In a previous post the focus was on predicting the future and just how difficult it is to make accurate predictions. This was against the backdrop that in all likelihood, there would be gravitation, in some market segments, towards deployment of hubs designed to facilitate information integration. Following years of implementing best of breed, application-specific, processing “silos” many in IT are not surprised to see the information hubs being considered as companies seek better ways to harvest all that is under the management of these silo applications. Whether “intelligent hubs” of the past or “payments services hubs” as predicted by Gartner, a strong case can be made for the practicality of such systems, and, for the NonStop community there may be even broader acceptance for hybrid computers deployed as hubs than expected.
For the NonStop community none of the plans for deploying information hubs in this fashion comes as a surprise. According to HP Master Technologist, Justin Simonds, NonStop customers should look no further than to the work done more than a decade ago in support of the Zero Latency Enterprise (ZLE). “We had some excellent ideas back in the ZLE days and with some of the new datastreaming partners such as WebAction and Network Kinetix we could again offer up unique and compelling advantages,” came the suggestion from Simonds. “I could go on but you get the point. NonStop X should mark an uptick in NonStop awareness and deployment into new areas.”
Adding to the fact that, with the arrival of NonStop X, HP will likely offer up unique and compelling advantages in the work they are doing with select customers where beta testing of the   hybrid computers made up of a mix of NonStop and Linux x86 blades will begin later this year. As it was made clear to all in the recent post, Here comes NonStop X and here’s to another decade or two, or four, of NonStop excitement! to the NonStop community blog, Real Time View, Sean Mansubi, VP of R&D for HP’s NonStop Integrity and x86 family of servers, database, and middleware software and solutions talked openly about these upcoming beta tests of hybrid computers. “I am particularly excited about our opportunities to offer hybrid solutions, which are NonStop servers directly tied to other x86 servers running Linux/Unix/Windows via InfiniBand (IB) to create low latency, high performance heterogeneous solutions, said Mansubi. “We are planning on delivering a Limited Beta Program for partners and customers later this year.”
The arrival of any new family of computer systems is always a cause to celebrate and for the NonStop community, further embracing industry-standard components is particularly exciting. Long gone are the former proprietary technologies that underpinned Tandem Computers of the past – NonStop X today ensures NonStop is back on the radar screens of all CIOs extolling the virtues of industry standard offerings. And for the vendor community, this is especially good news as now they can capitalize on skillsets more widely dispersed throughout the industry. Developers in Java, C and C++ as well as those familiar with web technologies of all flavors can readily port their applications to NonStop X.
DataExpress is among the vendors taking a good long look at these newly arrived NonStop X systems. Given how NonStop have become OSS-centric and that the support of POSIX APIs gives software vendors a degree of platform independence, it goes a long way to keeping development costs under control. “Today, we have two distinct products, DataExpress NonStop (DXNS) and DataExpress Open Platforms (DXOP) and we are taking steps to see if we can now consolidate these under a single multi-platform product offering,” DataExpress President, Michelle Marost, explained. “While as yet we do not have a customer asking for our DXOP product on OSS, considering the built in redundancies that NonStop bring to the table, it just makes sense for us to go there”
Furthermore, Marost then went on to add that at DataExpress, “We’d really like to test our DXOP product running on NonStop OSS, with DXSG’s running inside and outside firewalls. Right now DXOP and DXSG talk client to server or server to client – two separate products. We believe the best path for us is running DXOP on NonStop Architecture. However, we are open to trying any configuration that makes sense and if worthwhile, coding a solution that is desirable for marketability.” Business and technology considerations aside, it would seem the best way to leverage people skills down the road so this is a highly likely undertaking in the near future.
And just as clearly, having a product that today runs on NonStop as well as on Linux/Unix/Windows, DataExpress has more than passing interest in the plans of HP for hybrid systems that include NonStop. This will open up further discussions about the use of InfiniBand as a very high-speed path between the systems participating in the HP hybrid system and DataExpress will more than likely be among the early adopters of such connections as more about the InfiniBand APIs becomes known. Either way, hybrid and hubs all play to the strengths of DataExpress and it should surprise no one that DataExpress has been anticipating the arrival of NonStop X with as much enthusiasm as everyone else in the NonStop community.