When you look back at all that took place in 2018 the topic that continues to dominate conversations is transformation. While we are cognizant of the central role transformation plays in HPE’s messaging to CIOs, what is now on offer from HPE that carries the NonStop badge is vastly different to what once anchored NonStop – you want traditional NonStop then you have the NonStop X family of systems; you want an off-the-shelf virtualized NonStop product then you have the NS2; you want to take control over your choice of hardware then you can license vNS. Options about that are all driven by the L-Series operating system.So much of this has been covered in posts and commentaries to numerous publications that this shouldn’t be news to any member of the NonStop community. However, and it is worth repeating, what is only now being recognized by the NonStop vendors is that with as many options as there are today, product roadmaps are becoming very complicated and definitely subject to the customers’ take up, so for now the best representation of the roadmap is a whiteboard, as we need to be flexible!

The implications for the NonStop community are clear – when it comes to the direction which NonStop users plan to take, they need to give serious consideration to what business requirements they are meeting. 24 x 7 support of mission critical applications may become passé as the bigger question becomes what has priority? Is my NonStop platform a data base or a transaction processor? Do I plan for NonStop at the core and indeed within the cloud or far out on the edge … all of which have their own requirements? Data will be moving in real time inside of files and DataExpress is looking to evolve its product lines to address both edge and core deployments.

The key for DataExpress has been support for the L-Series operating system and we’re among the earliest vendors to validate their products running on L-Series. This opened the doors to DataExpress running on traditional NonStop systems as well as preparing it to run on virtualized NonStop deployments. Like many NonStop vendors our own development and support costs are something we watch closely, and clearly, the opportunity to run virtualized on x86 servers we source ourselves is an attractive option.

Other NonStop vendors have already begun promoting their plans and at the recent NonStop Technical Boot Camp we heard more about OmniPayments and their move to virtualized NonStop even as they roll out their own cloud supporting OmniPayments’ product family as SaaS. We heard too that NTI was purchasing multiple copies of vNonStop and is becoming the first NonStop vendor to commit to supporting customers on the SaaS basis too first up, extending to support NSaaS and DBaaS.

None of this comes as a surprise to DataExpress as we look at our own roadmap for our products. For many years now we have supported both the NonStop platform version of our product, DataExpress NonStop (DXNS), and Open platforms version with Data Express Open Platform (DXOP). As we watched the veil being lifted from the NonStop roadmaps, we spent much of 2018 focused on DXOP. “We are just finalizing our V7 DXOP,” said DataExpress CEO Billy Whittington. “It is a total rebuild of the product leveraging the latest technologies available now in the world of open even as we evolved the internals of the product to be able to more easily upgrade individual elements with even newer technologies on an ad-hoc basis as we see them maturing to where they are suitable for prime-time usage.”

This upgrade for DXOP has implications for the NonStop community. It has taken  us a long time to complete, but ultimately, once the new version of the DXOP product is in the field (and we have many more DXOP users today than we have DXNS users), “we can start major modifications to how it is configured to better support drag and drop options including building session lists, etc.” said Whittington. “We believe that there is a huge market out there and DXOP is Java based, so where there is Java there can be DXOP. It’s highly scalable and isn’t peer-to-peer, connecting to any product that conforms to the respective RFC standards for securely moving data. With the move to compute models based on edge and core, we want to be present at both ends and, with DataExpress as of today, we have the ideal solution for managed file transfer.”

Whether NonStop makes an impact out on the edge or is solely resident in the core, with a passthrough gateway outside the DMZ, supporting our open product is influencing much of what we do across both the Open and NonStop platforms.  The world has changed and whether this has been driven by vendors like Amazon and Microsoft with their cloud offerings or by Apple and Google with their mobile phone offerings, every NonStop vendor is heads down working on having products for both Open and NonStop platforms and DataExpress is no exception.

We are looking closely now at how we bring vNS inside our development center as we look even more closely at what our customers are planning on doing with respect to managed file transfers.  The world is becoming increasingly data driven and data centric and whether you move one file or thousands, we will have a DataExpress solution for you capable of running wherever data is created. You will have many options with what HPE is providing and as such, DataExpress will be right there supporting whichever approach you embrace. Moving files will always be what we do and there’s not a product available today for the Nonstop platform that is as comprehensive as DataExpress and we can only envision our role becoming more important. Yes, we believe that there is a huge and growing market out there for us!