Greenlake & NonStop

HPE GreenLake is a major HPE strategy. You may have seen the announcement “The cloud that comes to you”, which is essentially HPE GreenLake. Imagine Amazon, Google, or Microsoft coming into your data center and building you a mini cloud that they then manage for you. You spin up applications and databases, try new business strategies, run sprints, and have all the advantages of the public cloud. You are even billed based on your consumption. In the case of HPE GreenLake, that’s what you get, right in the comfort and security of your own data center. HPE comes to your data center, or it can be housed in a Co-Location facility if you prefer and builds a private cloud based on your requirements with enough headroom (no charge) for you to ramp up without requiring more infrastructure to be brought in. HPE manages the infrastructure just like the public cloud providers do for you and you are billed based on consumption, just like the public cloud providers. If you have a cloud strategy and are building your new applications to be ‘cloud-ready’, it’s the perfect environment. Additionally, you aren’t jumping from cloud to cloud chasing the best rates, or having to pay fees for extracting your own data. It’s all yours. It’s the cloud that comes to you. Déjà vu.

I believe HPE’s strategy to be sound since most customers indicate they are considering cloud and all new development is based around cloud-native principles. Still, there is angst about putting customer data and corporate intellectual property into a public cloud. Your competitors might be in adjacent servers, who knows? Also, you’re essentially renting resources and the price is determined by the public cloud vendor. At present, there is good competition between Google, Azure, and AWS so pricing seems to be fair but all that can change. There is also a bit of a “Hotel California” attitude concerning the data you put into the cloud. Data can check in anytime but it can never leave (not without some serious exit fees $$$$$). Why not get the features you want in a public cloud without going public?

Many ask if NonStop is part of this cool HPE strategy? I’m happy to reply with an emphatic yes. NonStop has been an HPE GreenLake platform since the early stages of the strategy. HPE GreenLake can build and manage a NonStop platform, that is the NS4 and NS8 or earlier L-series systems. Also, virtual NonStop is ideally suited to the HPE GreenLake environment and can be spun up under VMWare just like Windows and Linux virtual machines. Of course, as NonStop users we know, when we spin a NonStop up, we don’t spin it down. NonStop customers want NonStop to be, well, non-stop. This is a system designed for mission-critical workloads that need to have their applications running all the time, with acceptable performance, even when there is an outage. HPE GreenLake does support this and manages the NonStop infrastructure. Currently, NonStop is considered a full consumption model. Generally, instances (virtual machines/cores) running under HPE GreenLake, as they do in public clouds, come and go. Systems, microservices, applications, and databases are spun up and later deleted, just as they do in a public cloud. HPE charges based on the number of cores used over the monthly billing cycle, again similar to a public cloud. As already mentioned, NonStop doesn’t spin down, so the cores are allocated all month. It’s not an unreasonable charge but there is currently no fluctuation in pricing. What you paid last month for HPE GreenLake, NonStop will be what you pay this month and next month. Currently, the NonStop division is exploring ways to charge based on a usage model. This is being referred to as Wave 2 of NonStop GreenLake and we have a customer testing this.

Wave 2 is the plan to create metering within NonStop and to create a pricing model to charge based on that metering, which should be a little more like a consumption model. If you are running L21.06.01 you may have noticed something new called NSMT, which is the NonStop Metering Tool. It requires licensing and so currently it is not being used but the tool is there and if you are considering HPE GreenLake for NonStop and want this consumption-based pricing model the minimum NonStop release will be L21.06.01. What this metering will be is yet to be determined. NonStop is considering CPU Busy, database Transactions, Application transactions, and other methods for billing. Another item that will be released in a subsequent HPE GreenLake wave is an ability to add cores. This is similar to the existing Dynamic Capacity which allows you to add 2 cores to a running system if you have purchased the license. By way of example, you can immediately go from a dual-core NonStop to a quad-core doubling your CPU horsepower. If you have quad-core, NonStop you can add 2 cores going to a 6 core environment. Currently, this is a 30-day license which a customer can turn off and on until the 30 days have been used up. The new HPE GreenLake offering will not have any time limits – turn them on whenever you want and spin them down on your schedule. Also, there won’t be a 2 core limit so if you have a dual-core NonStop you can, for as long as you like, turn on all 6 cores. This will provide a lot of flexibility in responding to seasonal and unexpected loads on the system.

NonStop running HPE  GreenLake will also be stepping into the Software as a Service model, with the first offering being Payments as a Service. Everyone knows major banks around the world and payment providers are big NonStop users. This PaaS brings the power and reliability of NonStop within reach of smaller financial institutions. Credit Unions, regional banks, perhaps even Fintechs will have the ability to run on NonStop just like the big boys. NonStop for everyone!

This does cover HPE GreenLake where HPE does pretty much everything but run your application (and your app if you go with the SaaS model). Not everyone wants a private cloud. Sometimes you just want a little management assistance and that’s where HPE GreenLake Managed Services (GMS) comes into play. Let’s say you have a NonStop. You have your management practices and tools pretty well-honed. You would like to spend some time investigating some of the new features being released on NonStop but don’t seem to have the time. You’d like to consider moving some other applications your company has to NonStop but don’t seem to have the time to investigate it. Perhaps you want to embark on a modernization effort but can’t seem to work it in. This is where NonStop GMS can assist. The NonStop GMS team can take as much of the NonStop system management as you’d like. HPE GreenLake Management Services can provide infrastructure and application monitoring, management, and administration activities according to HPE best practices. The services are backed by people with deep expertise in supporting, operating, and managing HPE NonStop systems for many years. The people, processes, and platform provided by HPE GreenLake Management Services ensures high availability of all aspects of the HPE NonStop system (hardware, OS, Network, Backup, and Database). HPE GreenLake Management Services for HPE NonStop uses a suite of integrated ITSM (Information Technology Service Management) tools and resources to provide the management services on your NonStop systems. Through a secure internet link, HPE will monitor and manage your environment. As events are captured by the GMS Tools, platform intelligence performs event and incident resolution. It then uses the logic in the tools to correlate and consolidate event activity to drive improvements in resolution and optimize the environment and coordinate performance enhancements. Since HPE is gathering information from numerous NonStop systems under GMS management, machine learning can identify patterns and you benefit from the combined management knowledge. The GMS environment is backed by a knowledgeable and experienced team of ITSM and HPE NonStop Technical experts available 24×7 across the globe. These resources have highly specialized skills and deep domain expertise that span the entire NonStop stack—from infrastructure all the way up to apps and workloads. If you decide to take advantage of the GMS model, there will be an Assigned Account Team who will be responsible for working with you and your IT team. They will share the reports with you and make optimization and improvement recommendations to ensure you have a solution that delivers your business outcomes. Freeing you and your staff to explore new features and functionality on NonStop.

HPE GreenLake spans a large area covering assisted system management all the way up to providing a complete private cloud environment. I encourage you to reach out to your NonStop team to find out if HPE GreenLake makes sense for your company.


  • Justin Simonds

    Justin Simonds is a Master Technologist for the Americans Enterprise Solutions and Architecture group (ESA) under the mission- critical division of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. His focus is on emerging technologies, business intelligence for major accounts and strategic business development. He has worked on Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives and integration architectures for improving the reliability of IoT offerings. He has been involved in the AI/ML HPE initiatives around financial services and fraud analysis and was an early member of the Blockchain/MC-DLT strategy. He has written articles and whitepapers for internal publication on TCO/ROI, availability, business intelligence, Internet of Things, Blockchain and Converged Infrastructure. He has been published in Connect/Converge and Connection magazine. He is a featured speaker at HPE’s Technology Forum and at HPE’s Aspire and Bootcamp conferences and at industry conferences such as the XLDB Conference at Stanford, IIBA, ISACA and the Metropolitan Solutions Conference.

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