Were you to have been asked that question some years ago, the answer most likely would have bee “I’m not sure”....
There is hardware and there is software.
But more importantly, there is services and there is streaming integration!
As a community, NonStop has witnessed tremendous change over the course of the past five years. Who would have predicted that NonStop would become a software product or guessed that NonStop workloads could be virtualized, running as guests of virtual machines as are supported by products like VMware. With HPE so heavily focused on high value product offerings and having kept NonStop following its spin merge of non-core software assets, it only goes to reinforce the value proposition of NonStop for HPE and it is clear that investments continue to be made in NonStop. Hardware may indeed by passé but then is the future of NonStop as software destined for something different again to how the NonStop community has deployed NonStop in the past?
In commentary provided to the NonStop community blog, Real Time View, Striim cofounder, Sami Akbay, said: “When you look at what we are working with today it’s no longer about the hardware. It’s now not even about the software, even though NonStop product managers are strongly evangelizing the benefits that come from NonStop now being strictly a software play, but rather, services.” When asked if this was putting traditional vendors between a rock and a hard place, Sami responded with, “Certainly some of the biggest traditional providers of software think so. Just look at how they have to cannibalize their own customer base just to stay in the game and that’s a tough act to follow if you have committed your business to growth!”
For most readers, when the topic of services comes up, thoughts turn to those vendors providing consulting, managerial and professional services. However, as we look at the transformation under way inside the data centers of the biggest enterprises, it’s clear that cloud computing is taking hold. For many enterprises these are private clouds utilizing commodity software from some of the biggest cloud providers where the model of apps accessing cloud services is increasingly the design-center of many new features these enterprises are deploying in support of their business. According to Gartner and their Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018, “Cloud is a system where technology services are delivered using internet technologies.” Gartner also says that, “When implemented together, cloud is used to create the service-oriented model and edge computing offers a delivery style that allows for executions of disconnected aspects of cloud service.”
In other words, that paradigm of access via smartphones and tablets out at the edge, interacting via apps with business logic being handed out as a service (think of SalesForce.com), and you have a better perspective on the imperative that is pushing NonStop as quickly as it has been travelling from hardware through software to where we will see NonStop-as-a-Service (NSaaS). At first, this will likely be in support of NonStop SQL-as-a-Service (DBaaS) but even so, setting a precedent that indeed you can think of NonStop being handed out as a service sets in motion of what NonStop will be supporting in the future.
NonStop has established itself as the premier platform for real time transaction processing, 24 x 7, and in an always connected world (where everything computes), this fault tolerant property of NonStop is going to become even more important. You can’t power-off / power-on your real time transaction processing platform; too many users and too much data in flight to even think of doing something like that! However, while we can appreciate where the mobile device connected to the cloud will lead us, because availability will remain an important consideration for any enterprise architect, we now have to deal with hybrid clouds as well. Enterprises have quickly moved beyond any dependence on just one cloud and one cloud service provider as there are real reasons why not all data can leave the data center and not all data can be located in one geographic region.
“What is hybrid cloud?” asks Striim CTO, Steve Wilkes in a post of August 30 to the Striim blog, Why Hybrid Cloud Needs Streaming Integration. “Gartner defines a hybrid cloud service as a cloud computing service that is composed of some combination of private, public and community cloud services, from different service providers,” posts Wilkes. Furthermore, “Striim’s streaming integration software is perfectly positioned to enable hybrid cloud use cases. We support the continuous real-time collection of data from on-premises and cloud databases, files, and messaging systems.” And yes, NonStop is already a supported source for Striim’s streaming integration software with all the potential to play a big part where embracing the services model becomes paramount important for the enterprise.
Why would NonStop users need Striim and what is driving a need for streaming integration. In a post of August 28, to the Striim blog, Streaming Integration: What Is It and Why Do I Need It?Wilkes explains that, “Streaming integration is all about continuously moving any enterprise data with real high throughput in a scalable fashion, while processing that data, correlating it, and analyzing it in-memory so that you can get real value out of that data, and visibility into it in a verifiable fashion. And streaming data integration is the foundation for so many different use cases in this modern world, especially if you have legacy systems and you need to modernize, you need to use new technologies to get the right answers from your data, and you need to do that continuously, in real time.”
In other words, it’s no longer the hardware or the software. It’s no longer a best-of-breed application running on an appliance. It’s no longer about an OLTP database and its support of mission critical applications. It’s about all of the above and it calls for more software underpinning the integration before the window to a completely services oriented deployment sees the light of day. And it is this transformation that is as important as any other transformation being promoted that will determine who succeeds and who fails and with the right software, from the right vendor, it is inclusive of NonStop! The NonStop community should be aware of these transformations even as it prepares to become an important source for services required of the enterprise and if you would like to know more about services, clouds and the need for streaming integration make sure you reach out tothe Striim team at any time!