Surprises take many forms – some pleasant, some unexpected and even some that stop us in our tracks. What didn’t surprise me however were the many references made about NonStop at this year’s HP Discover event!
It’s been about a month since HP Discover 2012 was held, and yet all that
transpired during that week has remained with me ever since I pulled the RV and
trailer out of Las Vegas and headed back to Boulder. For the duration of the
event, the RV had been parked further down the strip and given the heat we all
experienced I was glad we had a room in the Venetian. With really good air
There’s little that still surprises me even as automation continues to make
inroads into our lives. As a technologist for several decades I associate
automation and modernization as an integral part of progress and a contribution
to simplifying my life. I have to say that to date, whether its automated car
washes, automated check processing at an ATM (and now even cash dispensing
initiated from our smartphones), or even automated coffee making using those
little K Cups that seem to have come out of nowhere, the value I derive from
them is that I have been freed from chores I just didn’t want to do.
There are still some pleasant, albeit unexpected surprises as well. That I was
able to enjoy riding the Yamaha cruiser after a short hiatus, as I mentioned in the last
post, was a surprise. The recent third place finish by Michael Schumacher in
the European Grand Prix after having retired several years ago was perhaps a
surprise on a scale a little further up the chart than what I accomplished in
getting the Yamaha upright. Now driving with much younger racers that had grown
up watching him on television, Schumacher, the seven-time World Champion, gave
us all a brief glimpse of what he routinely achieved in his prime. The picture
above is from the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix where I captured Schumacher as he
snatched the lead mid-way through the race.
Reviewing the posts I made during HP Discover 2012 it was noticeable just how
many times I used the word surprise, or at the very least quoted others who
were just as surprised. In the post of June 6, 2012, to the LinkedIn group,
Real Time View, “Third post from HP Discover ...” I
passed on what I had heard during HP CEO Meg Whitman’s presentation. The three
market segments Meg highlighted, I wrote at the time. Well, shock and surprise
– financial institutions and processing credit cards, telco and making sure our
mobile phone calls get through, and healthcare and making sure our records are
available when needed.
Talking to HP NonStop sales folks from EMEA and the Americas, following the
presentation, I then posted a day later to the LinkedIn group, Real time View,
“Sixth post from HP Discover …” of how it
was hard not get caught up in their enthusiasm and expressed real surprise at
just how well they were going. Whitman is certainly not backing away from
wholeheartedly supporting NonStop and the message so well known to the NonStop
community is being every bit as well received internally these days. And it
In the post of June 20, 2012, to the blog site comForte Lounge that I wrote
following the event, I quoted Infrasoft Managing Director, Peter Shell, when he
said “I was pleasantly surprised at the traffic in the NonStop area at HP
Discover. There were a lot more people with NonStop knowledge attending the
event than I had expected.” In the post of June 11, 2012, to comForte Lounge I
had written: Surprises? Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was just how many
members of the NonStop community made it to Las Vegas. For the joint
presentation by Ric Lewis and Randy Meyer there were some 300 in the room, and
it wasn’t overstaffed with HP folks either – there were many familiar faces to
Presentations by NonStop business executives were attracting an audience that
overfilled the room. The NonStop community was highly visible on the exhibition
floor. NonStop sales executives were enthusiastic about their future prospects.
And the CEO was launching here keynote presentation with references to NonStop.
The surprises just kept coming with the newest solutions partner to port to
NonStop, Retail Decisions (ReD), winning 2012 HP AllianceONE “Partner of the
Year Award for Innovation”!
Shortly I will be celebrating my fifth anniversary as a blogger, having written
my first post in August, 2007, and in all those years I had observed the many ups
and downs of NonStop. Each time I thought there may be a solution or a
technology that would prove to be the catalyst for further market expansion,
something emerged to lessen the impact I considered as probable. However, as
you look at what is now happening across a very broad front, it’s difficult not
to be impressed or to imagine a more assured future for NonStop. It is the
marquee product line. It is HP’s “halo” solution.
The good news here? The really big surprise? In embracing open, standards and
commoditization, HP opened the door to a new, more modern NonStop system that
more easily embraced applications designed to operate on today’s modern
platforms. Modern NonStop? Following several post-event discussions with
NonStop management and executives I was reminded of how the reference to modern
in messages supporting NonStop has all but disappeared, and for a good reason.
For all that has been achieved, promoting a Modern NonStop is simply a poor
example of tautology.
The challenge for many within the NonStop community today is how to best
accommodate all that is anchoring HP’s strategy – mobile, big data, clouds,
etc. At face value, the advancements in all of these areas that we are
witnessing and the marketing muscle HP is assembling in support of this
strategy, looks alien to NonStop: mobile devices and smartphones connected
directly to NonStop systems? Big data running on NonStop storage? NonStop
BladeSystems powering clouds? Perhaps it’s time to look at this more obliquely
and realize that the potential for the handprint of NonStop to be visible in
all of these strategic moves is not unreasonable.
Banking and retail applications may view the support of smartphones no
differently from how they view ATMs POSs and Kiosks – just another channel. Data
destined for big data storage may be front-ended by NonStop with real-time
mission-critical data kept in NonStop SQL/MX tables to support the millions of
small decisions businesses need to routinely make. As for cloud adoption within
enterprises when it pertains to their support of mission-critical applications,
the likelihood of embracing private clouds seems apparent as responsible CIOs
will still demand the levels of availability that only NonStop delivers –
clouds, for NonStop systems, become just another resource to manage, recover
No, I will not be surprised at all with any of the above as I closely follow how
this all plays out. HP Discover 2012 surely proved to be an eye-opener and with
all that I saw, the inclusion of NonStop in as many keynote presentations as it
was, an assured future for NonStop now seems less surprising and more a
reflection of just how far NonStop has come since HP acquired Compaq. Surprised? I guess it all comes back to just
how well you think NonStop systems meet the needs of your company and about
that, I will just leave it up to you.