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Pyalla Technologies continues to analyze messages delivered at HPE Discover 2017

This month we pick up on topics that surfaced at HPE Discover; should NonStop consider a more proactive role in hyperconverged IT?

Pyalla Technologies



There have been a couple of posts to the NonStop community blog that are worth highlighting. Both had to do with the potential for NonStop to be more tightly associated with HPE Synergy. And why is this worth noting? Whenever HPE singles out major themes or initiatives it backs them up with serious marketing dollars and if there is one thing that the NonStop community consistently raises with HPE it is the need for more marketing dollars for NonStop. However, there has been little movement on this front through the years, so perhaps it’s time to think of the need for more marketing dollars from a different perspective. Should we be raising with HPE the need for NonStop to become integrated with those themes to which the marketing dollars are being funneled?

The two posts where this topic is first discussed were Right time, right place – NonStop lights up the horizon! and Shipping containers are being repurposed; could we see something similar happening with NonStop! Both of these posts together with a companion post to Banking Tech will be covered in more detail in this month’s Social Media Round-Up. The first post deals with the matter of converged and yes, hyperconverged, infrastructure whereas the second post considers the significance of HPE Synergy when it comes to composability and the ease with which resources can be assembled in support of any workload. HPE CEO, Meg Whitman, stressed more than once that it will be HPE’s strategic goal to simplify the transformation to hybrid IT and that this was the most important consideration when it comes to enterprise IT introducing cloud computing alongside of more traditional computing as it exists within every enterprise data center today.

Converged and hyperconverged infrastructure addresses the complexity of modern computing today. When it comes to ordering more compute or more storage or even upgrading the available bandwidth for communications it has always been left to the enterprise IT staff to uncrate everything and assemble what’s been delivered, plugging in cables left and right. The next step involved the installation of the OS and all the related middleware that would be required in order to run an application – a task fraught with many potential missteps. And yet, when you look at NonStop systems as they have always been shipped, a fully populated system is exactly what you get – a working system with integrated OS and middle where and all that remains to be done once you uncrate it is to configure the software to best support an application. NonStop just has to be the envy of every other development team inside HPE for this reason alone and yet, after all these years, it still isn’t given its due recognition.

Composability, blades and the emergence of a new system paradigm! It all happened rather quickly and is surprising to many members of the NonStop community to see references by HPE to blades as being legacy approaches to compute, storage and communications. There is now new packaging based upon the Synergy frame that fits nicely into traditional industry-standard cabinets but the change here is that it takes different modules from what was shipped in the past and where there is a “management module” IT interacts with to leverage the separate elements in support of compute, storage and communications. The end result is that IT having a hyperconverged system that is fully virtualized and capable of running any mix of workloads whether these workloads need support for virtual machines or containers.

Herein lays the challenge for the NonStop team; it has done a great job delivering converged systems for many years but it is no longer enough! With the availability of Virtualized NonStop, the team can deliver a hyperconrged system where Virtualized NonStop is just one of the workloads supported and conversely, it shouldn’t be a problem in the future for enterprises to be able to order Virtualized NonStop as just another OS and middleware offering right alongside Linux, Windows, etc. And then use HPE New Stack / HPE OneView to configure it all. I am just saying; there will always be applications that need to run fault tolerant in this new world of hyperconverged IT and the option to run it in a private cloud and not a traditional IT system – but still supporting say, NS SQL on the basis of a DBaaS – will become highly valued. Just ask HPE’s own IT group who are headed down this exact same path.

So is this NonStop as we know it? Is this something completely new and is it such a divergence from the NonStop we have always known warranting a fresh name? Re-branding is never easy nor is it ever inexpensive and ultimately, is it even worth the effort? With so many IT professionals of an age where there is little awareness of NonStop or its association with Tandem – could we benefit from seeing something fresh being applied to NonStop? Could this have the potential to align it more closely to where HPE Synergy is headed and then, would this have the potential for attracting even more marketing dollars in support of what we all know today as NonStop?

There is no simple answer to these questions. For the time being, Synergy, as a program, doesn’t appear on the NonStop roadmaps. In part this is because there really isn’t anything NonStop needs to do other than validating its ability to run as just another workload in its own virtual machine that Synndergy creates for the purpose. In the lead up to the 2017 NonStop Technical Boot Camp there will be plenty of opportunities for the NonStop team to consider these options and yes, even the rebranding issue, but for now it’s very much a case of heads-down as the team pursues the roll-out of NonStop X systems even as it introduces Virtualized NonStop to select users. But who knows? We may yet see changes made as it is really the only way for NonStop to attract more marketing dollars and that is something all of the NonStop community wants to see happening for the best software platform on the planet – NonStop!

Richard Buckle
Cofounder and CEO
Pyalla Technologies, LLC