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Coming as soon as it did after HPE Discover 2019, the N2TUG RUG event in Grapevine, Texas, gave the NonStop community the opportunity to hear first-hand about recent announcements made by HPE. Numerous presenters at N2TUG had attended HPE Discover 2019 and some of the feedback not only has some scratching their heads, as we recently suggested, but also has them rethinking their product portfolios. Could the news coming from HPE that is focused on Hybrid IT come to fruition, does this open the doors to greater opportunities for them?

At DataExpress we have worked for many years on the understanding that having DataExpress NonStop (DXNS) will only be part of the story as DataExpress Open Platform (DXOP) will provide members of the NonStop community broader options when it comes to where best to deploy DataExpress. Even as the comparisons continue to be made between DataExpress and service providers like FedEx or UPS, there will be times in the emerging world of Hybrid IT where it may be beneficial to be able to pass responsibilities to DXOP. After all, in a virtualized world where any mix of traditional and virtual machine may be present, NonStop and Linux, for instance, may be only a matter of a few electrons apart.

In last month’s post we referenced the news that NonStop was being demonstrated running on Edgeline EL4000 servers with the potential to run on Edgeline EL8000s. What may have been overlooked (and has been the subject of a number of commentaries posted to sites like LinkedIn) is the emergence of mini-clouds. Hybrid IT has been about mixing traditional systems not only with virtual machines but with the private clouds where those virtual machines typically resided, but now the integration of Operational Technology (OT) with Information Technology (IT) out at the edge means that there will likely be mini-clouds present. Building on this, it is then likely that NonStop and Linux (or even Windows) will coexist in a mini-cloud and as such, having the option to offload some processes to Linux is worth considering.

DXOP resident in the core as distinct from the edge may in turn become accessible as a service. This has already been discussed within DataExpress and for the NonStop community the heavy-lifting of major file transfers between enterprises and regulatory agencies, for instance, will continue to be addressed by DXNS, but internally, distributing important files between the core and the edge may be better addressed with the edge calling on the services of a core-resident DXOP on as needed basis. DXOP-as-a-Service is not too far away as we continue to monitor customer requirements.

A lot has happened with DXOP through 2019 that not all NonStop users may be aware of it. Functionality continues to be a priority and there continues to be a steady flow of enhancements being included in each new release. “Six months ago, one such prospect of DXOP advised us that their chosen product wasn’t able to provide the same service as our very very old DXOP, and that support for that product was non-existent,” said DataExpress CEO Billy Whittington. “Would we be able to upgrade them to our now-current version?” Of course DataExpress were only too happy to work with them and “that upgrade is taking place this week. Just a short time ago, the rewritten conversion utility did its thing and they came up yesterday morning with only a handful of expected teething issues that were quickly addressed. Yes, they are now live on the latest version and are looking to install our V7 when it comes out of QA and purchase another copy to run High Availability on cooperating servers!”

We like telling stories like this as it’s indicative of our responsiveness to customer requirements even as it points to how it will only take a customer request to bring DXOP-as-a-Service to the market.. This was the theme too of our latest article published in the July 2019 issue of NonStop Insider DataExpress – HPE Discover and N2TUG events reveal renewed emphasis on Hybrid IT and this calls for NonStop community to look to “Open!”  In that issue you will read:

It was with real interest too that DataExpress followed the news that HPE would be pursuing an agenda such that by 2022, every product in the company’s extensive product portfolio will be made available as a service to be consumed by HPE customers any way they want.

However, it does open the conversation about just what products will become important to HPE customers over time and if HPE delivers on the ease with which HPE customers will be able to move applications between traditional systems, private clouds and any number of public clouds then it will bring into sharper focus the need for open solutions.

This doesn’t come as a surprise to DataExpress as, like a number of NonStop vendors, DataExpress has complemented its DataExpress NonStop (DXNS) product line with DataExpress Open Platform (DXOP). Of late, it has been interest in DXOP that has fueled recent enhancements to the product and although we are following with interest HPE’s plans to deliver everything as a service, in the intervening years we expect our existing DataExpress customers to exercise a fair degree of caution before taking advantage of “everything-as-a-Service!” While we understand that HPE’s own IT organization is successfully pursuing something similar as it modernizes its own infrastructure, for the most part NonStop users move forward more slowly.

Everything-as-a-service certainly generates media attention but the news in support of Hybrid IT that also includes such items as core and the edge and yes, consumption-based deployment models in addition to everything-as-a-Service has significance for not only members of the NonStop community, but the entire IT organization. It’s also becoming a lot clearer to all vendors that HPE investment in NonStop means that the company has longer term plans for NonStop which is just as encouraging. Having DXNS and DXOP not only opens the doors to greater opportunities for DataExpress but armed with such products, we can provide all of our customers with options and that is always positive for both us and our customers.

  1. If you happened to have missed reading the latest feature article about DataExpress that was published in the July, 2019 issue of NonStop Insider, make sure you click on the hyperlink above or simply cut and paste this link into you browser –