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Tributary Systems’ Observations on the 2017 NonStop Bootcamp

A very encouraging event that showcased HPE’s commitment to NonStop amid an era of many changes...

Tributary Systems, Inc



As a longtime member of the NonStop “ecosphere”, first with Tandem, then Compaq, followed by HP, and now with Tributary Systems, I’m always amazed at the dedication HPE, the many talented partners, and of course the NonStop customer base, maintains for what is now a 40 year old product family. This continually reinforces the fact that NonStop remains as the premier Mission Critical Enterprise platform available.

First, it’s very important that we here at Tributary Systems thank all the folks who work so hard year after year to put on this symposium; it’s certainly worth the effort. This year’s new San Francisco Airport Hyatt Regency venue was an excellent choice, and from what we heard around the Partner Pavilion, we’re looking forward to even more spacious accommodations in 2018.

Now on to the event itself; there were two facts that struck us immediately. One was the increase in the overall number of customers attending this year, the importance of which cannot be overstated. After all, events like this are fundamentally for the NonStop customer base, not HPE employees and partners. Also, the participation was worldwide; obviously customers feel it’s worthwhile to send people halfway around the world to attend, regardless of the cost, which speaks volumes for their commitment to the platform. Secondly, HPE continues to invest in NonStop, two years ago NonStop X and the L-Series software, last year the Virtual NonStop, and this year the Virtual-Converged NonStop. And, lest we forget, HPE continues to maintain and update the J-Series software as well.

Speaking of the Virtual-Converged NonStop announcement, our take is that this is a well-conceived and necessary step to bridge the gap between the NonStop X fully converged servers and the purely virtual NonStop (hardware agnostic) product. For over 40 years, all NonStop server products were by definition converged systems. Think back to the Tandem days when the hardware was integral to the “lock-step” and fault tolerant functionality of the independently operating two processor concept. Without a fully customized and unique hardware platform, this would not have been possible. Even after the HP acquisition of 2002, NonStop continued to successfully market only converged systems, although there was a continuing move to HP “standard hardware”.  Until the switch from ServerNet to InfiniBand that came with the x86 based NonStop X, virtualizing NonStop would have made no sense.

So what does all this mean? There’s a long standing tradition amongst NonStop customers for the purchase of integrated hardware/software systems that are fully tested and arrive at their dock ready to install, load their applications and run. Changing that paradigm will take time, just like it’s taking time for many customers to integrate their NonStop servers into the “general” enterprise rather than as a separate NonStop “silo”, managed by NonStop-only experts. However this integration is coming, and coming quickly. Innovative new products like the Virtual NonStop and Tributary Systems’ new, low cost, highly secure and highly scalable data backup, archival, and DR solution employing IBM’s Cloud Object Storage with Erasure Coding will eliminate the need for NonStop “silos” while reducing costs for the enterprise.

That’s our take, and we’re certainly looking forward to 2018. One thing is sure, change is inevitable, and NonStop will be part of it………..

By Glenn Garrahan, Director HPE Business, Tributary Systems