Riding the interstate system back to Boulder, Colorado, after attending events on the east coast may be the last time this season that I get time to enjoy the coming of fall from many different perspectives as I pass through maples that will shortly turn red and then beech and aspens that shortly will be blindingly gold. It was just a matter of hours ago that I was strolling the sandy beaches of Cape Hatteras on North Carolina's outer banks. To the west, the North Carolina wasn't even visible and all that stood between us and the north western flanks of Africa was the Atlantic Ocean.
Picking their way over the debris washed ashore on the sands were numerous beachcombers looking for that gem of a find. Whether it were shells or simply picturesque driftwood examples, these fossickers left very little undisturbed. Of course, gems don't simply wash up on distant shores, but can be found in the least expected places, and for me, the best gem I have seen in some time appeared in a HP NonStop roadmap presentation given late last week by HP NonStop product management. What made this gem so special was that it brought a very bright spotlight back on NonStop – yes, NonStop would be part of the new products' portfolio, following the separation of HP Enterprise (HPE) from HP Inc.
It came early in the NonStop roadmap presentation as current systems were juxtaposed against what was to come. One heading delineated those systems as being a part of Continued Innovation whereas the other heading proclaimed systems as being a part of Transformational Advancement. Oftentimes we criticize HP for the lack of marketing prowess, but to come up with the phrase Continued Innovation to describe what was clearly old, perhaps even legacy, systems broke the mold. Yes, Continued Innovation included HP-UX, OpenVMS and NonStop – all systems we could order today and expect HP to continue to enhance.
However, it wasn't until the list of systems making up Transformation Advancement was revealed did the proverbial other shoe drop – yes, there was NonStop but this time framed by Linux and Windows. No Unix and no OpenVMS; the damage to Itanium, and indeed Unix, done by Oracle's Larry Ellison a couple of years ago certainly had an impact, but to see sales of Unix spiral downward as rapidly as they did, including Oracle's own SUN / Solaris systems, caught the industry by surprise. Even IBM is struggling with AIX and as for its mainframe, the movement behind zLinux represents yet another life for the venerable "cash-cow in the basement", as CA described their mainframe business last year.
Let's just shift gears briefly. Enterprises worldwide run on some pretty large systems and even as there are enterprises mimicking public clouds as the seek a simpler way to provision computing, storage and networking resources that better match the applications demands of the month and even week or day there are larger systems, including mainframes and even NonStop systems, that are proving very "sticky". For NonStop to make the jump from just Continued Innovation to the all-important future funded Transformational Advancement category, and in so doing be the only system from the former list to do so, is again a testament to HP's belief that NonStop has much to contribute to the new order of computing, as it looks increasingly like clouds.
For the NonStop user of Prognosis, whether in support of Payments or applications of a more general nature, such clearly defined roadmap inclusion is a gem the NonStop community has been seeking for many years. There's finally no ambiguity here – NonStop has made the cut for HPE. And in so doing, provides confidence in the NonStop platform that will placate the concerns of many big NonStop users. Already the new NonStop X NS3 entry-level 1 and 2 core systems are beginning to develop traction in the marketplace as they win brand new business and no members of the NonStop community are going to complain about the NonStop base expanding. But there's really an even bigger story here for Prognosis and it's worth changing gears once again.
NonStop X systems are the most modern to hit the marketplace. Embracing the Intel x86 architecture and complementing it with the addition of an InfiniBand interconnect fabric makes NonStop X systems indistinguishable from any other system on the market today. Throw into the mix the support of SQL, Java and modern Java frameworks, like Spring, not to mention the ability to develop new application code with Eclipse seals the deal. NonStop is modern. But having said this, all the talk of hybrids by everyone, from cloud service providers to IBM with its hybrid zLinux / zOS mainframe, now has to accommodate yet another player. HP brings NonStop into hybrids featuring NonStop with Linux and / or Windows that, with the addition now of Server Side JavaScipt following the deep port of Node.js, and all talk of NonStop being the surprise participant in HP's Transformational Advancements fades away completely.
Automation options, fraud prevention, and much more – these are all bread and butter offerings from IR and have been a staple of Prognosis for some time. What's new however is the news that NonStop will be one of the three important platforms following the split of HP and the emergence of HPE. Few in the industry would have predicted such an outcome, and for sure, HPE will provide some support to existing users of such important HP Unix products, as SuperDome X, but making clear that their server journey will take them deeper into the worlds of Linux, Windows and NonStop is an unexpected tur of events for all in the NonStop community.
For Prognosis users this simply makes the decision to invest in Prognosis all the more satisfying. As IR Director of Sales – Americas, Jay Horton, observed only a matter of days ago, "unearthing gems from HP isn't always on our agenda; when we find gems that clearly will help doing even more business with the NonStop community and help them on their own journey, even when it's as unexpected as this is proving to be, then the prospect of a ‘win – win' outcome quickly comes to mind."