Q1 2023 and NonStop Success
As you all may know, HPE is on a fiscal year that starts Nov 1 each year. Traditionally, NonStop usually has a great 4th quarter and the pattern is a soft First Quarter. It’s not written in stone but falls into the general pattern for as long as I can remember. The first quarter was both unusual and exceptional for NonStop this year. In fact, we had our best first quarter since 2013! Perhaps there is a decade pattern that I’ve missed LOL. Nonetheless, we had several large customers and many medium-sized customers commit to the NS8 and NS4 platform systems. A few opted to go with virtual and at least one key customer has migrated to the HPE GreenLake architecture.
Traditionally, NonStop customers are a cautious bunch, after all, they have a NonStop. Also so there is an inertia to migrate, even to another NonStop system. The migration from Itanium systems to the x86, L-series OS has been pretty problem free. I recall the issues we had going from the RISK architecture to Itanium but Intel to Intel has been relatively hassle-free. In all the cases I know, a simple recompile was all that was required. That message has gotten out to the customers who held onto their Itanium systems. They were great but their time has passed. Indeed the x86 platform with the NS8 is now in its 4th generation. The first three are on the very stable and well-performing blade architecture. If HPE had not dropped the blade architecture, we’d likely still be on it. The new(er) NS8 and NS4 systems have returned to a very simple and basic rack-mounted system. It’s proving to be quick a hit with the customers that have adopted it. Fortunately, the building blocks of the NS8 and NS4 have been less susceptible to the supply chain issues that have plagued our industry.
Our virtual systems and offerings will continue to provide NonStop on whatever platforms are your own company’s standards. We feel HPE provides the best servers, storage, and networking but we might be prejudiced. If your company has standardized on Dell or Cisco it is no problem to run your NonStop system on those platforms. Mix and match compute, storage, and networking to match your company’s requirements knowing everything will still be NonStop.
Building on the success and momentum of virtual NonStop we are able to fully participate in the HPE Greenlake strategy. This is ‘the cloud that comes to you’, or more specifically your datacenter. HPE will build a private cloud for you in your datacenter and charge you for usage of that private cloud. It’s like getting a mini AWS or Azure in your own datacenter and importantly, behind your own firewalls. Many customers are resonating with this strategy and NonStop, like the other technologies at HPE, can be part of the Greenlake marketplace. Since Greenlake is a hybrid cloud strategy, which allows a customer to mix and match public and private cloud, NonStop has been investigating public cloud. As attendees of the last NonStop TBC know, NonStop instances were running in both Google and Azure. The full public cloud solution will take a while to roll out as we design a new fabric integrating standard fabric architectures and open up our Operating System to more generic hypervisor support. Will our customers run production in a public cloud? I’m a bit skeptical of that but I can see development and testing as a very viable public cloud activity. Anyway, it’s nice to have options.
I believe these directions and the clear investment in NonStop by HPE have satisfied customers into investing in the newer architectures. The proof point is our 1st Quarter results. If you’re on an older NonStop it’s time to consider an NS8, a virtual or perhaps even a Greenlake solution. There is a long future.