Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Three more wishes coming soon – the path ahead for NonStop.

So, another three years have passed by and I find myself writing a preview of what I will likely focus on in eighteen months’ time – my next three wishes for NonStop!

It wouldn’t be fair on my family if I said 2019 had been a routine year for Pyalla Technologies. It started with the return flight from Sydney, Australia, and continued with three separate trips to Europe plus a lengthy road trip to Las Vegas for HPE Discover 2019 combined with stops in southern California and participation in N2TUG back in Texas. The miles have added up but all the while even as the adventurous life continued to unfold, there was so much news coming out of HPE that scarcely a day passed without a discussion or two over what it all means.

Margo and I have our roots firmly anchored in NonStop, dating back to Tandem Computers where Margo had risen through the development organization all the way to the COO role under the stewardship of Bill Heil when Bill headed the NonStop Software BU. As for me, I sampled Tandem from inside almost every group within the company, starting with roles in sales and marketing in a country outpost, followed by a program management role in development, a short stint in product marketing all followed with a management position in product management. All of which is to say, between Margo and me, we have seen an awful lot happening with NonStop over the many decades we have worked with the platform.

Then again, according to my family, whereas Margo knew exactly where she was headed I was always on the lookout for the next fork in the road.  However, being part of the original S-Series program team, representing networking, I was privy to the major pivot away from traditional packaging of systems to where we introduced ServerNet, externalized WAN connections while integrating LAN connections and yes, switching from custom chipsets to MIPS Risc processors. Listening to Bob Horst explaining “worm hole routing” was an experience all of itself and in case you ever wonder about it, the introduction of ServerNet led to InfiniBand.

I recently came across an interesting explanation in a Linux focused Gentoo Wiki article:

“InfiniBand is a high-speed serial computer bus, intended for both internal and external connections. It is the result of merging two competing designs, Future I/O, developed by Compaq, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard, with Next Generation I/O (ngio), developed by Intel, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems. From the Compaq side, the roots were derived from Tandem's ServerNet. For a short time before the group came up with a new name, InfiniBand was called System I/O.” 
I only reference this explanation over the origins of InfiniBand as I have been asked about it many times ever since NonStop X was announced, but the story continues as today NonStop also supports RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) which is proving to be very important for the future of NonStop. When it comes to predictions and wishes it’s good to know about the underlying mechanics. After all, as this is important when it comes to breaking down barriers and giving NonStop the new label I have really warmed to, NonStop: No Limits!

With this reference to predictions and wishes, I am not entirely sure when the idea came to me to speculate on the future of NonStop but it was back in February 12, 2008, with the simple post, "My Wish" for NS Blades. In that post I wrote of the three wishes I had for the NonStop of the day and every three years since that post, I have provided an update under the general heading My Three Wishes (for NonStop) and you can click on the label Wishes (right-side of blog and all the way to the end) to see them all. However, predicting the direction in which HPE will point NonStop every three years left a whole lot of time without any further updates so it was only in the July 19, 2013, post Are our wishes still important? that I started previewing what to expect in the next update, eighteen months later. To see those prior previews, just click on the label Wishes - Preview.

With this introduction complemented with a little background information, what then will I be wishing for in February, 2020?  In my previous post of July 25, 2019, to this blog, Working on my rewrite; NonStop evolving its endgame (for now)! I let slip a couple of ideas that I had, not the least being the complete morphing of NonStop into a feature accessible by everyone needing solutions that run 24 x 7, forever. I referred to this as one possible goal for NonStop labeling it, NonStop: Endgame a play, obviously of the success of the film, Avengers: Endgame. But before providing more details about what my three wishes for NonStop will likely be when they are addressed in February 2020, let me be very clear.

In this previous post already referenced above, I do add the words, “for now!” And that’s important too as there will be many more endgames to follow. For now, however, focusing on the immediate future makes a little more sense as we should be able to see how any outcomes covered here could come to pass. Wishes are only of interest if the connections to them are real and the leaps of faith required are anchored in believable technology. Although, when I wrote that first post,
"My Wish" for NS Blades I predicted that when it comes to wishes:

“…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.

“… my last wish … 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? A variation on today’s workload balancing products, but supporting a transaction profiling capability that once set up, learns about the overall mix of transactions, and automatically adjusts the OS configurations on the fly?”

Remember, I posted this back in February 2008 following the announcement that NonStop would be running in HPE Blades. This was at least half a dozen years before the announcement of NonStop X and well before there was any discussion about the potential for virtualized NonStop (vNS).  So, where is NonStop headed? In general, the die has been cast. In my opinion then we have passed the stage where NonStop as software any longer surprises. That horse has definitely left the barn and you can barely see the dust it kicked up in the process. However, here is where it gets very interesting – the go to market plans and the sales channels. HPE has done a good job with the architecture and the technology but the shift in focus is going to be on selling NonStop far and wide. As HPE CEO Antonio Neri is telling us at every opportunity of how HPE is pursuing high-value opportunities for HPE products and is no longer building for the high-volume market place. Nothing in the HPE portfolio provides greater value to IT and the business than NonStop. 

Here’s the scoop – HPE is transforming technology, people and processes and economics. This in the eyes of HPE executives is a sustainable journey and as such, brings focus on data, the edge and cloud. Three families of systems – ProLiant, Synergy and Apollo provide the building blocks and address what’s needed on this journey. Anticipate therefore, that the NonStop: Endgame (for now) will see NonStop on ProLiant, Synergy and yes, Apollo – all driven naturally enough by customer demand. We still have the topic of memory-driven computing that leverages The Machine and that too will see potential for NonStop but that is a technology that will find its way into the Apollo platform. SGI, Cray and maybe more will all have access to The Machine and it will push specialty processes including GPUs and perhaps Quantum to the perimeter of massive amounts of memory. But even here, when you study the details of the graphics provided by HPE to date, there is a space to plugin NonStop where situations call for 24 x 7 message handling (and yes, data).

In other words, if your sales models are leaning heavily on channel sales then those vendors already in relationships with HPE for specific products are all going to have the option to check the box, as it were, to have NonStop enabled for a solution. Any solution; it’s an always-on, always-connected world that is only becoming even more connected! So, just a finite number of systems families with an infinite number of channels – a model that will only prove successful when NonStop isn’t complex. In closing then, look to see NonStop become more deeply integrated with the hypervisors and metal and see the APIs simplified to where NonStop: Without Limits is only a click away! Stay tuned for all the skinny on this coming to you in February, 2020! 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Working on my rewrite; NonStop evolving its endgame (for now)!

An opportunity to enjoy a “BizCation Voyage” through the heart of Europe gave us the chance to interact with communities and in so doing, gave us pause to consider one possible NonStop: Endgame as of right now!

For the past two weeks Margo and I have been crisscrossing the industrial heartland of central Europe. It’s been a fortnight of canals, locks, bridges and yes, you guessed it; Europe’s major rivers. Starting out in Amsterdam, we travelled down the Rhine River for a couple of days before entering the Main River. From there it was a simple case of entering the Main to Danube canal with its impressive locks that lifted our craft over the continental divide, as it was called, but at less than 1,000 feet high unimpressive to us Coloradans, our travels ended with a couple of days of floating on the blue Danube.

Our time in Europe saw us interacting with clients at both ends of the journey both of which contributed to us better understanding the current political climate of this part of Europe even as it added another chapter to the adventure that has Margo and me thoroughly engaged in for quite some time now. And did I mention climate? If you missed the news flashes of the past week or so, Europe is hot! Even the political and commercial interests can’t match the heat of the day as the weather has been brutal of late. However, afloat on major rivers as we were meant that there was always some relief from the heat blowing across our vessel.

The picture above was of Margo and me atop a peak looking down on the Danube and the Buda side of Budapest. The last time we were both in this city was back in 2003 when we attended what was then called an ACE customer conference that was put on by ACI Worldwide for its European BASE24 customers.  As part of the Insession Technologies team, we participated as ICE and WebGate were making a very real contribution to the BASE24 product line. However, two major world events coincided with this conference, the first being the chaotic scenes in Baghdad’s Firdos Square during the Iraq War as we all watched the television coverage of the fall of the statue of Saddam Hussein (April 9, 2003). The second was far more upbeat as on April 12, 2003, Hungary held a referendum on joining the European Union where the proposal was approved by a huge majority of voters – over 80%.

It takes very little by way of inputs to get Margo and me reliving the past, rethinking the events of long ago even as there is always a time to simply stop and look around at what is happening today. Naturally enough, it takes even less time before we look at the prospects for the future and when it comes to HPE, the company and its products and services, it was an awful long time ago that I traveled to Los Angeles to hear then HP CEO, Carly Fiorina, talk at HP World, 2002 (after the Compaq acquisition) to hear that HP was “focusing its energy on reducing the cost and complexity of infrastructure. HP is going to aim its collective resources and talent at reinventing the IT value proposition for its customers and will stake its claim on being the company that offers the best return on IT.” As for today and yes, the future, well HPE is shaking things up and if you have missed the news flashes, reinventing the IT value proposition has taken on a whole new meaning as we get closer to 2020.

Twenty-twenty! And we aren’t just talking about our eyesight either. Although we very well could be talking about it but no, looking back at 2002 who would have thought that two decades later HPE would be working on its rewrite. For anyone who has been to HPE events to hear HPE CEO, Antonio Neri, talk about HPE it’s always about the people, the team and the culture that is front and center of a Neri presentation. And as a starting point, it sets the scene for why HPE believes it can execute on its vision and strategy and why the industry should in turn have confidence that HPE will deliver. There’s a lot being rewritten and fortunately for the NonStop, in the new script there is a whole chapter devoted to NonStop!

It would be remiss of me if I didn’t throw in a few lines from the song by Paul Simon, Rewrite:

I'm workin' on my rewrite, that's right
Gonna change the ending
Throw away the title
And toss it in the trash

Fortunately, for those who have been following HPE for as long as I have and I have participated in almost every event HPE has held between 2002 and yes, 2020, then it’s fortunate for us all that the script Fiorina developed was tossed in the trash! Well, most of it anyway. Why? The world is no longer focused on general purpose computing and the need for one vendor to build out the entire solution for IT has lessened. The slowing of Moore’s Law (the end is nigh!), the rise of multiple viable platforms and yes, the massive shift of focus from hardware to software means that any desire to become a leading IT vendor means that decisions need to be made and the path HPE is taking is one where its focus is even tighter than ever before on the IT value proposition.

There comes a time when all parties recognize that a major sea-change is under way. There is considerable talk among industry watchers about pivot points and disruptive technology. However, there is a reason why such phrases are being used just as there is a reason IT vendors are becoming more selective in the technology investments they are making. The smartphone and the advent of the cloud have both proved to be extremely disruptive and yes, the need to address today and tomorrow in a financially responsible manner has IT pivoting towards Hybrid IT РIT has to embrace the new even as it continues to run today. You may be tempted to dismiss this as marketing hyperbole or even clich̩ but for the NonStop community, we are all witnessing a time when we have to rethink what NonStop really is all about Рwhat is a NonStop solution going to look like in 2020?

While there has been much excitement in the movie industry over the global success of the latest superhero movie Avengers: Endgame, it is a reminder that in all things there is an endgame that has to play out before everyone lives happily ever after, but in IT, this isn’t quite the case. Endgames come and go as the cyclical nature of technology sees the underlying tectonic plates fracture and disappear. But it is clear to many members of the NonStop community that an endgame is in sight for NonStop. In time, the traditional hardware offering will lessen in significance as NonStop itself becomes an attribute of something much bigger. You may even think of it as a new beginning for NonStop – certainly, the “rewrite” has still to define the special role NonStop will play in a world where everything runs 24 x 7.

On this note, if I was to speculate then in my opinion, NonStop support of applications running 24 x 7 remains its biggest feature. Forget about the hardware redundancies, the dual paths, the electrical separation / isolation and yes, the underlying infrastructure as a whole. Reliability of the systems, whether packaged as a private or public cloud or simply a server, will reach a point where building these systems is well understood across the industry but the software? Enabling your Java or Perl or C/C++ code to run fault tolerantly (and there will be faults as after all, hypervisors are software, you know), still has tremendous advantaged not the least being that your data center manager can sleep at night. Yes, here’s the new script – click the icon that says 24 x 7 and you call up an underlying process that is fault tolerant, courtesy of NonStop! That’s it – as a developer you no longer are aware of NonStop and need no special training to leverage. Wow! Or better still, cool!

There is an ending for NonStop as we know it, but there is also the coming of a NonStop that we will all understand but is one where the special magic has been hidden behind the veil. There is a script emerging too and it’s positive. The smartphone and the cloud may have proved to be disruptive but think of NonStop as your “antacid” solution! Suddenly, the costs we associate with NonStop disappear – everyone can exploit the reinvented IT value proposition and isn’t that what we all want to see. About the cost attribute, much will be written between now and 2020 but already, the consumption pricing models under consideration are beginning to have an impact on the NonStop community. The sea change is taking place – do you see it and have you trimmed your sails? Perhaps it really was the influence of the time we spent in Europe, but as we thought more about NonStop then imagine it, NonStop for Everyman!     

Monday, July 15, 2019

Gliding up the river; pushing deeper into the landscape

Infrastructure has dominated the conversations of late and for a very good reason – NonStop continues to contribute!

Traversing Europe via rivers and canals is always a cool thing to do and this time, we are actually getting to see the countryside in a little more detail than previously experienced. You see, way back in the early 2000s, we booked a river cruise to take us from Munich (Passau) to the Black Sea. Unfortunately, two days into the voyage we were advised upon arrival in Vienna that there would be no further movement of the vessel – the Danube had risen too high for the boat to fit under the bridges. Of course, we didn’t mind, as a week in Vienna was perhaps not too shabby a second prize! But it did remind us of the importance of infrastructure – don’t make the bridges high enough and your all-important tourist traffic stays put!

Business took us to Amsterdam and with a chance to check in on folks in Frankfurt and then spend some time in Budapest gave us the opportunity to play with the dates and to fit in a river cruise – we have visited these cities in the past but have never capitalized on yet another form of transportation. Already this year we have taken the train between Frankfurt and Munich and another train between London and Edinburgh. For the Trip to Las Vegas for HPE Discover, it was the company command center and then for the trip to Dallas and N2TUG, it was by plane.

All of which is to say that even as we all acknowledge the importance of infrastructure, it’s equally as important to know you have options. Choice is very important when it comes to optimizing data and processing and in this regard, the HPE NonStop community is particularly blessed given the investments of late by HPE in NonStop!

Have you visited the HPE web site recently? Have you looked at how HPE is bracketing its product lines with major topics of interest for IT?

Ignite – Innovation with Hybrid Cloud: Accelerate speed and agility with your right mix of Hybrid Cloud
Redefine – Experience at the Edge: From edge to cloud, securely connect users and things and seamlessly orchestrate apps and data
Unlock – Insights from all your Data: Turn data at rest into data in action. Extract the unseen value in your data with intelligent storage and AI
Proven Expertise – From HPE Pointnext services: Accelerate the transformation of you technology, people and economics

There you have it! In a couple of well thought-through phrases you have the focus on Hybrid IT (the Core / Cloud), the Intelligent Edge, Data and analytics and yes, Services. I have to say, though, the increased emphasis on Data (and Data Analytics) is coming at a time when we are coming to terms with the significance of the Core and the Edge, but it’s not surprising as HPE is putting a lot of energy into promoting storage. The only thing missing here is Security but as HPE is only too happy to acknowledge, security answers lie close to the metal and with the understanding that perimeters will be breached. It’s not surprising then to see it referenced as it is in HPE’s promotion of the edge.

Then again, the key words – Ignite, Redefine, Unlock and then Proven – are all emotive words. Passions truly do run high within IT whenever these subjects are raised and as a community it is good to see NonStop remains part of the conversation.  Ever tried talking to someone about security and suggest that perhaps it is all futile in the end and see what response you generate. I know of no other group within the NonStop vendor community as passionate about what they do than those NonStop vendors supplying security products. In a way, that’s good news for the NonStop community and yet, I come from the school that proposes making everything useless to the outside world – crack the safe and you will only find useless and incomprehensible dross!

However, even with these well thought-through phrases you cannot escape how it’s all about infrastructure and its ultimate success for HPE is dependent upon solutions vendors. For very good reasons HPE is not in the solutions business, although for a while, we all liked what HPE was doing for telcos with the solution that HPE was providing, but today, I can’t say I am aware of the status of this application. I have been told that before virtualization of NonStop was even announced the group responsible for this application has been busily porting to Linux and I am left to wonder yet again whether HPE’s teams are always on the same page. Nevertheless, I am a big fan of NonStop pushing deeper into new markets and have my fingers crossed for more news coming from manufacturing, distribution and yes, retail.

When it comes to infrastructure, I will leave it to former President of Insession Technologies, Tony Parkinson, for describing infrastructure best when he wrote to me recently suggesting, “You could build the most beautiful house in the neighborhood … BUT if it didn’t have the wiring and plumbing behind the walls, it would be uninhabitable.” Furthermore, according to Tony, “Tools, middleware and infrastructure technology are the lifeblood of any core banking system, payments platform, cash management project, FX Trading environment, etc. etc.” On this point, Tony is correct – tools, middleware and infrastructure are indeed the lifeblood giving sustenance to any application. In fact, major projects are initiated only when the infrastructure is in place to support them and HPE is perhaps wise to know that it’s time to “ignite” our innovation when it comes to Hybrid Cloud and a place where you find NonStop.

For me, ignition always goes with lift off – anyone who lived through the space race of the 1960s knows all about lift off and it’s more than appropriate for HPE to use such a keyword. It’s too easy to dismiss this as just more marketing hype but for the NonStop community the compelling story line here is that HPE ignited its own move to Hybrid Cloud when it elected to exploit the attributes of NonStop at the very center of its data center modernization program. For anyone that hasn’t figured it out already, Oracle and its approach to databases is pure legacy and the market is punishing Oracle for being slow to modernize. Its spending on companies has once again seen it taking large investment write-offs. If you missed it, check out Oracle shutting down the operations of its cloud applications subsidiary, Ravello Systems Inc.

I don’t want to call out Oracle specifically other than to say it fueled many new projects within HPE when it challenged the former HP over Itanium – a total misread of where the new HPE had planned to head all along. On the other hand, it is indicative of how brutal the infrastructure business has become where choice together with flexibility and speed-to-market command a premium today.  Did you read the July, 2019, issue of NonStop Insider where you would have come across interesting commentary from our own Randall Becker on infrastructure on NonStop and how easy the new NonStop is to embrace new development methodologies. Check out this latest issue - https://www.nonstopinsider.com/editorials/issue-3-10-editorial-july-19/

Ignite! Redefine! Unlock! Who says HPE marketing isn’t doing a good job these days? Having spent a short time with both the Chief Marketing Officer and the Chief Communications Officer of HPE while at HPE Discover, it was certainly refreshing to hear firsthand of how they were focused on revamping marketing across the board. The real story here is that we have a new HPE focused on the needs of enterprises and there is no question that the issues of the day for these enterprises are complex, requiring a delicate balancing act that appreciates the need to preserve traditional systems while introducing clouds, virtualization, containers all in a highly composable environment that helps them reduce the cost of IT at a time when IT is the center of all that they are doing. Yes, it’s a digital world and yes, it’s a world where IT differentiates all enterprises products and services. There is a future coming where no CEO will rise to the top job without time spent in IT.

Europe’s rivers give us a great way of getting around and a viable alternative to taking the train or driving. Yes, it’s a little slower but work into your weekend plans some time on a boat and you can cover a lot of ground by water – eve as you can observe so much infrastructure pass you by. For the NonStop community, NonStop will always be about infrastructure even as will always be about providing a unique blend of tools, middleware, databases, languages and much more that are the true lifeblood of IT. It’s preservation of all that is truly NonStop – availability, scalability, data integrity / security – continue to this day as NonStop moves to being a collection of virtual machines (along with traditional machines where appropriate).

Its perseverance too in face of so many nay-sayers to emerge, modern and with options we had not thought possible just a short time ago, make it truly an impressive participant in HPE’s product portfolio. All of which is to say we can expect, as a community, to see NonStop pushing even deeper into the very heart of the IT landscape and of that, we should all be very proud of the ongoing commitment HPE is making to NonStop!   

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Some late-developing thoughts from HPE Discover, 2019

Pointnext; Greenlake; Intelligent Edge; OneSphere; OneView; Synergy; NonStop – yes, it was all covered at HPE Discover 2019 and cloudless has substance!

There was time enough to think back on all that was covered at HPE Discover, 2019. One of the side benefits in driving to big-tent marketing events like this is that the trip back will be one that will have you thinking no matter the distances covered. In our case, it was a matter of traversing deserts and mountains, not forgetting the many rivers in full flood following a really snowy winter. A winter, mind you, that continued to dump snow on us poor Coloradans right up to the last week of May. There’s even the possibility that there will be ski runs open for the Fourth of July festivities.

Following HPE Discover on this occasion there was little time to dwell on what was revealed as a trip to Grapevine, Texas, was required as the N2TUG Regional User Group (RUG) meeting took place a matter of just a couple of days later. No matter what you might think about HPE Discover and its place on the NonStop calendar, for those who work with NonStop as their main application platform, it really is a must see event, if for no other reason that seeing NonStop framed within the context of all of HPE’s product roadmaps.

This year, there was strong support for both the digital core and the edge. There was even stronger support for the ongoing transformation to Hybrid IT that seems to be on everyone’s to-do list as if traditional IT was simply going to have to get used to there being adjacent private clouds performing much of the traditional heavy-lifting that oftentimes overwhelmed even the biggest general-purpose computer. Interestingly enough, the concept of there being a general-purpose computer (including mainframes) rarely gets discussed any more, as though it is now a given among IT professionals that it takes an ecosystem of heterogeneous systems to run any enterprise today.

Takes you back to those bad days, doesn’t it, when we all thought running best-of-breed was the way to go. But no longer – it’s all about composition and about assigning the right workloads to the right resources and being able to remap on the fly as demands dictate. It’s about virtualization and containerization and –ization this  and –ization that, Oh well … and yet, when it comes to HPE following the split and the ascension of Antonio Neri to the top job, it is starting to look more and more like they know what they are doing as they return to profitability and to real growth.

Talking of drives back home and indeed of the possibility of ski weekends yet to come, there wasn’t a single day that was completely sunny and without clouds to be seen from one horizon to the next. Which is simply a way to introduce the topic of Cloudless; when closing his keynote presentation, Neri spoke of Cloudless computing! Were we all taken aback – more than a little surprised and yes, too, more than a little skeptical thinking at the time that this was perhaps just a place holder. A teaser, if you like, for a yet unnamed product about which there wasn’t yet a consensus over what to call the product? Talk about an edgy ending that left the keynote presentation hanging!

No sooner had Neri left the stage than tweets and posts began flying around the internet. Perhaps the best comment being one from a former colleague of mine who suggested Neri perhaps was Clueless. Harsh! But there is actually some substance here and it should be noted by the NonStop community that perhaps Cloudless Computing will involve NonStop. At one point prior to the big reveal of Cloudless, Neri noted how, “Cloud is an experience, not a product” and “at next year’s HPE Discover, we will be revealing the era of Cloudless” computing … As for me, I do think Cloudless is a place-holder and not necessarily a vision or even a solution so it will be interesting to see how this pans out in the coming months.

Cloud is an experience and not a product. It was more than a year ago when on October 26, 2017, Forbes magazine published an article What Is The Customer Experience Cloud? by Blake Morgan, a self-proclaimed Customer Experience Futurist, Author and Keynote Speaker. “The big push now is the experience cloud, which brings together things like customer data, digital experience, and personalization to create an efficient, modern way to monitor and interact with customers,” said Morgan. “By pulling in customer data from multiple sources, including websites, social media, and internal data, the experience cloud creates a comprehensive profile for each customer that employees throughout the organization can access to provide a great experience no matter how they interact with the customer.”

Given how today, Morgan wrote, “Customers don’t care if the person they are talking to works in marketing, sales, or IT — they just want to have a personalized interaction with the brand to build the relationship or have their problems solved … if a company is so siloed that it distracts from the service customers are receiving, customers will take their business to a place where they feel valued and respected … the experience cloud makes omnichannel marketing possible, and it makes it easier for brands to connect with customers everywhere they already are.” So perhaps this cloud experience thing has merit – perhaps it is all about the experience with scant respect for whether it’s a cloud technology or a cloud product or a cloud service?

However, for HPE to be as bullish as Neri was about Cloudless and having already expressed an appreciation that Cloud is an experience, not a product, what is going on? It wasn’t until I read yet another article in Forbes magazine, this time by Matt Kimball and published more recently on June 20, 2019, HPE Discover 2019: GreenLake, Edge, And Intelligence Rule The Day that I got a better sense of perhaps what Neri was alluding to. “Cloudless does not mean an IT environment without a cloud presence. Rather, it’s reflective of the future state of IT, in which data, applications, workloads, compute, and storage reside everywhere—on-prem, hybrid, public, multiple public clouds, and on the edge.”

According to Kimball who was present for Neri’s keynote presentation, “IT has to be able to manage this very complex environment simply, via point-and-click deployment and movement of workloads and applications based on data locality. Furthermore, it requires security from the point of data origination to the transformation into actionable intelligence. Lastly, it requires a brokering engine that enables IT to quickly determine where data and apps reside based on any number of factors including cost, governance and sovereignty, regulatory requirements, and more.” and with yet another reference to our siloed world, Kimball closes with “HPE’s strategy is to deliver the tools that enable IT to break down the siloes that exist between clouds.” Cloudless, so it would seem, is not about there being no cloud but rather, a sky empty of everything but yes, you guessed it, the sky. Cloudless!

It is into this brave new world that I predict we will see a new approach to NonStop – the need for fault tolerance isn’t lessened in any way when you realize that data, applications, workloads, compute, and storage will likely reside everywhere. Some of it will continue to be mission critical and need to run 24 x 7 – if you are to have it integrated and managed via “point-and-click deployment” then virtualized NonStop comes to mind very quickly and the prospect of there being a broker directing mission critical workloads to resources that run NonStop well, it’s not too big a stretch at all. NonStop would just as easily accommodate this world as it has easily adjusted to the new world of virtualization.

HPE Discover 2020 should prove interesting to say the least. Perhaps the prediction that Cloudless would be supported by the introduction of new products suggests that the main thrust of HPE’s energy will be around software and with OneSphere continuing to dominate conversations on the exhibition floor this year, I wouldn’t discount at all seeing a raft of new offerings coming from this group. Greenlake, where you will turn to for support of everything-as-a-Service, will play a big part in making sure whatever is developed can be consumed as a service maintaining HPE’s belief in the pay-as-you-go consumption models.

All of which is to say that on our drive home in the company command center, the conversation was lively. But here’s the thing – NonStop is very much in the conversation and having recently proved capable of running on HPE Synergy as well as on the Edgeline EL4000 (neither of which are products, just yet), there’s no limit to where NonStop will show up next. Excited? Again? You just have to be very pleased with how this is all playing out for the NonStop community and if you hadn’t thought about attending HPE Discover 2020 you may very well want to think again about staying away and missing perhaps one of the biggest HPE reveals of all time! 

Looks can be deceiving! HPE NonStop; when being the best still matters!

For the NonStop community, we know what looks good may not only be deceptive but borderline dangerous; mission critical applications are bes...