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The HPE Corner

HPE has a history for innovation and creativity and NonStop is adding another chapter to the fabled story of HPE!

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There is a growing sense of awareness about the history of HPE. Not in any nostalgia-drive way, but about HPE’s contribution to the future of computing. While the company has gone through considerable change over the past couple of years – being part of a $130 billion multifaceted conglomerate didn’t sit too well with every HPE employee – it has taken on the appearance of late of a company fully in charge of its destiny. Transformation! Empowerment! Composable! It’s hard to imagine such an emphasis coming from the former HP.

The history of HP is definitely one that is highlighted with innovation and creativity – after all, for years it had the tag line, INVENT. You can’t sugarcoat the message that conveys. HPE is all about engineering excellence together with focused application to real world problems. If you recall the time back in the 1970s when HP introduced the HP 3000 series of minicomputers that when all sorted out, came with a “full featured operating system with time sharing.” Ultimately, it became a system that routinely won HP business from companies that used to be IBM mainframe customers. Then there were the 1980s when HP introduced HP-UX, a “proprietary implementation of the Unix operating system based on UNIX System V”.

In the 1990s, HP began to step up its acquisitions program, buying Apollo Computer and Convex Computer, but it was in the 2000s that to many outsiders, it ran amok buying companies in every imaginable market. According to one Wikipedia site:

“Its merger with Compaq in 2002, and the acquisition of EDS in 2008, which led to combined revenues of $118.4 billion in 2008 and a Fortune 500 ranking of 9 in 2009. In November 2009, HP announced the acquisition of 3Com, with the deal closing on April 12, 2010. On April 28, 2010, HP announced the buyout of Palm, Inc. for $1.2 billion.”

And this was just the beginning, with Mercury Interactive, Vertica and Autonomy helping to seriously deplete the bank account, particularly when HP was forced to write-down $9 billions of the price paid for these companies. However, there was some really good news for HP customers as investors liked the acquisition of companies such as 3Par, Aruba Networks and SimpliVity. Even the SGI acquisition is now looking good as SGI has become part of High Performance Computing (HPC). While this was all taking place, former HPE CTO, Martin Fink, took the wraps off The Machine, much to the surprise tinged with a little cynicism of all present at HPE Discover 2014, Las Vegas. As he introduced the audience to The Machine, we heard him say that all we needed to know was that “electrons compute, photons communicate, and ions store.” We also heard then-HPE CEO Meg Whitman say, “This changes everything!”

Whether or not you believe that The Machine will be a product or simply a program that will introduce a variety of leading-edge technologies to existing products, as is being done today with Superdome Flex as well as by SGI folks inside the HPC business unit, history will likely support Whitman’s claim for HPE that this indeed changes everything. On the other hand, it was also Fink who introduced to the NonStop community at the 2015 NonStop Technical Boot Camp (TBC) the support by NonStop of virtual machines. It was Fink who told the NonStop community that as of then, NonStop had become, “the best software platform on the planet.” Again, history too will likely support Fink’s claim for NonStop as well.

Of course, the NonStop community is a lot better off being part of HPE than it ever was under previous Compaq oversight. And the NonStop community knows with a certainty that NonStop is a treasured gem within the Mission Critical Systems business unit. Valued, because it has a future role to play in Hybrid IT and this is perhaps the time to acknowledge that increasingly, the NonStop vendor community is supporting HPE in its pursuit of transformation to Hybrid IT. When it comes to the enterprise marketplace with as much talk as there is about private cloud adoption, we are beginning to see private clouds implemented where the underpinnings are all NonStop. You want availability, support of SLAs and a cost point you can afford then look to NonStop to provide these key attributes for any private cloud deployment.

Surprised? HPE is keenly aware of the potential NonStop has to offer to further differentiate HPE’s private cloud support and it wouldn’t surprise anyone in the NonStop community to hear a lot more about such a development. After all, HPE did select NonStop for the initial deep port of R3 Corda blockchain that created the Mission Critical Distributed Ledger product. “This changes everything!” And NonStop, “the best software platform on the planet!” At the time of the separation of HPE from HP Inc. and then with the spin mergers, talk among financial analysts was that this evolution of the former HP would unlock considerable shareholder value. When you add up all the numbers, it most definitely has, as HPE continues to declare regular cash dividends.

Perhaps, all that rostrum pounding and the catchphrases coming from HPE that have been part of HPE’s keynote presentations at major industry events, hasn’t just been hyperbole after all. Maybe, just maybe, they were key milestones in the journey HPE began a short time ago. And maybe, just maybe, the NonStop community becomes one of the biggest beneficiaries as HPE innovation and creativity becomes more visible with each new announcement HPE makes for NonStop. However, one thing is certain, NonStop too has its own history and it’s not likely to stop adding chapters either, and for that HPE should be thanked. #NonStopRocks …