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Pyalla Technologies … For HPE and NonStop, could it be The Best of Times!




As we start the year I cannot help but think back to where we have come from. Not all the way back to the mid-1970s, mind you, when Tandem Computers first made a big splash on the computer landscape, but just to this century. Only a few years after the introduction of the NonStop Himalaya S-Series in 1997 and the acquisition of Tandem by Compaq, it had become obvious to even the strongest supporter of this fault tolerant platform that all was not well. And yet, even in those dark days when the fear of swapping out MIPS for Alpha (following Compaq’s acquisition of DEC in 1998) were being openly discussed – ahead of the eventual move to Itanium – the seeds for a brighter future were being sowed. Key developers with a long association with Tandem were still working on roadmaps that would first return NonStop to profitability before taking NonStop in an entirely new direction.

What comes to mind as well is that in short, we have survived the Year(s) of Living Dangerously and even a period of Risky Business to where we can all see What Dreams May Come. With this last film and its reference to Robin Williams, perhaps we should be thinking instead not so much about our dreams as much as rather considering The Best of Times! No matter, for others who have stayed the course with NonStop perhaps the resounding chorus of that anthem song, Staying Alive, comes to mind. I am sure this commentary will raise the hackles on a few necks within the NonStop development community but it is the New Year after all and we can let loose a little; who knows, The Best of Times may indeed be ahead of us.

What we have learnt though as the year wound down is that many of the champions of NonStop will be retiring (or indeed, have retired). The number of emails I have received asking me to change an email address away from even as the writers wanted to ensure they stayed in touch with all that is taking place, have been too many to include in any article destined for public consumption. But if there is just one concern going into this new year it is that our depth of talent is thinning and that deep bench we had going into the turn of this century is practically nonexistent. However, even here there is good news coming out of HPE as it publically advocates new partnership programs. HPE is prepared to bring its ecosystem of vendors, consultants and educators even closer to its core pursuits than ever before. As dramatic as this seems it’s a very positive reinforcement that HPE is looking beyond its own cubicles to populate projects with talent that has been present outside its campus for many years now.

My position on NonStop developing a strong business in support of its presence at the Edge and the Core should be well-known by now. It’s a theme that has dominated many of my posts and commentaries during the last month or two. If you have missed reading the NonStop community blog, Real Time View of late (and do you like the new look of this blog?), it may be worth revisiting as there are numerous posts devoted to this topic. However, even as HPE draws its ecosystem of vendors, consultants and educators closer to its core pursuits it’s still very much the NonStop user that will determine the outcome. Even as they have shared those former times when it looked risky to keep purchasing NonStop systems (not to mention dodging fellow IT professionals who viewed them as living dangerously), the options available to NonStop users still needs their buy-in. Without generating positive outcomes with the new ways to consume NonStop then momentum may ease and that wouldn’t be good news for any member of the NonStop community.

On the other hand, we have NonStop users speaking out. Whether you saw presentations by users at TBC or have read recent user case studies, there is a lot more action taking place then we have seen for some time. If you consider 2018 as a break out year for NonStop, then knowing that real world users are openly talking about the decisions they have made in favor of NonStop should be encouraging even as it is educational. One NonStop user who went public recently with a NonStop X migration case study not only has put NonStop at the center of its operations but has openly stated that as long as NonStop is being sold, his company will be buying! Yes, HPE and NonStop are, as they say, still in the game.

Perhaps it’s a good time to revisit the lyrics of the song by Steve Winwood, Still in the Game, as we head into 2019:

They keep watching for signs in the land
And they stand there watching the sky
And they stand there ready to fly

Here’s to never letting go …

Richard Buckle
Cofounder and CEO
Pyalla Technologies, LLC