It seems that any time you venture onto the highway there’s no missing the number of trucks right alongside you. Around Dallas and with the airport nearby, the presence of so many big rigs can be disturbing at times as you weave between these workhorses of industry when trying to get from one part of the city to another. At a time when so many bricks-and-mortar retailers bemoan just how much business is being lost to online shopping sites, it’s no surprise to see that the number of trucks delivering purchases made online has escalated as it has and really this is only the beginning. And yes, it’s the holiday season and our virtual sleighs are overloaded.
It came as no surprise to read earlier this month of the news that Amazon had bought a fleet of trucks. As reported in the Wall Street Journal under the heading of Amazon Buys Semi-Truck Fleet to Shuttle Inventory where photos showed trucks branded with “the familiar Amazon logo with a smile on the side.” For a business committed to the ether as Amazon so famously pursues, seeing the tangible evidence of there being a lot more to simply clicking an icon to purchase what has been moved to your cart, appears somewhat ironic. “The move is partly a marketing effort — the trucks will be seen by customers as they move about,” said the Journal. “Amazon has been working to take more direct responsibility for what’s known as “the last mile,” the final leg of a package’s route to customers’ homes.”
In last month’s post, On the move! we referenced FedEx as one way to explain the core feature of DataExpress. Just as FedEx can come to your door and pick up a package, FedEx can accept a package delivered to any one of its offices. In many ways, DataExpress moves files the same way FedEx moves packages and these files can be pushed to a DataExpress server or be pulled by the server. Just as there are different protocols involved with the movement including movement by air, train or truck so too can DataExpress move files via secure FTP, Connect:Direct®, etc. transports over TCP/IP, SNA, and even Asynch channels. Pick out a package, put it on a train and send it down the tracks. Pick out a file, put it on a secure transport channel and send it down a TCP/IP network.
However, what constitutes DataExpress when it is deployed on NonStop is a different DataExpress when deployed on open platforms. It’s as if FedEx is used for NonStop and Amazon Prime for open platforms and yet the recent disclosures by Martin Fink, EVP and CTO, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, made at the 2015 NonStop Technical Boot Camp, suggest the two worlds are on the verge of becoming one. And when it came to strategy for NonStop systems, the strategy HPE is now pursuing, according to Fink, is good for the next decade. The intersection of NonStop with open platforms is going to be hard to observe, simply by opening the cabinet doors and looking at the blades, as NonStop has completed its transformation to being a software solution. The X blades to run NonStop, Linux or Windows will be the same and furthermore, in time we fully anticipate the mixture of NonStop, Linux and Windows to be happily ensconced in a single cabinet / chassis. It’s as if the multi-tenant distribution warehouse will house FedEx and Amazon and the passing of packages between the two will be seamless and transparent to those shipping packages.
In the December, 2015, article in the Tandemworld e/Newsletter by DataExpress we reference Fink’s keynote presentation. In particular, we made a reference to questions raised by Fink. “Do we need a new strategy?” Fink asked before answering his own question succinctly by saying, “Not for the next ten years.” And this more or less sums up our initial impression from the event – it looks like the course for NonStop is set and the new HPE doesn’t appear to be wavering from its mission to make NonStop as contemporary a system as possible. Ten years ago we would not have predicted Amazon buying a fleet of trucks and yet it’s now happening even as we wonder how much of the highway will be left to the casual driver. And here’s our main observation; hybrids and the continued exponential growth in online shopping together with the need to be integrated into the financial infrastructure supporting electronic commerce (eCommerce) is only going to increase the need to move files.
Hybrid computers will need files to be moved between platforms within the cabinet / chassis even as the participants in the hybrid, be they NonStop or Linux, will likewise need to move files to those depending on the data they capture – the emergence of the multi-tenant distribution computer system is fast approaching. This new home for NonStop will need a lot more support from our product DataExpress than many users of NonStop may have realized in the past and we fully expect to be hearing from many of you as this move to hybrids gains momentum.
Reflecting on the recent wet weather we have experienced in Dallas over the past month, we also wrote in the December, 2015, issue of Tandemworld, of how it’s still going to be very much a waiting game to see what starts trending upwards when it comes to hybrids. Will we, as is typical in Texas, be flooded with customer requests to support or will it be more a case of watching the occasional splatter of rain drops with just a few dedicated users beginning to adapt solutions in support of hybrids? We also wrote that we may not have plans that run for another decade but certainly, we will be watching very carefully the response from our customers, not just their adoption of NonStop X and even hybrid but where NonStop, as a software platform, creates new opportunities and penetrates new markets.
Our own home town of Dallas may be overrun by trucks transporting the outcome of eCommerce even as fewer and fewer of us head to the shopping mall but the latest home for NonStop will be at the heart of all the information generated by eCommerce and DataExpress will be accepting files and shipping files whether DataExpress is deployed on NonStop, Linux or Windows (or potentially spread across all three) in support of eCommerce. Suddenly our new home doesn’t look all that unfamiliar. Even more importantly, for nearly every customer of DataExpress that moves to NonStop and the X blades they will barely be aware of our presence. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause!