NonStop Insider

job types

Site navigation

Recent articles



For monthly updates and news.
Subscribe here
NonStop Insider

The HPE Corner

The need for special solutions that are both innovative and cost-effective ensures NonStop remains the core software offering within HPE.

NonStop Insider


NonStop Insider

Once again, we find HPE CEO Meg Whitman in the center of attention as HPE delivered its Q3 2017 earnings result and Whitman then participated in a number of calls with industry and financial analysts. The release of the financial results for the quarter followed the completion of the spin-merge of HPE’s non-core software components to Micro Focus resulting in Micro Focus becoming the largest software company in the UK and one of the biggest worldwide. In some ways, this closes the chapter on a number of disastrous acquisitions, some of which were made by Whitman’s predecessor. What is more exciting for the NonStop community is that NonStop wasn’t viewed as non-core software and so, by inference, can be viewed as being strategic and playing a role in building a future for a re-energized HPE.

A stretch, perhaps? Not really; the world now is being treated to a raft of specialty products unlike at any time that I can recall! While the underlying hardware is mostly comprised of commercially available, off the shelf, hardware that is predominantly x86 based, what we see being referenced as COTS, the combination of components that is provided to IT is as varied as are the requirements of enterprises worldwide. By this I mean, even as we are witnessing a normalization surrounding hybrid IT where pretty much x86 dominates, plugged into these hybrids are a growing number of specialty systems supporting unique applications. “Our strategy is clear, to make hybrid IT simple, to power the intelligent edge and to provide services to make it all happen,” said Whitman on her earnings call with the analysts, September 5, 2017.

Specialty products are commonplace out on the perimeter as we begin connecting everything that generates an alarm or an alert and becomes part of the Internet of Things (IoT). “We are already seeing growth in our Aruba Wireless Connectivity business driven by IoT and we are seeing significant emerging interest in our highly differentiated edge compute business known as Edgeline driven by these same trends,” added Whitman on the same call. Just listening to Whitman you can appreciate the drive to reenergize HPE and to make it very tightly focused on business that can be won and where margins can be kept in line with industry expectations. But what of NonStop? Surely, it will not be playing out on the edge and in today’s hybrid IT world will it be one of the specialty platforms data centers gravitate to in volume?

A short time ago I was questioned on the differentiation of NonStop from other platforms based on availability only to be informed that 24 x 7, just like real time, has become so watered down that every vendor can provide some level of high availability just as they can support mission critical applications. Really? If this is indeed the case then HPE has some work to do but more importantly, where the NonStop begins to differentiate itself on the basis of true 24 x 7 is with the NonStop SQL database. You simply cannot run popular database systems 24 x 7 and trying to do so will lead you down the path of replicated systems and complex changes to the applications. HPE IT is now running NonStop SQL on the basis of a DBaaS in support of other HPE applications and given the work done to ensure compatibility with Oracle, this is perhaps the clearest message about NonStop playing a more strategic role within HPE. Throw into this mix the work well under way in support of blockchain atop NonStop SQL, all running on a virtualized NonStop system, and you have the beginnings of a serious move to recapture former glory days of NonStop. In doing this the HPE NonStop team is demonstrating just how innovative they can be even as they can readily prove how cost-effective such a solution running on vNonStop truly is and this isn’t a message any member of the NonStop community should be shy about promoting high and low within their enterprise.

Two questions directed at me just recently continue to resonate as the correct answers are proving allusive. “What more can HPE do to get closer to CxO Executives to have more influence in enterprise initiatives?” came first and was then followed by, “When will HPE increase their presence in these forums to add substance and credibility as well as demonstrate thought leadership to move the (NonStop) community and (NonStop) platform forward?” I am taking these questions to heart as I think they cut to the very core of why so much is being discussed about NonStop – if NonStop indeed isn’t non-core and is expected to play a more strategic role within the HPE product portfolio, when will HPE executives become more vocal in their support for NonStop and when will they begin to sway C-level expectations?

The answer probably lies with the choice of solutions and the different groups responsible for marketing to verticals. Already we saw how the demo of blockchain at this year’s HPE Discover event was hosted by the Pointnext group and the Financial Services team – you couldn’t find out anything about this on the NonStop kiosks / booth – you had to go elsewhere in the show. Previously, at the Mobile World Conference, it was a demo by the telco group where the world first saw vNonStop up and running. NonStop has never been general purpose, but now, it’s support of special, highly-visible, high-profile, solutions where NonStop will outperform competing solutions.

“Long term trends, however, immensely favor HPE’s business with the rise in enterprise and individual integration and adaptation of data center solutions to provide technological solutions for a wide array of enterprise needs,” wrote an analyst for the Seeking Alpha digital publication on September, 4, 2017. “The company, with its data center innovations and cost cutting initiatives, we believe, will outperform the general market in the years to come as we expect the company’s earnings and sales guidance to rise over the course of 2018 whilst HP’s (HPQ’s) sales guidance will shrink slightly from its over optimistic 2016.”

Perhaps that is the real answer to the questions about what more can HPE do to promote NonStop even as they look at what will drive greater presence in forums worldwide – NonStop running innovative technologies at much lower price points than the competition. There is still a long way to go to see traction on this front but the key message remains – HPE is well positioned to capture more business from the enterprise with its hybrid IT offerings and yes, with vNonStop, solutions leveraging key NonStop middleware will be proof positive that NonStop is core software for HPE. And that should have everyone in the NonStop community talking more openly about their own NonStop initiatives, more positively than they may ever have done so in former times!