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What does 2017 hold for NonStop?

Heading into 2017 HPE’s plans for NonStop are not only to consolidate a new system but to tackle new frontiers!




The HPE NonStop team has been aggressively presenting its view of the future for NonStop whenever it has had an opportunity to do so. Whether it is at a major event, a local RUG meeting or even presentations to individual vendors, the contents of HPE’s PowerPoint slide deck are becoming well known. Not for the faint-hearted in the audience are the strong predictions about the NonStop products holding a prominent position in the Mission Critical Systems portfolio as the message coming from HPE is as positive as it has been for a long time. Make no mistake, NonStop is once again on a roll. We may not be feeling the impact from the addition of “new logos” as HPE tells the story, but following two years of double-digit growth together with a return to profitability, NonStop is only a few major wins away from being back in vogue with CIOs. Coupled with perhaps the most aggressive product roadmaps seen in more than a decade – not since the Himalaya family of NonStop systems was unveiled – the transformation of NonStop into the best software platform on the planet is still surprising many, even those who have supported NonStop for a very long time.

The PowerPoint slides that have become talking points among the NonStop community include the slide that spells out the future vision of NonStop that includes NonStop Cloud as well as a slide that is a little more speculative as it describes a longer term future for NonStop that not only builds on NonStop X but vNonStop and DBaaS. While the journey for NonStop is leading it into the cloud – and mostly, private clouds for the next couple of years – is a fascinating development for NonStop even as it challenges IT with how best to leverage, it is the longer term future that catches my attention. Particularly as one aspect of this speculation by HPE about its longer term future for NonStop includes addressing the utility marketplace. With so much talk in the U.S. about investing in infrastructure even as the stock market is spurring the likes of Caterpillar to new heights, it’s not surprising that this market has come under scrutiny by those looking to develop new markets for NonStop systems.

The common denominator for these utilities is that they run 24 X 7 – something that simply lends itself to being supported by fault tolerant computer systems. The applications supporting critical components cannot fail as today, there are so many cross-industry dependencies from manufacturing to finance that a failure of any utility can lead to devastating results. The utilities listed in the PowerPoint slide includes power stations, aqueducts, canals, dams and satellites to which I would add a multitude of transportation entities from package delivery services to bus lines to the humble taxi / UBER /Lyft. Infrastructure is a very broad market and the utility market plays a major supporting role for nearly every aspect of infrastructure. As someone who regularly drives the U.S. interstate system that oftentimes parallels major railway lines even as it opens up the heavens to reveal a mesh of vapor trails from planes flying overhead, it becomes clear very quickly that America’s infrastructure is in sore need of a major overhaul. Perhaps then the timing of NonStop addressing such a marketplace is right on target and it is also a necessity.

The decision to pursue industry standards and open systems was a key consideration underpinning the decision to reach out to new markets such as utilities (and infrastructure). Simply put, you need a lot of specialized solutions, and quickly, even as the competition take aim at exactly the same markets. “Assembling” new applications from what is available in the world of open source is what the competition continues to do and now NonStop is equipped to do the same. If you take a long hard look at the PowerPoint slide featuring HPE IT and the project it is pursuing, in cooperation with NonStop development, to provide a mission critical data backplane supporting rapid application innovation then you will see a number of “mixes” described. There is one mix combining “rapid, modern app dev + “always-on DBMS” + ACID compliancy” as well as another that covers “ultra MC + standard infra + private cloud deployment model.” And nowhere is NonStop left out of these equations – indeed, NonStop is holding down center stage as it brings NonStop SQL/MX under the spotlight even as it begins to take form as the most important element, the new HPE IT DBaaS offering.

This is a completely new frontier for NonStop and while the consolidation of NonStop with the rest of HPE’s mission critical systems as it embraces the Intel x86 architecture, it’s important for NonStop to break out of simply being a solution for payments and telcos. While it’s early days for NonStop as it heads towards this new frontier, it cannot escape the attention of any CIO that NonStop has the credentials to succeed and if HPE sees the potential for NonStop, as it builds out its own mission critical data backplane, I can only imagine that this message will find support in many enterprises – utilities and yes, infrastructure, included!

Richard Buckle
Cofounder and CEO
Pyalla Technologies, LLC