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NonStop Insider

The HPE Corner

HPE commits to NonStop and here are three reasons why!

NonStop Insider


HPE COR - DEC 18 -1

How serious is HPE about NonStop, how real is the future of NonStop and perhaps, most important of all, how is HPE messaging helping position NonStop as contributing to HPE’s vision? Quite simply, NonStop is at a crossroad where all the heavy lifting has been done by NonStop product management and development to completely overhaul the packaging of NonStop – traditional and virtual – and now it’s up to corporate management to reconsider the role of NonStop within their enterprises. As a community, every stakeholder associated with NonStop sees opportunities everywhere they turn as there is no lessening of the role of transaction processing, but what more can be done to help cement NonStop’s future within the enterprise?

These questions and many more like the them have been raised of late in conversations and email exchanges and they represent the current sentiment among the NonStop vendor community. All parties appreciate the work the NonStop team has done with NonStop over the past couple of years, even as they understand that NonStop today is very different from what it was just five years ago, but where does it fit in the bigger scheme of things from an HPE’s perspective? As HPE refines its PowerPoint slides and tightens the focus on where it pursues business opportunities, how will this help NonStop? For now, NonStop continues to be a part of the plan and this can be seen by looking at just three areas where HPE has jumped on the NonStop bandwagon.

At the most recent NonStop Technical Boot Camp (TBC) the attendees were the recipients of a compelling presentation by HPE’s own IT management. HPE is focused on reducing its financial commitment to Oracle as it cuts back on just how many databases it runs and in so doing has elected to rationalize on NonStop and NS SQL. This is huge and unlike the previous news by HPE IT (under CIO, Randy Mott) it isn’t calling for any radically new technology / architecture being embraced by the NonStop team. It’s simply all off-the-shelf NS SQL/MX with some added capabilities. These have to do with giving SQL/MX improved compatibility with Oracle and perhaps just as importantly, multitenant support.

Perhaps the work in making NS SQL compatible with Oracle gets the most attention as it not only helped reduce the time required of HPE IT staff to move off of Oracle and across to NS SQL, but opened the door for similar projects within any enterprise concerned over the mounting costs of Oracle. If huge cloud vendors like Amazon are moving off Oracle and, like HPE IT, expressed concerns about the costs and the lock-in (and no, Oracle isn’t open no matter how you dress it up; supporting many different platforms doesn’t qualify as being open) it’s open season for all enterprises to take a closer look at their choice of database. Given just how strategic the choice of database has become as the volume of data arriving at the data center is growing exponentially, it’s time to consider a database that scales out to forever and doesn’t need to be taken down for any reason, not to run statistics and not to reorganize. Not for any reason at all – does the decision by HPE IT to move to NS SQL now makes a lot of sense?

Of course, the decision too to gradually evolve to a virtualized environment by HPE IT is a further testament to how HPE views the future of NonStop. NSaaS and yes, DBaaS owes its roots to requests by HPE IT and the addition of multitenant support is just one more step taken by NonStop development to expedite this transformation, but the big news here is that every major enterprise on the planet that takes a tour of HPE’s own IT operations will be exposed to the role NonStop is playing. Maybe the NonStop systems will not be readily identifiable as NonStop will be virtualized, running on the latest gen ProLiants and isn’t that a good thing?

Last month, the HPE Corner update published in the November issue of NonStop Insider focused on blockchain, distributed ledger technology (DLT) and the port of R3:Corda. While HPE’s plans for DLT extend out into the future with many other products included in the DLT program, it was NonStop and NS SQL that were the first choice. For HPE to go down this path and for HPE to listen to the input provided by well-known NonStop technology architects is a resounding win for NonStop. This is big and while the introduction of Mission Critical DLT (MCDLT) is only just beginning and it’s just a few enterprises taking tentative steps towards understanding the role and the benefits of MCDLT it’s pleasing to see the support it’s getting within HPE. While at SIBOS Sydney 2018 last month I was able to sit down with Raphael Davison, Worldwide Director of Blockchain at HPE, and his enthusiasm for NonStop was hard to hide. All of which argues well for the future of NonStop.

When it comes to the third reason it comes back to the continued innovative thinking that permeates the NonStop team. Be it product management, development or the field, it’s refreshing to hear of what the NonStop team is up to – who could have thought that HPE would be considering NonStop (in its virtualized form) to underpin renewed push into the services arena? Just think, vendors being able to offer your favorite middleware or solution from out of a cloud somewhere on the planet! And just as importantly, offer all the levels of security that NonStop is famous for and now an option worthy of serious consideration for many potential new NonStop users. NonStop running on Synergy? NonStop running on GPUs? NonStop tightly integrated with an updated Debian distribution of Linux? The possibilities are endless and while none of the above might ever see the light of day just to know that HPE is funding teams to investigate is a resounding endorsement too about the future of NonStop!

Nothing is ever set in concrete and no program is without risk. When it comes to NonStop and HPE however, it is beginning to look, as the songwriter wrote, a lot like Christmas for the NonStop community. And as the holiday season is about to arrive perhaps this is the best way to end the year. Like many of you who have been involved with NonStop through the decades, perhaps anticipating more gifts to be unwrapped isn’t such a stretch as the path forward for NonStop is becoming well established and in its many forms, NonStop will continue to rock in 2019! Happy Holidays, everyone and best wishes for the coming year!