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Pyalla Technologies … 2019; the year that was!




The year started with Margo and me still in Sydney, Australia. Following numerous meetings and events that fully occupied our time as 2018 wound down, it’s still somewhat amusing to us that 2019 has passed this quickly. Who knew; it was only a short time ago we were sitting harbor-side in 100+ degrees enjoying seafood and sipping fine Australian wines. However, Sydney had been highly educational and perhaps we will return one day, although recent catastrophic fires are putting a dent in any plans we had been kicking around.

When it comes to NonStop in 2019, it’s almost a case of where do we begin? When it comes to the vision for NonStop the picture is definitely taking shape and much to the chagrin of many NonStop long-timers, it’s not looking anything like what Tandem of old used to be. And for good reason; Tandem transforming to NonStop was a big step and when it comes to HPE’s vision of NonStop there are still even bigger steps being considered for NonStop. The journey has taken on a sense of urgency of late – OLTP is under considerable pressure when it comes to retaining its premier position among those with mission critical applications. The prospect of running virtualized NonStop as a collection of virtual machines is all well and good but is it still too little, too late? In a world where containers dominate the conversation, can we look to vNS as salvation or is it providing false hope?

When it comes to NonStop it’s a journey that can be seen as having covered a lot of distance of late over a much abbreviated period of time – looking back at past articles and posts, it was late 2015 when we all heard at the NonStop Technical Boot Camp 2015 about virtualization. It was during a keynote session given by then HPE CTO (and former head of NonStop Enterprise Division) Martin Fink that we heard about the potential of NonStop running virtualized – that was just four years ago! Back then, in the December 15, 2015, post Picking the line … I quoted Fink when he suggested to attendees that, “‘Running on a virtual (environment) on a Linux,’ Fink asked before adding, for those interested in the topic, ‘As an important proof point, we can absolutely get there.’”

Furthermore, said Fink, “Wouldn’t it be cool to bring the NonStop value proposition to Linux and bring to market (more) powerful hybrids – a powerful combination.” And we got there as barely two years later, we all heard about the virtualized converged NonStop system – the NS2. In the November 21, 2017 post Foundations are never glamorous but when it comes to NonStop, they’re making a big difference! I described how it was at the NonStop Technical Boot Camp 2017 where all attendees heard and then saw that there is no difference at the application level whether you run on a NonStop X system or on the Converged Virtualized NonStop, of which we all got a ‘sneak peek,’ or on hypervisors deployed on any commercially available off the shelf x86 server cluster!

It used to take decades to get major changes to NonStop hardware and software to market but today we are seeing changes taking place rapidly. When you talk about vision and strategy for NonStop it’s almost unrecognizable compared to what was available just a half a decade ago and it looks like development isn’t slowing down any time soon. In my end-of-year “Back for more …” column for the November – December issue of The Connection, I wrote of this journey. When you consider the mileage, you oftentimes forget the passage of time – wasn’t it Harrison Ford’s character, Indiana Jones, in the film Raiders of the Lost Arc who responded to the question from the leading lady, “You’re not the man I knew ten years ago” with, “It’s not the years, honey. It’s the mileage.”

HPE has divided the IT world into two – the core or cloud and the edge. It is also pulling together the pieces to support seamless transition between all elements making up the core more often than not labeled as Hybrid IT. HPE is also championing “everything-as-a-Service” or XaaS even as it is also championing everything available at the core will be available at the edge. When considering whether NonStop is still playing catch-up vis-à-vis the transformation from traditional to virtual and from core to edge and of the future of OLTP in support of mission critical applications it’s worth noting that the journey for NonStop is only just beginning. When it comes to embracing microservices, APIs, DevOps and the like, there are already examples of NonStop vendors offering solutions. NonStop shows no sign whatsoever that it will be absent from IT plans for HPE’s future deployments.

Perhaps the only remaining hill NonStop needs to conquer on this latest journey is to ensure the marketplace is aware of its value proposition. In the core, out on the edge, on x86 traditional or virtualized, with containers or not; “there are very valid reasons for having some of the attributes of containers even in the NonStop environment!” When it comes to 2020, don’t expect the flow of news to subside in any way and when planning for NonStop Technical Boot Camp 2020 be prepared for more surprises yet as HPE continues to deliver on its vision for NonStop and maybe, just maybe, we will be getting yet one more peek at what’s ahead for NonStop at the upcoming IT-Symposium 2020 planned for Berlin, Germany. Margo and I look forward to seeing you all at that event, but in the meantime keep your eyes open for further announcements in the near future as this journey is only just heating up!


Richard Buckle
Cofounder and CEO
Pyalla Technologies, LLC