Monday, June 11, 2018

What was said in Texas – N2TUG delivers excitement once again!

With a morning devoted to news of HPE and its deep port of R3 Corda to NonStop, it was hard to miss the bigger message concerning NonStop – HPE continues to place big bets on the future of NonStop for IT everywhere!

Margo and I have lost count of the number of times we have driven to Dallas, Texas. There have been years where we didn’t make it, but that has been only when there were other priorities. We have elected to drive different vehicles and over the years we have been seen driving our company command center (with the Corvette or Mini in tow), the Maserati GT-S, the Jeep SRT and most recently, our latest acquisition - the environmentally-friendly BMW hybrid, the i8. Of course, we see great potential in hybrid cars and their contribution to transportation so the i8 is just a step along the green path for both of us. 

Accompanying posts to the NonStop community blog, Real Time View, are other posts to our social blog, Buckle-Up, and if you want to know more about the vehicles, there are plenty of posts featuring one or the other. Yes, you guessed it; we are a car family and for us, driving represents the ultimate opportunity to discuss business and of course, this year, the conversations were lively.

NonStop is evolving and there is no end in sight as to where it will go and to what it will accomplish.

Many years ago, we stopped flying. Sad but true, we could no longer rationalize what we were experiencing at airports and onboard planes as somethingpleasurable. We no longer look forward to flights although as readers may remember from a previous post, we had no option other than to fly when we joined fellow NonStop community members in Leipzig for GTUG. But that’s about it; if we need to leave America’s shores it is with a growing sense of reluctance borne out of experiences that left us wanting. Of course, this is not news to anyone who knows us.

Then again, when Texas calls and N2TUG is firmly fixed in our calendars, the only decision to be made is which car to drive! Throw into the mix the presence of Jimmy Treybig and taking the drive down a well-worn route becomes a given!

This year is proving to be an exceptional year for the NonStop community and it too has more to choose from than ever before. As a community we have heard from HPE senior managers that we are on the verge of being able to consume NonStop any way we want and this includes many options as to where and what we run NonStop on – traditional versus virtualized!

When it comes to the progress HPE has made with NonStop today, we should all be excited with having options and after talking to NonStop users and NonStop vendors alike, there’s not so much head-scratching going on, but rather, serious conversations taking place about how best to move forward with NonStop.

Nothing holds greater potential for NonStop today than Blockchain support available on NonStop. I have been writing about Blockchain ever since I first encountered Blockchain with the first post to this blog appearing Tuesday, November 22, 2016
vNonStop – coming to a desktop near you! The post came about following the 2016 NonStop Technical Boot Camp (TBC) and included the reference, “Comeback? Seriously, NonStop re-energizing marketplaces? NonStop going virtual! NonStop inside the clouds! NonStop on the Edge! NonStop supporting Blockchain!”

Since then I have written numerous posts on Blockchain but now, real solutions are on the horizon. There was more than one conversation with a NonStop vendor where Blockchain became the center of the discussion and where many times, there was a comment made about finding out more about Blockchain on NonStop! When HPE made the first announcement about Blockchain and the work being done on the deep port of the R3 Corda to NonStop where it also was embracing NonStop SQL, many of my fellow independent bloggers within the HPE community were caught by surprise.

NonStop? Again, seriously? When you consider the diversity of the HPE product portfolio, at face value, NonStop seems an unusual choice. Only this past week I was referred to as the blogger focused on legacy NonStop; ouch! However, NonStop distanced itself from legacy when it embraced the Intel x86 architecture and when it launched itself into the world of virtual machines.

All the same, when you look back at the HPE press release of November 10, 2017,
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Introduces Blockchain as-a-Service Solution for Enterprises it included the bullet point, “The solution is offered on HPE Integrity NonStop platforms, which process two out of every three credit card transactions in the world.” And yes, it is the first product in the HPE Mission Critical Blockchain family. Mission Critical Distributed Ledger Technology (MCDLT) on NonStop is just the beginning. According to HPE, “HPE Mission Critical DLT is expected to be commercially available in early 2018. Customers also will be able to purchase access to this solution in a ‘DLT as a Service’ environment for serious trials and production use later in the year.”

At N2TUG we heard presentations from the new HPE Worldwide Head of Blockchain Sales, Jeff Skinner, as well as from R3 Director, Cristina Buendia, and their enthusiasm for NonStop being the first platform selected was easy to see. A lot of that decision making in favor of NonStop, I suspect, was done for them as NonStop field folks were definitely ahead of the game when it came to a deep-port of Blockchain.

We also heard about OmniPayments working with HPE’s MCDLT in support of Know Your Customer / Anti Money Laundering (KYC / AML) from OmniPayments’ VP, Jessica Nieves, immediately following Jeff and Cristina. I had numerous conversations with other vendors surprised to see progress being made this quickly but in the case of OmniPayments, being a solutions’ vendor counting big financial institutions as clients, it would be more of a surprise to read of OmniPayments not pursuing Blockchain and the HPE MCDLT offering. Given its NonStop-centric nature it clearly helps pursue “A Road to Success” as described by Jessica in her presentation. A new post on this N2TUG presentation on OmniPayments and Blockchain has just been published to the OmniPayments’ blog. Check out

How confident indeed excited am I about the prospects for NonStop with Blockchain? I am keeping my fingers crossed, naturally, but I hope to be pleasantly surprised with what transpires. On the other hand, as I noted in my latest Social Media Round Up column to be published in the June issue of NonStop Insider, I came across a remark made in a popular auto magazine by a not-so-well-known car collector. “Of course, the one thing about being a pundit about anything is that you are virtually condemned to be wrong. The one thing I know about the future is that it’s certainly going to surprise us.” 

What hasn’t been lost on the NonStop community is that all the excitement surrounding NonStop grabbing the spotlight is coming at a time when you can no longer ignore how important NonStop is for HPE. Given the big investment HPE made in migrating NonStop to x86 (and ServerNet to InfiniBand and them to RoCE), it has been clear to many pundits that there was going to be a positive future for NonStop after all. Looking around the planet, there have been numerous “new logos” added to the NonStop installed base and any conversation you may have with Randy Meyer, VP & GM, Mission Critical Systems, it takes but a moment or two before Randy begins describing the deployment of NonStop in support of solutions we have heard little about in recent times. 

Jimmy Treybig was famous for his use of the word, ‘xcitin! Listening to Jimmy presenting to an audience of NonStop supporters the excitement was still there – “listen to your customers,” Jimmy admonished us all with a twinkle. “That’s all I did when we started Tandem Computers.” Now excitement is building over the use-case scenarios HPE is covering in presentations on NonStop and the arrival of Blockchain support is going to see even more “new logos” as the product enters the mainstream marketplace. Yes, the road to Dallas was one we had to take even as Jessica was talking about the road to success. NonStop is evolving and it’s leading us into bigger marketplaces where the only question remaining is – will y’all be part of these ‘xcitin times, again? 

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