Even as the GTUG and HP Discover events fade from memory other events are either about to happen or are just over the horizon. For the NonStop community they remain the best option to hear exactly what HP is planning for NonStop systems and this reinforces the message that NonStop continues to be an important member of the enterprise family of systems. The investments HP continues to make in software, and of course hardware, as we have seen of late are a reminder of just how highly valued the NonStop user community is by HP senior management. Refreshing news all round as it was only a few years ago that many in the NonStop community speculated that NonStop may cease to be a funded program.This was the theme of the May 29, 2015, post If it’s the end of May, then it’s time to return to Vegas! by Richard Buckle of Pyalla Technologies, LLC. in the NonStop community blog, Real Time View. “In those early years of HP’s ownership of NonStop”, he quoted DataExpress CEO, Billy Whittington, as having said, “our perspective at THAT time was that the NonStop platform had got completely lost within HP, had no uniqueness, and that momentum would be lost and therefore the future of NonStop looked dismal to us”. However, further into the post, Buckle again quoted Whittington when he said, “With the advent of the NonStop X family of systems, the promise of lower cost models and the ability to grow exponentially within the same platform all WHILE keeping the redundancy that only NonStop has, shows huge promise.” And the return to favor, it might be said, of NonStop within HP.
What we heard at these past events (and reviewed as presentations were published) was that new, lower cost NonStop X family members were on their way – perhaps as soon as early calendar fourth quarter, although some may be shipped in advance of that, as I suspect there will be proven “numbers on the board” before HP splits into HP Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE). Having said as much as they have to date, the HP NonStop team is seeing too many prospects for NonStop X on the sidelines right now watching and waiting for a NonStop X system either as a development and test system or as a distributed system as HP continues to promote the movement of secondary and tertiary applications to NonStop, many of which could involve placement of NonStop X systems regionally.
We also have heard about the increased effort behind the development of hybrid systems that incorporate NonStop X systems. Looking at how the current NonStop X NS7 X1 is assembled and the number of blade slots in the chassis – yes, 16, no less – and the inclusion of standard Mellanox Technologies InfiniBand (IB) switches – yes, two of them, naturally – then it seems reasonable to expect HP populating some blade slots with NonStop blades and the other blade slots with Linux blades. Indeed, there were some suggestions by those present on the stand alongside the NonStop X on display at HP Discover that within NonStop development this is being done already.
IB is definitely the ideal fabric to support such hybrid configurations and having the potential to straddle the DMZ ,with Linux inside the DMZ and NonStop outside, the option to interconnect via a technology as fast as IB is definitely something DataExpress will look at leveraging. The most recent news that NonStop development was working on providing vendors and users alike with an API makes such a pursuit a lot less daunting. This was an item addressed in the June issue of the Tandemworld e/Newsletter. “NonStop is going to provide vendors like us with an interface that will make life in a hybrid computing world a lot easier,” DataExpress President, Michelle Marost, says in that June update. “Like many others we are looking at what NonStop development has announced, added Marost and “if it allows us to separate processes between NonStop and say, Linux or even Windows, then with the way companies today implement security and enforce DMZs, this may prove very beneficial for our NonStop customers.”
But now it’s on to another event, albeit one of a regional nature – the Dallas NonStop user-group, or N2TUG. At this event DataExpress will be represented by Buckle and he will be providing those present an update on DataExpress, covering a little of what has been included in this post. Like many of the other user-group events scheduled for this year, while they may lack the sheer presence of a HP big tent event like HP Discover, there are still many HP gems that are likely to be uncovered. You just have to make sure you don’t miss them, but no matter where these events are held around the globe, later in the year there will be the NonStop Technical Boot Camp to be held in San Jose and for the majority of the NonStop community, this is THE EVENT and even though it may appear to be just beyond the horizon, it’s well worth planning for – who knows? The future of NonStop may prove a lot brighter than what many of us dared to dream about only a short time ago!