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
NonStop … making an impact on HPE! And the rest of us as well!
Last month’s column opened with how it is still hard for most of us to comprehend just how much has changed for NonStop in recent times. New product families, new dependencies and yes, even new financial models, and yet with all the changes it still comes back to being a case of “business as usual” for many NonStop users who simply regard these changes as little more than another milestone on a continuously evolving NonStop product roadmap. With this month’s column we are looking at the shortest month of the year so my message this month will be just as brief: change is good and more change is better!
No one today can argue that the HPE NonStop development team isn’t pulling out all the stops as they try to solve business problems even as they look to stimulate further interest in NonStop and not just across the existing NonStop ecosystem, but even more importantly, for the NonStop ecosystem across HPE itself. It is easy to dismiss all the brouhaha surrounding politicians that strongly advocate putting their country first but there is an element of truth about this when it comes to the enterprise. Any CEO who doesn’t firmly believe in their products and the superiority of their enterprise is doing all of their stakeholders a disservice. So, as NonStop development keeps pursuing change, part of the storyline involves impressing HPE and maybe, just maybe, NonStop development is beginning to make an impression.
HPE IT is using NonStop and not just out on the perimeter, relatively isolated from the rest of HPE IT, but rather, right in the heart of its data centers. And driving this is HPE IT’s preference for NonStop SQL/MX supporting an all-important DBaaS function that, in turn, has led to the support by NS SQL of multitenancy. These enhancements to NS SQL have proved to be critical new attributes in the march to promote the role of NS SQL in hybrid IT and eventually, take NS SQL to the cloud! This undertaking cannot be easily dismissed or relegated to just more “me-too”, but rather, should be seen for what it is – keeping NS SQL on the leading edge of SQL. Who can easily forget that when NS SQL was first introduced it was the only SQL offering that could be used in a transaction processing environment supporting real time queries, updates and yes, admin functions that would require other SQL implementations to be taken off line. Yes, NS SQL made it to market first and it still does not need to be brought down for maintenance!
HPE has in its product portfolio a product line, with NonStop, that is very much in step with the requirement to simplify hybrid IT. While a lot of focus has been drawn to what’s happening high up in the stack, with new products like HPE’s OneSphere making a big splash of late, NonStop has lived in the world of traditional hybrid, multi-vendor IT for decades and while it is hard to argue against this, it is also equally as hard to get the attention of CIOs that are more inclined to be listening to the promotional hype coming from other vendors marketing hybrid IT. And yet it is very true that with traditional hybrid IT there was just as complex a mix of APIs, protocols, services and utilities. A complexity, too, that was compounded by the presence of multiple database implementations! NonStop may not grab everyone’s attention with the hybrid IT message based on its past but there is no reason why it shouldn’t be grabbing every CIOs attention with what it can do with NS SQL.
However, in a world of shortening attention spans, there is only so much time to talk-up the good news about NonStop and its adoption by HPE IT before it too is cast in a lesser light. Hasn’t HPE being using NonStop for quite a while now? Didn’t HPE try to deploy an OLAP style data warehouse on NonStop? Didn’t HPE put NS SQL at the center of a Zero Latency Enterprise (ZLE) initiative? In truth, these milestones along the evolving NonStop product roadmap did happen and not always with the success initially predicted, but what these projects delivered was not just change, but something every bit as important – more change!
By this, I mean, much has been learnt about where to use NS SQL and where it is best to leave it alone. Pitching NS SQL against something like Teradata may not be ideal nor should we throw labels like Big Data and Data Lakes etc. at NS SQL. The relational database underpinning NS SQL is at its finest handling billions of transactions as they are initiated allowing real time access to that data 24 x 7 all the while maintaining a level of data integrity unlike any other. And for that, HPE and the NonStop development team can be very proud. The NonStop team firmly believes in their product and in the superiority of key middleware components like NS SQL but the challenge that lies ahead is getting the rest of HPE to be equally as proud and as knowledgeable of its superiority.
But here the news isn’t all that bad – there are new voices within HPE openly talking about NonStop. Think of the team leading the charge with blockchain – they are talking NonStop. And NS SQL! Think Cloud and Software Defined – they are talking about virtualized NonStop. And virtualized NonStop workloads! NonStop systems are even being sold by VARs in select markets – a recent development I sense will attract other solutions architects in the future. And there are more changes on their way – NonStop development is by no means finished and I suspect that there are many more milestones on the NonStop product roadmaps.
As we already have noted, too, more change is better and if we truly were concerned about the depth of support for NonStop within HPE it’s hard to argue against the money HPE is clearly throwing down on the development table. Someone at HPE clearly knows something and soon, very soon, I suspect we will all be “in on the plan” and milestones on the NonStop product roadmaps will be profiled with even more intensity. NonStop from HPE! NonStop from third parties like Dell, Cisco, and the like! NonStop from VARs! And yes, NonStop from Microsoft, Google and Amazon – it’s all just another milestone about to happen!