Clouds on the horizon
As mentioned in my last post, Cloud was the big topic for the 2022 NonStop Technical Boot Camp. NonStop was demonstrated running in both the Google and Microsoft public clouds. I remember when virtual NonStop was first released, there was an anticipation, or in some cases, the great fear that virtual NonStop was going to be released in the public cloud. We are on the edge of the hope/fear public cloud reality.
Many on the hopeful side have expressed a desire for an inexpensive development/test NonStop system. Although pricing has not been finalized at the time of this writing, this is a very valid use case for a public cloud offering. This would also, presumably, be a consumption-based offering allowing licensed users to spin up and delete NonStop instances. Were there to be a time crunch for a new release and limitations existing on the in-house development environment, new environments could be spun up, in minutes perhaps, on Azure or GCP (I assume Amazon at some point).
A cloud offering might also encourage open-source developers to play with this “new OS”. Hopefully, HPE will encourage training and development on NonStop in the public cloud. Perhaps developers could get a 30-day/90-day free license to explore NonStop? This cloud model also fits well with the new Agile development model. This method uses short, time-framed, sprints for fast fail application development. Resources for sprints are generally short-lived. A cloud offering would allow NonStop sprints for new application development. This along with our adherence to the modern DevOps environment should make NonStop an easy fit into existing modern infrastructures.
On the fear side, we have the question of cloud outages. This is something to consider and plan for when going to the cloud. If you’re using a NonStop, even for development or testing and an outage would compromise your work, a backup environment should be established with appropriate continuity products. If a simple restart will work then one should be able to simple restart the environment. Although cloud outages occur they tend to be localized outages, that is, it’s highly unlikely Azure will go down but somewhat likely a portion of Azure might fail. A user might consider having accounts at a few cloud vendors – not a bad idea anyway to take advantage of competitive price offerings. In our GuardianAngel demo (yikes over 10 years ago…) we demonstrated an Amazon zone failure and recovery by NonStop. An architectural design – using the NonStop design principle that every component will fail at some point – should allow one to create a survivable public cloud environment.
What about security? Always a consideration when using the public cloud. The good news for our existing customers is that all the NonStop security products (Xypro, Comforte, etc.) would still be running on a cloud version of NonStop. If your security subsystems and company standards are keeping you safe now, this should afford some comfort when venturing into the cloud. If there are concerns I believe Xypro is still offering a free security assessment. Whether you are considering a move to the cloud or not a security assessment is always a good idea and you should take advantage while it’s still free IMO.
The NonStop public Cloud offering is still a way in the future but it is coming. There are a few technical hurdles to overcome but no show-stoppers that I’ve seen. It’s time to start considering if a public cloud option might suit your business requirements BUT realize that public cloud will merely be an option for using NonStop. Having a tried and true, fully tested fully integrated NonStop platform will still likely be the preferred choice for most customers. The Greenlake Managed Services (GMS) offering will be intriguing for some. With GMS you have your NonStop system and have it in your data center but let HPE manage, or manage a portion of it, for you. There is also the full Greenlake offering where a private cloud is built in your data center or in a Co-Location facility and HPE just bills you for consumption. It’s the public cloud model but it’s “the cloud comes to you” and the infrastructure is not shared. All the good parts of the cloud without the concerns. However at some point and I’m guessing less than 12 months, another NonStop offering, one in the public cloud will be part of the NonStop experience.