It seems only a short time ago when the NonStop community gathered together in Burlingame, California, for the annual event. While it may be called a Technical Boot Camp (TBC), for most attendees it begins to look more and more like ITUG Summit of former years. Even as the number of participants continues to grow with each year, there is still some way to go to match those former times where the global reach of NonStop was evident, but it is still a major drawcard for all parties interested in all things NonStop. For DataExpress, it’s a time to hear firsthand about updates to the NonStop product roadmap. As would be the case for every NonStop vendor, it’s important to know what NonStop is planning to deliver over the coming year. It’s also a good place to see how NonStop development is prioritizing their work – what comes first on the PowerPoint slides is always an indication of what the NonStop development team values most highly. This year, it was about HPE’s internal usage of NonStop, more work being done to SQL, along with emphasis everywhere you turned on the L-Series NonStop OS. NonStop X and virtualized NonStop (vNS) were given equal billing at most presentations.

This is good news for DataExpress in that, like all development shops, we are taking a keen interest in vNS –  running virtualized instances of NonStop on our own hardware means that we can standardize on x86 servers for all of our products. DataExpress supports DataExpress NonStop (DXNS) and DataExpress Open Platform (DXOP) and having just one x86 platform streamlines many of our processes and contributes, in a very positive way, to reducing our hardware budget which in turn allows us to devote more resources to both DataExpress product lines. With HPE IT doing something similar, as best as we can tell, it is sending a very strong message to the NonStop community about standardizing on x86.

The message HPE conveyed about NonStop SQL was also hard to miss. “There was a great presentation by HPE IT that talked about how they have completely changed their internal processing to feature SQL MX, a move away from Oracle, said DataExpress senior analyst, Susie Raye, who was present for TBC. “Not only did this represent a large cost savings for HPE, but HPE is now using only its own products for internal management. Best message of all coming from HPE’s IT was the example of taking 12,000 SQL databases and merging them into a much smaller number (with the ultimate goal of eventually having just a single) SQL MX database, eliminating duplication of data and the high cost of SQL licenses.”

Together, NonStop X and vNS populated with NS SQL send a clear indication of where HPE is focusing its energy when it comes to NonStop. “Nonstop, as part of the big picture – with vNS, where NonStop is increasingly being seen to fit into the corporate picture – has more options and opportunities. The hybrid ability opens NonStop to those enterprises where it wasn’t even considered before. And SQL MX is a big part of this,” said Raye. “I guess what I’m saying is that it used to be you belonged to a data center running a certain kind of hardware/software – e.g. you were a Nonstop shop or an IBM shop – while today your data center is likely to be running a number of different kinds of hardware; a hybrid mix of machines with common languages being used across them all. Nonstop now fits right into this picture of industry-standard technology, but also offers the superior NS SQL and yes, Pathway, too; two NonStop specific options that improve the processing of any mission critical application.”

DataExpress has made major investments in DataExpress Open Platform (DXOP) such that many NonStop data centers can now run both DXNS and DXOP to meet all their file transfer needs. Automation of all these movements removes a major headache for many data center managers charged with ensuring files make it to where they are meant to go, on time, all the time. With the investments we see HPE continuing to make in NonStop, as a company DataExpress is encouraged by it all and believes that with choice and options now available to enterprises, the likelihood of there being even more NonStop users is highly possible. Maybe the increasing numbers at TBC will continue and while there were 100+ first time attendees this year, it is just as probable that there will be many more when this time of year rolls around again.

Before leaving this update it would be remiss of DataExpress management not to acknowledge the management changes announced at TBC. Long-serving HPE executive, Randy Meyer, will be retiring, handing over the reins to Jeff Kyle, who now becomes the VP & GM, Mission Critical Systems. We wish Randy the very best even as he looks forward to a completely different life away from technology. Randy has had such a long association with the NonStop community that it will be sad to see him go and we wish him well.