Monday, August 20, 2018

Anniversary – how quickly they come around!

As we celebrate ten years blogging about NonStop there is no letup in the stories we can tell as investments in NonStop continue to reveal a NonStop in tune with the times …

Who would have predicted it? Who could have guessed that after leaving corporate life Margo and I could enjoy such a fun time working with the NonStop community! I for one never imagined it, but as I return to my office following a week on the road, literally, meeting with clients, I looked at my calendar and the date jumped off the page. It’s August 20 and I am about to start my twelfth year of posting to this blog. Yes, with this post, I celebrate more than a decade of blog posts – an anniversary worthy of further commentary.

At the heart of this celebration for Margo and me is that yes, we have something to celebrate. A completely revamped and transformed NonStop product line. There have been numerous occasions where I speculated about where I would like to see NonStop go, but that was purely speculative on my part with no input from HPE or the NonStop product managers. If you want to see how this speculation developed through the years, all you need do is click on the label,
Wishes. If you would like to know more about what I covered in the first of these posts that became known simply as the Three Wishes, then you might find it interesting to read the post of February 12, 2009:

And so my first wish is to see HP BCS deliver on the slideware Martin Fink first unveiled as the “Shared Infrastructure Blades” package. This is where any mix of NonStop, HP-UX, Linux, and Windows Server OS’s will be supported.

My second wish is to see a hypervisor introduced where NonStop can be configured as a “guest OS” in much the same way z/VM is used on the IBM mainframe. The trick here is to see this introduced without marginalizing the traditional association between NonStop and the hardware with respect to being fault tolerant.

But it is my last wish where I really want to go out on a limb. If you assume Martin is successful and a shared infrastructure blades package becomes available with a native, or bare-metal, hypervisor (NonStop as a guest with no loss of its NonStop attributes), then wouldn’t it be advantageous to users if interrogation of the incoming transactions would direct mission critical transactions to NonStop, important informational but not quite mission-critical to a Unix or Linux, and voluminous inquiries to Windows?

Yes, indulge me here a little as this post generated a PowerPoint slide deck that I used at several NonStop Regional User Group (RUG) events in 2008 on through 2009, with the presentation I gave at SATUG being the most memorable as it led to an invite to HPE’s EMEA BCS Sales event in Prague where I gave an updated version over dinner, without the slides, to the EMEA NonStop sales team. Hard to imagine that yes, this was all the way back in 2008 after posting to this blog site for six months. However, this isn’t the real story, or perhaps even the biggest story. What has actually happened with NonStop is far more than just a couple of catchy sound bites and a few flashy PowerPoint slides. No, the real story here is the commitment HPE has made to NonStop. And it’s a story I tell in writing as well as in webinars!

In dollar terms – and many figures have been thrown around by lots of different folks – when it comes to just how big a financial investment HPE has made in NonStop, by my reckoning, when you add up the initial investment to do the deep port to the Intel x86 architectures, rollout multiple product options in the then new NonStop X family of systems, not to mention the work done with NonStop SQL both in terms of Oracle compatibility and benefitting us all as a potential DBaaS offering, and then yes, the multi-phased program to support virtualization including the reference model, the NS2, then you come up just a tad shy of half a billion dollars spread over almost a decade. Yes, we all knew NonStop was worth it, but clearly, level-minded heads high up in the ranks of HPE executive team also thought it was worth it!

NonStop has been completely transformed and yes, it’s data center ready even as it’s cloud ready. What is your appetite for trying something new? There is still a huge untold story about the potential value that will come from running NonStop in public clouds – and yes, AWS comes to mind as I just know you will be able to run NSaaS / DBaaS out of AWS very soon. Who will be the first NonStop user to pull this off and enjoy a savings killing as a result? I am not predicting this will come from the Financial Services installed base but when it comes to other sectors, Retail and Manufacturing, there’s plenty of upside potential. While not quite on the same level as AWS, OmniPayments is working aggressively to support its OmniPayments products as SaaS / IaaS, but that’s short term as it builds out its own cloud offering optimized for the retail and yes, banking industries. If you need or want to know more of course you can reach out to Yash directly. So yes, following many paths, NonStop is headed to the clouds and that’s an exciting prospect – if you want AL4 for you application then just click on the AL4 as a Service!

I am often asked about the stories I write and of the challenges that this must entail. But the truth is that oftentimes, I have to pull back to focus on just one story. It’s all happening for NonStop and if you aren’t sure where there is a lot happening, talk with any member of the NonStop vendor community that recently toured Taiwan and Korea with HPE as these countries held their own RUG events. It’s all new and shiny for these communities and the move to embrace standards, utilize commodity components and make the resultant product line open to almost every imaginable development environment speaks volumes about just how well the huge investment made in NonStop by HPE is playing out. Perhaps we in the Americas and in Europe will eventually catch on – NonStop as an architecture, a technology, a product and a solution continues to reinvent itself in ways to provide contributions to the business wherever it is deployed!
When I wrote that very first introductory post back on August 20, 2007, I first provided a short update on my own experiences with Tandem and then later, NonStop. But as I closed on that update, I ended with the following observations and questions that now, a decade later, are every bit as relevant as they were all those years ago:
The important thing for me is looking ahead - what's going to happen now that Tandem has found a great home within HP.

So, to get started, what did we all think about the recent HPTF&E - how many events do you go to each year? Are they meeting your needs - all of them? Some of them? I am particularly interested in the overall positioning of the NonStop server suite - and whether you value HP's commitment to this product line.

So there you have it. The community not only values the commitment to NonStop made by HP / HPE but we have seen ITUG Summits and then at the HPTF&E events that followed, together with the HPE Discover, Technology Bootcamps and Partner Symposiums that have evolved in recent times and the focus on NonStop developed through the years. Who could forget seeing the prototype NS2 sitting desktop and running virtualized NonStop just a few years ago? I know from time to time I do seek your indulgence as I push the storyline aggressively on occasion, but it’s all for a good cause, right? Will I be writing another anniversary post in 2028 – who can say, but the odds are that NonStop will be still a force to reckon with, running as it most likely will, from the edge to the core and from the sensor collectors to the clouds!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Congratulations, Richard. I remember the phone call inviting you to speak in Prague, and I recall the session in South Africa. The Johannesburg session was a truly remarkable user group meeting. There are some wonderful people in RSA who are committed to getting the most out of there Non-Stop platform, but also committed to having a good time. Your contributions continue to be outstanding to the on-going communication to HPE of what the Non-Stop users need and want. Keep on blogging.