Were you to have been asked that question some years ago, the answer most likely would have bee “I’m not sure”....
The HPE Corner
Hybrid IT may be the focus of much of HPE messaging but NonStop isn’t being left out of the coverage – just check the expert guide!
Let’s take a good long look at what HPE has been publishing of late when it comes to Hybrid IT. It is an important topic as HPE is spending a lot of time and money on talking up the need to simplify Hybrid IT. What continues to be important for everyone who depends on HPE NonStop systems to support their mission critical applications is whether or not they see NonStop being a part of Hybrid IT. And this is where the waters become somewhat murky and where inference and implication hold sway. HPE goes to great pains to present Hybrid IT as a way forward from the traditional computing deployments of today to a world that looks a lot like clouds and where software-defined-everything dominates all aspects of resourcing in support of applications, including mission critical applications.
Recently, HPE began promoting an Expert Guide to Running Hybrid IT that can be downloaded from the HPE web site. You may have seen references to this document in your email inbox this month and if you have as yet not downloaded this guide, you may want to find time to do so. It’s not a comprehensive all-encompassing guide but it contains more than a few grains of wisdom as it tackles a topic that has IT professionals expressing as many opinions as to what Hybrid IT looks like as there are servers already deployed in public clouds!
Seriously, when you consider that HPE promotes this guide with the initial observation, “A successful deployment and utilization of a Hybrid IT environment depends on an effective operations model.” Followed by another observation that, “Legacy and physical data centers aren’t going away. If anything, they are consolidating and becoming more capable and powerful. And while cloud computing options continue to increase, more than 60 percent of businesses indicate that Hybrid IT solutions are now, and will be in the future, a significant part of their enterprise computing solutions.”
That’s right; what many NonStop users have suspected for a very long time, as much as we like to talk about Hybrid IT and as cool as some of the PowerPoint slides look, “Legacy and physical data centers aren’t going away.” Within the NonStop community we stay away from using terms like legacy preferring instead to talk about NonStop as being a traditional system and yet the implication is unavoidable. What are we going to do with the mission critical applications we have deployed (and yes, fine-tuned) on our NonStop systems? On the other hand, HPE isn’t excluding NonStop from being part of the data centers that they acknowledge “aren’t going away” and that’s a good place to start.
But what is really fueling all the discussion about Hybrid IT? Turns out we boxed ourselves in pretty horribly with a combination of client / server computing, best or breed and yes, appliances. The outcome has been technology and application siloes. “When properly implemented, Hybrid IT operations allow an unprecedented level of flexibility in the deployment of business solutions and the development of new processes and business opportunities,” said the promotion for the guide and it does tell a story. Firstly, you need to implement Hybrid IT properly – no half guesses here as to whom they are pointing their fingers at – and then, secondly, you are expected to develop new processes even as you create further business opportunities. Cool, right? Well, you are going to need much more than an expert guide to address these elements of the Hybrid IT story.
More important perhaps are a couple of more observations lying deeper within the expert guide itself. Once you download this guide, you will come across the following. “One significant advantage of implementing a hybrid IT solution is that integration with central IT brings the core strengths of legacy IT, including operations management, security, backup, and disaster recovery tools and processes. In many ways, developing and deploying a hybrid IT environment is like assembling a jigsaw puzzle, often without a clear picture of what the final implementation will look like.” Nothing here to say that NonStop is not a part of our core strengths.
But then the finger pointing continues as HPE admonishes those who took advantage of “the ease of deploying cloud components and implementing DevOps-driven solutions without going through central IT can (result) in services and solutions that are poorly aligned. While they may solve immediate problems, they are unlikely to scale well or fit together to drive future business growth. Hybrid IT is emerging as the new normal for enterprise IT because it allows enterprises to choose the blend of apps, services, and platforms that work for their needs.”
That’s right. NonStop and the mission critical applications they support continue to be part of the blend of platforms that work best for their needs. And this is the point entirely – Hybrid IT is all about mixing things up to achieve a better cost point even as it can support greater flexibility. It is all about melding traditional data centers with the world of clouds and the elasticity of provisioning that comes with software-defined-everything. Today we see that we have the option to continue running NonStop on traditional physical NonStop systems even as we have the option to run a virtualized NonStop on a virtual machine and that is taking Hybrid NonStop IT to a whole new level.
A message that every member of the NonStop community needs to be extremely thankful to see even as it represents a call to become far more vocal within your enterprise. HPE has done a great job of giving you the message; now all that needs to happen next is to communicate that message. Hybrid IT is ALL-ENCOMPASSING so don’t let the media fool you – NonStop has as much a home within Hybrid IT as any other app, service or platform. As HPE concludes in its expert guide, ‘These technologies are widely distributed, constantly changing, and delivered at massive scale. By extending the operational rigor of legacy IT from the data center to the hybrid cloud, businesses can build a strong backbone for the delivery of business services.” And for mission-critical applications that need to run 24 x 7 there continues to be nothing better than NonStop!