August is typically a time to take it easy, as across the northern hemisphere enjoying a vacation takes precedence over almost any other consideration. Even for the most harried data center manager a couple of weeks spent relaxing by the seaside can do wonder to restore energy levels. However, there is no escaping the changes awaiting every business as data processing models undergo yet another change in architecture, where once more tried and true methods established over the past couple of years are turned upside down. The data center is fundamentally changing in ways almost unthinkable just a decade ago. As the world  settled back to oversee a distributed client / server implementation that data centers fine-tuned to better handle access from smartphones and tablets the future looked entirely predictable – simply more of everything we were already doing. After a couple of missteps, mostly to do with performance, prevailing wisdom has seen almost all data centers embrace Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) that let businesses break down major applications into a series of services that in turn were able to be wrapped and served up to new and innovative ways to address our users’ needs. Today, however, it’s all about clouds and cloud computing. It’s about embracing openness more aggressively and, in so doing, have a variety of options as to where critical business logic will run. And then there’s the diversity of data businesses are looking to capture and mine that, left to traditional data processing models, could break the bank. We hear so much about the key value proposition being its elasticity of provisioning that simply refers to allocating the right amount of data processing resources for applications as they need, when they need it. The old ways of provisioning separate sets of resources to individual applications suites resulted not only in excess resources but also in the rise of applications silos, which in many cases is now being cast aside. For the NonStop community where changes taking place within the data center had often resulted in very little change to the way applications on NonStop were run, with the increasing popularity of clouds, NonStop is no longer immune to the rise of this new data processing model. Clouds are being embraced by following the “baby steps” approach and the rise in popularity of hybrid infrastructures that are inclusive of traditional data center systems together with server farms housing private clouds helps greatly to extend the reach of early transformation to clouds to be inclusive of NonStop. The latest NonStop X family of systems offers far better methods of integration with the server farms supporting private clouds as there are now APIs and connectivity options that make it possible to deploy the type of hybrid infrastructure vendors like HPE are advocating. As a longstanding vendor with infrastructure and middleware product offerings important to many of the biggest NonStop users on the planet, DataExpress is watching these changes to see just how widespread the adoption of clouds is within our customer base. In our June 24, 2016, post to this blog NonStop initiatives – how relaxed should we be? we wrote that these observations could best be summed as a time of anticipation for DataExpress, where we are somewhat relaxed from all we see, even with HP’s own IT testing some of the new offerings. Not until NonStop as Software or NonStop as a Service have real product numbers associated with them and can be ordered from your HPE Mission Critical Systems salesman will we see further steps being taken among our users. Here at DataExpress we will continue working with our own NonStop customers to determine their real-world priorities, which will drive the priorities we need to set for our products.
For the DataExpress users the big news is that, like the majority of the NonStop vendor community, HPE is providing updates on a regular basis and conducting technical symposiums, as HPE did for the NonStop partner community back in May of this year, which was a very positive step. We are familiar with the roadmaps for NonStop, understand the timeframes involved and appreciate that the HPE NonStop  Product Management is giving us a voice. As with others within the NonStop vendor community we have both NonStop product offerings and open platform product offerings – DXNS (NonStop) and DXOP (Open Platform) ensure that we too have options and this will become very important for our customers as they take further steps towards a transformation to a hybrid infrastructure. Data Express will have solutions no matter where our customers elect to run DataExpress when NonStop becomes part of a hybrid implementation that includes clouds. In our August, 2016, article in Tandemworld, we touched on this time of year being a time to relax. Responsible as we are for moving files securely and without delays or outright failures, this has lessened the pressures on data center managers. The best way I can put it is that we have been in summer mode here at DataExpress too, taking a little downtime as the opportunity provided, and DataExpress has been holding its own. DataExpress customers have continued with their business and our product has kept running in the background, with no fanfare, letting harried data center managers get on with keeping all systems working. In stark contrast with everything else referenced in this post, but not surprising in the least, is that the likely final comment coming from any of them when it does involve moving data and planning for upcoming transformation is a phrase we too have come to appreciate this month – “no news is good news!” And as the world of the data center manager is being turned upside down (even as here at DataExpress we continue to be watchful of all that is taking place at HPE), hearing of this made our recent summer downtime every bit as relaxing as we had hoped.