The final quarter of HPE’s financial year 2018 has just come to a close and the press announcements and analyst reports are...
Pyalla Technologies didn’t miss N2TUG or HPE Discover in 2017
Last month we lamented about not being able to attend eBITUG whereas this month, we more than made up for that omission …
When I wrote last month that all roads well, led to London where eBITUG was being held I only meant this metaphorically. However, this month it has been real roads that have led us to two important customer events – N2TUG in Dallas and HPE Discover in Las Vegas. Nothing could have been more different between the two when it comes to what we experienced. True, the weather was hot even for this time of year and true, we depended on our company command center both for transportation as well as a place to stay but when it comes to being part of a community then that was easy to do at N2TUG but proved much harder to achieve at an event as big as HPE Discover.
To be perfectly honest, HPE Discover is not really being packaged as a user community gathering as it is essentially a big-tent marketing event hosted (and completely run by) HPE. At HPE Discover the NonStop community, indeed Connect itself, are little more than a participating guest in the same way as third-party vendors of which the list seems to get smaller with each passing year. However, HPE Discover more than makes up for the absence or a real sense of community purely by the scope of what is covered during the event. From High Performance Computing and The Machine to the smallest x86 server – it’s all there. While there were some solutions being demonstrated they usually were in association with a new piece of middleware that HPE was showcasing.
After all, HPE today is a platform and infrastructure company and evidence of its commitment to infrastructure was never far from the surface. Furthermore, while the list of sponsors from Diamond and Platinum all the way down to Bronze was impressive, for most attendees many of these sponsors were pretty obscure and as the font size decreased with degree of sponsorship so too did the clarity about who they were diminish. Nevertheless, apparently HPE has no problem pulling together sponsors but what was clearer still is that HPE may want to be looking for a new vendor. HPE isn’t the giant tech company it once was and there was plenty of spare rooms and quite a few empty corridors.
This year Pyalla represented IR and was also included within the independent blogger community and branded as one of the HPE Discover Influencers. What this meant was greater access to HPE executives and senior managers as well as numerous “coffee talks” where presentations were tailored specifically to this group of what really constituted a less structured press corps. The Q & A sessions that followed each talk (and no, there were no PowerPoint slides allowed, only an opportunity to write on the whiteboard) were always lively and when it came to updates for enterprise users, the audience that was mostly focused on Windows and Linux sometimes took the discussions down some very interesting rabbit holes. Oh well!
The rate of change occurring with NonStop is unmistakable and not everyone at HPE appears to be as well informed as the NonStop community. On two separate occasions I caught out HPE managers with references to NonStop on x86 – they just didn’t know about that and weren’t aware at all of the separation of the NonStop stack from any platform dependencies. Throw into the conversation that NonStop was now the best software platform on the planet and the silence that followed was palpable. So yes, there is a lot more work to be done even inside HPE.
Of the two events N2TUG and HPE Discover, there can be no doubt that N2TUG was the better of the two when it came to community and to hearing more of NonStop. Even if the agenda was dominated by vendors (for obvious reasons, all of which were financial in origin and for that every participant was thankful) and would benefit considerably from more user participation, it was good to see as many NonStop users participate. HPE Discover on the other hand was very revealing at a completely different level. Strategists and visionaries talked about Horizon 2 and Horizon 3 – the potential for product 18 months to 30 months out and then four to five plus years out – where the immediacy of their impact on our data centers wasn’t a consideration and yet, just knowing that such horizons existed was encouraging to see. And yes, NonStop in one form or another seemed to have a presence within HPE’s strategies extending this far into the future!