families of NonStop systems. Furthermore, the news of Virtualized NonStop (VNS) availability continues to develop momentum and for any vendor it’s not always clear how its users will respond. NonStop X deployments are happening even as we hear of testing and validation with VNS having only just begun. With such product volatility it was good to see that none of the Prognosis users were overly concerned or perplexed by all that was transpiring within HPE and it was good to hear that they appeared to all be playing it carefully, as they always do whenever there is new technology and products released by the HPE NonStop team.
However, a couple of items from the presentations certainly generated further discussion. Obviously the renewed focus on NonStop SQL/MX is encouraging to see as for many of our users NS SQL is a key reason as to why they continue to run NonStop systems. As has always been the case, IR is interested to hear of HPE’s plans to grow the installed base of NonStop users, so the upgrades to NS SQL that support compatibility with Oracle, should it all go to plan, will clearly be something we will be tracking closely. Oracle continues to have a strong presence in the data centers of the enterprises where Prognosis is deployed and any further movement away from Oracle and onto NonStop is something IR views as a positive move by the HPE NonStop team.
There were also some interesting presentations by the vendors in the replication marketplace – if DRNET proves successful in adding value with the Splunk story, that could be something to watch but otherwise, it’s still hard to see too many NonStop users with GoldenGate deployed changing product, unless, of course, Oracle lessens their commitment to support the NonStop platform. Likewise, XYPRO’s security could get a positive boost if they get to protect the entire VM environment but that too will have to be watched.
When it comes to VNS the support for OpenStack represents just the beginning of a long journey for NonStop and the interest among the NonStop users seems to be more focused on the timeframes for availability to run with VMware. At the same time, the consensus view among the NonStop users we talked to was that HPE still has considerable work to do when it comes to pricing VNS. For now there is no incentive to move away from the “hyperconverged systems” the HPE NonStop team is currently shipping with NonStop X. However, the HPE NonStop team did reiterate that their market for VNS was those users with significant cloud experience and with investments already made in x86 server farms.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the presentation given by NonStop product management at N2TUG had to do with an upcoming demonstration of blockchain running on NonStop. Among our Prognosis users there is growing awareness of the value proposition that comes with blockchain and with the NonStop team porting the R3 Corda product, it will be interesting to see whether this will lead to further conversations about the role NonStop might play at financial institutions looking to try out blockchain. As this will be part of the NonStop demonstrations at the upcoming HPE Discover event, any feedback we get from the NonStop community should help determine the real value from consideration of this new distributed approach to managing financial ledgers.
Tthe most positive outcome of all, coming from the N2TUG event, was just how many NonStop users were present. The small committee involved in organizing the event did a great job and the financial contributions made by those vendors present helped elevate this user event to where it has to be considered alongside other big events such as we see with SunTUG and CTUG. However, equally as important is that NonStop users continue to accommodate change as they always have – incrementally taking small, measured steps. Even with the move to x86 chips and now to virtual machines, from what we could ascertain, it remains business-as-normal for the majority of NonStop users.
It certainly is encouraging to see the NonStop community coming out in numbers as we have seen of late and this is perhaps the best message we can take with us from the event. NonStop is still proving valuable to those organizations running transactional systems that cannot afford downtime for any reason! And if you would like to know more about how Prognosis is addressing changes that the NonStop team is making, then call us or drop us an email with whatever questions you may have.