Evelyn Guernsey, guest blogger for Porter Consulting
Did you know the NonStop system is turning 40 this year? Some might consider this a significant achievement. But it is a fact that is not easily found on the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) website and is little mentioned elsewhere. It wasn’t a complete surprise to see how few articles there were from sources other than HPE.com or Wikipedia. For a solution that has been around for 40 years and has a very loyal following, it continues to be a hidden gem. At one point in time, NonStop seemed to have a questionable future, but today HPE is making investments to ensure its relevance to customers in the future.
If you are not familiar with the NonStop system, that is not a surprise but most likely you touch a NonStop system on a daily basis. NonStop is known for running large online transaction processing applications in the finance, telecommunications, and retail industries. The first NonStop system shipped in 1976 from Tandem Computers, which was later purchased by Compaq (1997) and subsequently Hewlett Packard (2002)—now HPE. NonStop has one of the oldest and most dependable operating systems around and delivers fault tolerance, high availability and reliability for businesses requiring mission critical 24×7 computing.
HPE continues to invest in NonStop technologies but does not always publicize its achievements. NonStop has gone through a number of processor changes over the decades. Most recently, NonStop was moved to the industry-standard x86 architecture. What does this mean for customers? How does the x86 architecture work with current (non x86) environments? Existing customers will need to understand the implications of running a hybrid environment. What does it take to port existing applications and tools? What’s next? Linux, virtualization, cloud (as a service)? All of these are possibilities for the future. The key is that existing customers need to plan for the transition as hybrid data centers will become the norm. However, the newest NonStop systems will still provide excellent capabilities.
Along with the NonStop transition is the transformation of ServerNet—the interconnection switch technology for the NonStop system, which is now called Infiniband. Infiniband can be found in both NonStop systems and HPE BladeSystems.
At the NonStop Technical Boot Camp 2015 this past fall, management shared a bright vision— for NonStop with attendees. There is a renewed excitement among the NonStop community as the future of NonStop is considered. The long term vision is to provide NonStop as a service delivering NonStop fundamentals to hybrid systems that will enable customers to modernize their business processes. NonStop is transforming from a hardware business to a software business.
Evelyn Guernsey is a guest blogger for Porter Consulting. You can read more of his blogs at the Porter Consulting website at http://porterconsulting.net