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The HPE Corner

HPE is not only bringing us more power to NonStop and more deployment options but it continues to provide great reliability!

NonStop Insider



There were plenty of senior HPE managers on hand at the recent GTUG event and in the lead up to HPE Discover in just a few weeks’ time you can expect to read a lot more from HPE management talking up the progress HPE has made in the marketplace of late. At GTUG, it was especially pleasing to see Randy Meyer, HPE VP & GM, Mission Critical Systems, take time out of his busy schedule to spend a day with the NonStop community. At community events Randy always balances keeping his cards close to his chest even as he highlights how well NonStop is executing to a vision first espoused a decade or so ago.

For those who attended GTUG, there is always the trip back home and this year, there were attendees from as far away as Australia, South Africa and the Far East. Great to see, of course, but then there is always the prospect to be faced of clearing a desk piled high with message slips, correspondence and reports and yes, industry and social publications. For many of us, given that the weekend beckoned, it was probably a good time to catch up on the news and to read as many publications as we possibly could – isn’t there ice hockey and basketball playoffs? Isn’t there Indy just around the corner and oh yes, in the UK there’s the Rugby finals.

The first magazine that I picked up happened to feature a full page advertisement from a battery company that stated, “With great power comes great reliability.” Forgetting for a moment that I had always thought it had more to do with responsibility, given the vision for NonStop and how well HPE is executing to that vision, perhaps it makes a lot more sense to parrot the battery company. After all, we are all getting just a little chaffed with the reliability story and the compromises we all have to make. When we need it most we can be sure our mobile phone battery will die. When we need it most, out flight is delayed, over-booked, or simply lacking a flight crew. When we need it most, as was reported just this week, our train leaves twenty or so seconds ahead of schedule – a circumstance in Japan that has happened more than once and has forced train executives to make public apologies!

Reliability, no matter how you call it, availability, continuity, accessibility still has its place in business. For more than four decades this has been the primary reason for NonStop raison d’être. Without providing the reliability NonStop is famous for, it would be just another server and for the past decade, expectations about survival of even the best-known servers has been checkered at best. Branding per se means little, but reliability? Now that’s still as important as it ever was. What has changed for NonStop is power – the new NonStop X systems are more powerful than any previous iterations of the NonStop server. Yes, they do indeed possess great power.

What has also changed is that now enterprises are being given a choice as to how best to exercise this power – on systems from HPE, systems already deployed on-premise or better yet, on no system at all other than what is at the end of a telephone line. Power, with choice and yes, with reliability! The famous chevrons may be absent from the chassis and the color schemes may change from red to blue to who knows what next – green? – but the message of NonStop still resonates strongly with the community. Let’s not forget that at any point it’s still all about NonStop and by this I mean the traditional attributes of availability, scalability, data integrity / security. For any server to thrive in the future it has to bring power at a reasonable price and then it has to be reliable and the work HPE has done is ensuring NonStop meets this criteria.

The best observation made at GTUG came from a NonStop product manager when asked about how reliable the new virtualized NonStop would be – did HPE lessen some of the reliability aspects of the virtualized product? In other words, did they cut corners anywhere? Did they approach the project with the responsibility we expect from them? The response from the NonStop product manager was succinct as it was informative. “We wouldn’t have called it virtualized NonStop if it wasn’t as NonStop as any previous iteration of the product,” came the response. And there you have it – great power with great reliability, consumable any way you want it. Your choice! It would be hard to imagine that there weren’t conversations about whether NonStop had given up on any of its major attributes and whether it could be deployed in a manner that provided every bit of availability that it did on dedicated HPE hardware. But yes, it has … and the reports are beginning to surface from early customer testing that indeed, with the power has come great reliability.

The benefit from having attended a major gathering of the NonStop community is that  you get to hear firsthand from HPE senior management even as you have an opportunity to hear what NonStop users are up to – what their priorities happen to be. But a side benefit is overhearing all the sidebar conversations that spontaneously happen, usually over coffee! This past week proved to be no exception and for many of us the big take away was the NonStop brings with it choice but not just that, with choice it’s still all about NonStop. And that is something we will always be able to rely upon – power will always increase (it’s the nature of silicon) but reliability? No, it’s not an additive or a bolt-on and for the NonStop community, it’s good to know we can rely on the responsibility of HPE for NonStop to remain reliable for the foreseeable future.