As we’ve been thinking more about the future of NonStop in this newly established column, an item of real concern has been how to continue to build community among vendors and customers, in the absence of users group gatherings. With most companies, including TIC Software, working remotely, how do we reach across the screen, so to speak, to cultivate key personal relationships?
Satisfying today’s very demanding applications and business needs is a made to order scenario for NonStop. As the following chart highlights, NonStop is a superior platform for enterprises if the goal is to improve outcomes. The platform options to support applications essential to business success are summarized in the following chart.
If you follow my column (and if you do, thank you), you know that I tend to favor the ‘Trends’. I confess the technology does hold more fascination for me but it is high time to discuss some NonStop success. Now, first off, NonStop is a unit inside Mission-critical systems which is a business unit inside High Performance Computing which all rolls up to Compute within HPE which is still just one of several major business divisions. I say this because I don’t want the percentages I am going to disclose to be interpreted as a recommendation to buy or to not buy HPE stock. That would be between you and your financial broker. Also the percentages I am discussing refer, this issue, to North America. So that being said and without disclosing any real numbers I am okay in relaying that so far this year NonStop is about 15% up revenue-wise over last year (Y/Y). This quarter NonStop is up over 30% (Q/Q). And for the year so far we are tracking over budget. So wins are definitely happening. Since I do not have customer permission to disclose any specific names let me just say that major banks, major retailers and major credit card companies continue to be pleased and are investing in their NonStop mission-critical systems. The x86 platform systems are the predominant platform that is selling, and the latest systems (HPE Gen 10 or for us X-3) takes full advantage of the HPE silicon root of trust, making it the most secure x86 architecture available. See this article on HPE cyber security or search the website for Cybersecurity or silicon root of trust. Pretty cool stuff. If you have an existing Gen 8 or 9 system (X-1 or X-2) you may consider a processor swap to the latest Gen 10 (X-3) processors. They are faster and have the added security built in (see link above). If you saw my last article on the old syndromic surveillance pilot, I am happy to say that there is renewed interest in that solution both in the United States and overseas. We are seeing the criticality of systems as Covid-19 is cresting in the United States and starts, hopefully, to begin to decline.
Many clients and users at TUG meetings have expressed concerns to me about losing experienced members on their Nonstop team. These team members work in different groups, such as development, support or operations for the NonStop platform. Their contributions are crucial in the ecosystem of their company’s mission critical applications. There is great concern in losing that pool of expertise.
With the pandemic upon us I believe the value of NonStop is paramount. As many are aware GE Healthcare, the NonStop healthcare solution partner, existed the enterprise side of the business, relinquishing that market to their competitors Cerner and Epic. However NonStop has done more in healthcare and I wanted to tell an older story that becomes very applicable to today’s environment.
As we all know, business is becoming increasingly technology-based. With this, enterprises need to deliver new digital services and be better at business innovation on an ongoing basis to continue being relevant and to expand their opportunities. This is fundamental to delivering value, growth, creating wealth, etc. – which is very important to Customers and stakeholders.
At this year’s NonStop TBC we had the first ever NonStop Hackathon. Hackathons have become commonplace but not on NonStop. To me this shows a new commitment to keep NonStop current and viable. 3 teams competed to connect to the vNonStop system in Alpharetta and demonstrate connectivity. There were cash prizes. The competitors all received the inaugural T-shirt and to keep them going, a snack table, and, of course, beer.
When you consider the mileage, you oftentimes forget the passage of time – wasn’t it Harrison Ford’s character, Indiana Jones, in the film Raiders of the Lost Ark who responded to the question from the leading lady, “You’re not the man I knew ten years ago” with, “It’s not the years, honey. It’s the mileage.” When it comes to 2019 my travels reached new heights. As for someone who advocates travel by car, I spent time aboard ships, trains, planes and yes automobiles too. It was all in the name of spending quality time with the NonStop community.
There has been a lot more interest in virtual NonStop since the support of the VMware Hypervisor. I am aware of many proof of concepts testing virtual NonStop. There still seems to be some confusion around what virtual NonStop means exactly. Many jump to the conclusion that NonStop can now be run in a public cloud such as AWS or Azure. This is not currently possible since, to make virtual NonStop, actually ‘NonStop’ requires some fairly stringent configurations. These things are not readily available to configure in a public cloud. That depends on your definition of cloud; but in general, yes, if you mean a private cloud…