2021. What an interesting year. With the world turned upside down by a pandemic that seemingly had its sights set on...
Transformation is a hot topic for the NonStop community
The uptick in interest in transformation has the NonStop community assessing value proposition of NonStop even as vendors prepare for more changes coming from HPE
Tributary Systems, IncDan
The most recent emphasis HPE has given to the message of “Transformation to a Hybrid IT” raises many questions within the NonStop community and it sets an overall agenda for HPE. In other words, while HPE is pushing ahead with plans to simplify the journey from purely traditional computing based on longstanding practices of providing dedicated hardware, to the software-defined cloud computing where resources are assembled and a variety of virtualized workloads are supported, will there be relevance for NonStop? Given the current business value proposition for NonStop which is tied directly to its ability to provide fault tolerant computing and storage capabilities, will this business value continue in a world dominated by virtualization?
Transformation as it applies to server platforms and their roles in computing is indeed a broad term. Transformation can mean virtualization, cloud migration and how they are implemented among other things. I see the evolution in the compute function as one where there are increasing efficiencies in utilization of assets (hardware and software). In the open world, virtualization increased hardware and software utilization in a customer’s own datacenter, cloud computing then increased utilization across multiple customers in one or more datacenters. The issue with transformation in NonStop is that most customers use NonStop systems for processing continuous availability and mission critical transactions in production environments.
“I do not see the use case changing unless NonStop offers a new or different value proposition in the market place,” said Tributary Systems, Inc. CEO, Shawn Sabanayagam. “Virtualized NonStop (VNS) will make development and test of different applications more convenient for existing NonStop customers, however, I have difficulty seeing a use case where VNS is used for large Fortune 500 or Fortune 3000 production environments. The struggles of executing a viable NonStop transformation are complicated by the fact that no new applications are being ported or developed for the NonStop OS and customers continue to perceive NonStop as ‘legacy.’ As long as the number of applications is shrinking on the platform, virtualizing it and moving it to the cloud will not reverse the demand for NonStop. So transformation as it applies to NonStop really has to only focus on maintaining current customers and use cases for as long as possible.”
Any discussion about transformation and the simplifying of the journey to Hybrid IT is only one part of the story when it comes to NonStop. Here at Tributary we have always been aware of how NonStop systems have been just a part of any business solution. Whenever the topic of transformation comes up, and it’s potential for realigning our own company’s strategic goals for the future, we began to broaden the scope of value we provide our customers over 10 years ago. We are in the data protection, specifically, backup and archive business. We recognized that there are virtually no datacenters or customers with only NonStop, so we developed and patented a super high performance, software-defined, policy base and tiered data management solution called STORAGE DIRECTOR® that can protect data from all hardware platforms, operating systems and backup applications. Then we streamlined its implementation on high performance, converged infrastructure consisting of compute, memory and storage all in one.
“Most recently, the market trend is one where small and large companies alike have initiatives to migrate applications and storage to the cloud,” added Shawn. “Tributary Systems invested in offering a comprehensive suite of solutions and services, which help customers to migrate data generated on premise to the cloud, backup and archive new data to the cloud and finally bring to market data management solutions for cloud native applications (or data generated and stored in the cloud).” A massive and rapid transformation is happening in our industry in secondary or archive storage … First it was direct attached tape, then it was disk based VTLs followed by deduplication VTLs. Now, with escalating demand to backup and archive increasing amounts of data cost effectively, the medium of choice is object storage.
“Object storage is significantly lower cost with far superior scalability than dedup VTLs that dominate on-premise archival storage in datacenters today. It is for these same reasons of cost, scalability and ease of use that all public cloud offerings (AWS, Azure, Google etc.) are object storage based,” noted Shawn. Tributary Systems adapted its flagship Storage Director IP with object storage technology from IBM, Amazon, Microsoft and Google among others to offer customers in various stages of their own IT transformation, an efficient, cost effective path to moving and protecting their mission-critical data in public, private or hybrid cloud. “Whether you are a large corporation like HP or IBM or a small focused IT solution provider like Tributary Systems, transformation and reinvention of your value proposition to stay relevant in a rapidly changing IT environment is critical,” concluded Shawn.