Answering the modern database challenge: Introducing HPE NonStop SQL Cloud Edition

Databases and servers operated by enterprises today are large and complex. Every business is transforming, and data is the lifeblood of every organization. The growth of data and its importance has been a top executive priority. Equally important: Grappling with top technology trends such as analytics, AI, IoT, containers, VR/AR, and cloud/edge computing—all of with the common denominator of being data-driven. Learn how HPE NonStop SQL Cloud Edition is up to the challenge.

Increased volumes and over reliance on data processing has resulted in more sprawl both from a database and server angle. This rate of growth shows no signs of slowing. As more and more data is collected and processed to the benefit of businesses, IT teams and DBAs are struggling to keep pace. The job of database manager is more complex than ever—requiring more tuning and maintenance, faster integration of newer technologies, and avoiding system downtime at all costs. The importance of fault-tolerant systems that provide always-on availability as the driving platforms of digital transformation (DX) has been emphasized heavily by IDC in the report WW AL4 Server Market share 2019: Fault-Tolerant Systems Become Digital Transformation Platforms.

“The platforms have changed, and the environment around them has changed, allowing high-value data on fault-tolerant systems to be fully leveraged for digital transformation.” – Peter Rutten, research director at IDC’s Infrastructure Systems, Platforms, and Technologies Group

The quest for an enterprise-grade database that is all at once reliable, highly available, scalable, and manageable has remained a top challenge for enterprises. Even though there are now hundreds of databases, it is relatively disappointing to see that many still require a lot of effort to implement advanced features such as clustering or high availability. Those are considered complex tasks and are the first obstacles to innovation as a lot of time and expense is spent on implementing mission critical capabilities rather than being able to focus on innovation.  Many of these new databases are NoSQL-based, and with their scale-out architectures are supposed to address the scalability obstacle more economically, but then to compromise on data-integrity or discard all the benefits of the SQL-ecosystem is a tough ask to balance. The public cloud seems to have provided a solution to the complexity and automatic scale problem. However, the public cloud does not fit all scenarios such as data intensive applications that require low latency or regulations that require data to stay secure and in proximity. What’s more, there are also concerns of rising (hidden) costs.

Cloud-native applications may bring in additional level of disruption in an already complex landscape. Struggling with all those complexities is simply preventing enterprises from focusing on the application and that is where HPE comes to the rescue.


Introducing HPE NonStop SQL Cloud Edition

With all the database challenges in mind, HPE is pleased to introduce HPE NonStop SQL Cloud Edition—a turnkey database software bundle that brings the simplicity and agility of the public cloud experience on your premises combined with the proven and renowned strength of the HPE NonStop technology. It completely abstracts clustering and distributed SQL complexity while combining the highest levels of availability, scalability, data integrity and performance out of the box. Trusted by customers for more than four decades, NonStop SQL is at the heart of this solution and HPE is extending this NonStop technology to be widely available. NonStop SQL is enhanced with modern APIs and features for a seamless cloud-experience, while its strong fundamentals remain rock solid to address all database challenges.


HPE NonStop SQL/MX: The unshakable foundation

HPE NonStop SQL/MX database software is a massively parallel processing (MPP), shared-nothing, and clustered database engine, which is the architecture of choice for mission-critical, high-end OLTP database applications. The database software is tightly integrated with the HPE NonStop platform and operating system (OS). Active hardware redundancy and software service process pair technology allows the database software to remain fully fault tolerant.

Within a NonStop system all the CPUs are internal virtualized elements that appear to the database as a unique system, and hence there is no clustering to be implemented by the database as it has already been done by the OS. With SQL/MX the management is natively centralized as the database is seen as a single instance due to its tight integration with the OS. Data integrity is also advanced with SQL/MX as it relies on a fault-tolerant transactional engine that has no match in the industry.  In terms of scale, there can be 16 CPUs* in a system and up to 4000 CPUs when building a super cluster of NonStop systems while keeping one single logical database across all those systems. (*Note: A NonStop CPU is the same as “compute node” in industry-standard terminology)

To put this in context with the current database industry challenges, you can see how unique NonStop SQL/MX is just by looking at the fact that you do not have to choose between SQL and NoSQL necessarily. If what you need from NoSQL is the scale out or higher availability at lower cost, that is solved with NonStop SQL/MX because like NoSQL, SQL/MX offers a scale out, shared nothing architecture. However, unlike NoSQL, SQL/MX still benefits from the data integrity and universality of the SQL language that makes this ecosystem so rich and accessible by millions of users.

The NonStop SQL Cloud Edition bundle includes the RDBMS software, advanced secure management and workload analytics for immediate use in your private cloud infrastructure as a multi-tenant data fabric for your cloud native or Linux applications. With its unique attributes and features, this solution is positioned to provide a modern data fabric with three top benefits:

  1. Lower cost per workload
  2. A secure cloud experience
  3. Purchased as a service

Here’s more deatil on each benefit:

Lower cost per workload

So how does NonStop SQL Cloud Edition lower the cost per workload? First, HPE bundled together a package that has all the software you need for a turnkey database server ready to be deployed in your data fabric with all the mission critical features already built in. This last part in fact is the one that typically drives costs to skyrocket when it is time for production deployment. Open source databases are easy to adopt for application prototypes because they are free, easily accessible and sometimes even claim leading edge features.

However, for most of those databases the extra cost comes later at production deployment time where high availability, scale, and strong data integrity are required. Because those requirements are optional or even nonexistent in the initial prototype, they become implementation costs that are known to be the highest ones because they rely on people’s time and skills as well as IT budget for the additional licenses. HPE NonStop SQL Cloud Edition includes everything from the start and includes the automation APIs and services to immediately integrate into your cloud infrastructure. But if you don’t have a cloud, it is also simply easy to deploy as a database server that fits with modern requirements for decoupling the application from the database.

A secure cloud experience

HPE NonStop SQL Cloud Edition leverages the SQL/MX Database Services (DBS) one click API that allows you to deploy a new database without any specific NonStop knowledge required, just as you would experience in a public cloud. It leverages SQL/MX DBS multi-tenancy which allows you to deploy a database in a matter of minutes. It also brings increased security as applications are further isolated in the system from other users. This also means that surface of attack is reduced and Denial of Service (DoS) is contained to smaller zones. Lastly, it inherits the strong security of the NonStop OS with dramatically less vulnerabilities than Windows or Linux. Cloud Edition also includes the strong security features of SQL/MX such as no privileged user with all powers (a favorite target for hackers to gain elevation of privileges), DBA auditing, and multi-factor authentication out of the box.

Purchased as a service

We are enabling with this first release a set of tools and APIs that a cloud service provider will need to offer a database-as-a-service implementation. In addition to the automation API, a new API for Workload Managed Services (WMS) is also available that allows service providers to easily monitor and monetize the workloads. This API uniquely exposes the database workload metrics, which can be used for monitoring SLAs or even enabling charge back capabilities. The end goal is for customers to use an application without the burden of keeping the database lights on and be charged according to their usage of the service. In return they expect a public cloud-like experience (global, elastic, secure, available). Future plans call for HPE NonStop SQL Cloud Edition to be part of the wider HPE GreenLake offering for consumption-based pricing as well.

A reliable data foundation for your modern, cloud-native, or Linux applications

Do you have a modern Linux application that you want to scale to provide a robust database server? Or are you looking for a micro-services based cloud-native application going into production yet still struggle with the complexities of management and orchestration? Know that HPE NonStop SQL Cloud Edition is here to help.

If you opt for modern application architectures, you are also likely to decouple the database from the application. Relying on a database server that can scale with many applications workloads and without downtime should be the priority. HPE NonStop SQL Cloud Edition is the perfect fit in your modern data environment to support these critical requirements, now and into the future.

Take the next step on your digital transformation journey with HPE NonStop SQL Cloud Edition. And ask your HPE representative about solutions based on HPE NonStop systems.


  • Vikas Kapor

    Mission Critical Servers Marketing Manager A product marketing manager within the MCS group at HPE, Vikas has always marveled at how these robust systems have been the lifeline of mission-critical applications for decades and continue to remain so. With solutions ranging from software, hardware, and databases to technology such as blockchain, he has never had a dull moment in this MCS world.

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