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It’s not exactly an early Christmas present, but all the same, it seems an appropriate time to talk about expectations. After all, the anticipation leading up to Christmas and what might be under the trees is the most anticipated part of Christmas. Did someone say presents? Did someone say cookies and milk? For the NonStop community, as each year climaxes with the annual NonStop TBC Conference, something pleasant is always left under the tree. We may want to keep some gifts to ourselves, but it has been my experience that we make plenty of noise when those gifts are opened!

In my previous column, I wrote of how this year’s conference was almost upon us but given the schedule of this digital publication, I am writing at a time that is only a matter of days away from the start of that conference. An in-between occasion, if you like, where guesses are about all that can be provided. Will we see more coverage of virtualization? NonStop SQL? Solutions? It’s hard to say, but having participated in numerous regional events this year, it seems as though steady progress is being made in several areas.

Solutions sales sell NonStop. That’s been a given for a very long time. I haven’t run across any enterprise purchasing a NonStop system, having chosen it for its market-leading levels of availability only to be left scratching their heads as to what to do with the system now that it has arrived. While NonStop systems still perform well within the financial services vertical, and good vibes are coming from NonStop within manufacturing, there is still a relative dearth of solutions for any other vertical.

Did we miss penetration warehousing and distribution, given it’s highly mechanized 24 x 7 operations? Did we miss the opportunity to contribute the key attributes of NonStop to the transportation industry – has anyone thought about providing a good solution for the cruise ship industry? Surely, with so many big ships afloat and shorter itineraries, demand for uninterrupted service has to be at a premium. And then there is the container shipping industry, where there is still a toehold NonStop clings to after many decades of accumulating knowledge.

None of the above speculation is new, nor is it earth-shattering in its acknowledgment that many industries can benefit from a true fault-tolerant system underpinning the operation of their applications. Solutions need good software, but surely the life of IT executives has to be more enjoyable if the hardware, operating system, and the complete software stack as supplied don’t break. But then, as you look closely at the potential of NonStop and HPE’s business model, the lack of focus or attention directed towards NonStop has to have us scratching our heads.

Will HPE play Santa Claus this year? Will our offering of cookies and milk be sufficient for NonStop to earn special gifts? A surprise even? And where would any such gift or surprise originate? In talking to a broad cross-section of HPE folks over the course of 2023 (and yes, not as yet hearing what they have to say at the upcoming NonStop TBC 2023 Conference), it is clear that the HPE NonStop organization in toto has all the tools they need to grow the presence of NonStop but needs a lot more encouragement from the NonStop community.

Yes, we see that regionally, some groups are performing to plan, even exceeding plan in some cases, just as we hear of the update or the migration. As someone who has enjoyed almost five decades of pleasant exposure to NonStop, I find it surprising that many of us are content simply doing what we have always done. Marketplaces aren’t a constant, and new market verticals are always being created. Just think of transportation and the coming of intense V2V networking – who wants to see that crash, literally?

Every marketplace has barriers to entry, but if you don’t bask down some barriers, you will not know how well you might perform. It’s not for me to dissuade anyone from looking at opportunities in markets that aren’t traditionally associated with NonStop. And yet, why aren’t we knocking on those doors? Persuading solutions vendors to include support for NonStop? Making the whole process of leveraging NonStop a simple exercise?

When I look at the work that has been done in support of DevOps and how developers can continue to use their preferred products, languages, frameworks, and more, NonStop SQL/MX makes moving from Oracle a straightforward exercise for the Linux advocates, watch this space for massive improvements in support of kernel-level threading. I am only scratching the surface here. However, even my superficial observations convince me that NonStop is more than ready to discuss any new marketplace where outages are a nightmare.

How many NonStop members turn to the Community HPE web pages? In particular, the blogs that are regularly posted for the benefit of all of HPE? If you tab to blogs, select Servers & Systems: The Right Compute, and then enter HPE NonStop into the search bar, you may be pleasantly surprised by the activity – you will even see posts from 2023! The point is that they attract readership; for example, the post What comes after development? Simplified deployment for HPE NonStop applications attracted 1020 thread views and counting. As for the prior post, Answering the modern database challenge: Introducing HPE NonStop SQL Cloud Edition, attracting 13,645 thread views.

In other words, get the right storyline out there in a post, and you will find interested parties only too keen to read them. As for solutions, a post last year that featured abat+ Experience data-driven smart manufacturing with abat+ and HPE NonStop gained almost a thousand thread views. The point is there are many sources for updates on NonStop, including its usability, its applicability, and its relevance across a number of marketplaces. Would I like to see more solutions featured on the Community HPE website? Absolutely!

If we seriously want to talk about expectations and anticipate early Christmas gifts,  we all need to be more open in our conversations with HPE. Let the folks at HPE know about the solutions we run. Let them know about the applications ported to NonStop. Most important of all? Let them know of the value NonStop is providing the enterprise. Let them know of the prestige that enterprise executives can experience simply by deploying NonStop.

It’s early days, but my early gift to you all is to keep reading, keep promoting, and, most importantly, let the secret of my gift to you be the only secret about NonStop you keep. No one should any longer think it’s a good idea to, as the songwriter wrote, be quietly making noise.  There was a time decades ago when my manager once described me as “introverted, but in a noisy way” and perhaps this is what it’s all about. 2023 is coming to an end so let’s all make a lot of noise. About HPE and HPE NonStop!


  • Richard Buckle

    Richard Buckle is the founder and CEO of Pyalla Technologies, LLC. He has enjoyed a long association with the Information Technology (IT) industry as a user, vendor and more recently as a thought leader, industry commentator, influencer, columnist and blogger. Well-known to the user communities of HP and IBM, Richard served on the board of the HP user group, ITUG (2000-2006), as its Chairman (2004-2005), and as the Director of Marketing on the board of the IBM user group, SHARE, (2007-2008).

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