I have been writing numerous posts and commentaries about the vision, strategy and goals of HPE, particularly when it comes to its Mission Critical Server, the NonStop X. It's hard not to see statements of one type or another originating with HPE splashed across media channels. I am not a big twitter's user, but even I have been impressed by just how many tweets there have been of late concerning high level messages in support of HPE's vision.
So, what is the vision being articulated by HPE? Not to be outdone by other vendors' video productions, HPE has produced its own mini "movie" on the subject – Hewlett Packard Enterprise – Fueling the Idea Economy <see below>. "Our sole objective is to ensure the success of our customers as they navigate the new style of business powered by IT," states Meg Whitman, HPE CEO, as the movie begins. A voice-over then takes it further, stating that "we are living in an era of disruption – an age where the barriers to entry are falling across every industry."
According to Whitman and her executives at HPE, "Ideas have always been the lifeblood of business; the difference now is, from idea to realization of that idea to actually being in business has gone from years to potentially days." This is then followed by the question, "How do you turn an idea into a reality in warp speed?" Does the answer lie in clever use of the IT we have already assembled or does it imply throwing everything out, offloading all IT to external cloud providers? No, says Whitman, "Every company … is having to take their legacy IT systems and transform themselves so that IT can be a competitive advantage."
HPE's vision for their enterprise customers is to become their partner in helping them "navigate the new style of business", which is recognition that today every business is a technology business. "IT strategy and business strategy are no longer separate, they have become inseparable," HPE's CEO says. And this underpins all the messages that follow in support of company strategy and product goals. Every business has become a technology business and the degree to which we accept this as a vision influences how our relationship with HPE will evolve – we will either join HPE in the journey or simply bale! Understandably, many enterprises will look to others to help them in their journey but few other major vendors are being this succinct. HPE's envisions embracing technology will be important for all enterprises.
When it comes to strategy, then the message here is very clear. HPE wants to help all enterprises transform to a hybrid infrastructure – whether it's the old systems working in combination with new servers, existing IT working with private clouds or even a mix of private and public clouds working together, HPE offers solutions that help with the transformation. When it comes to NonStop, we are now seeing the results of significant HPE R&D expenditure that has given us NonStop X systems, all based on the Intel x86 architecture together with InfiniBand as the connectivity fabric. But there's even more – the vision for NonStop is now one of HPE providing NonStop as software, the best software platform on the planet.
As for goals, with NonStop free of hardware dependencies and the best software platform on the planet, according to HPE NonStop engineering, it is to make NonStop not only free of the hardware but the infrastructure as well. As you look at the vision and strategy and the position HPE is taking to help all transform to a hybrid infrastructure it only makes sense to see NonStop being enhanced to run atop any future hybrid infrastructure and according to the executives I have talked to, as a proof point, running NonStop in a virtual machine, this goal for NonStop is already in sight.
In the coming weeks I will be providing one more webinar for the Asia Pac / Japan markets that will be based on webinars I have already given for a predominantly European and American audiences. Not unexpectedly, it includes additional material as HPE continues to divulge more about its programs that it views as helping move its product solutions to be better aligned with its vision. Few parties working with HPE can be unaware of the steps HPE is taking and yet, when it comes to NonStop some of the intermediate steps aren't quite as well known. As part of the webinar, I will be providing an updated timeline as to what we can expect to see and when. I look forward to giving this next webinar on my March 2nd and for more information on how to register,please follow this link.
For an Australian residing in America, close to where the action is, it's not all that often I have the opportunity to present to a community much closer to home. In fact, over the past couple of years, I have had few opportunities to talk directly to a geographic community I once knew so well and I am very appreciative of IR for giving me this opportunity. NonStop faces many challenges across Asia Pac / Japan as many countries no longer provide support for NonStop, but as we watch the retreat from HP-UX that began five years ago, NonStop truly is the halo product for HPE Mission Critical Servers and with the message I will be conveying I am hopeful that more interest is generated not only among the user community but within HPE itself.
My last years working for Tandem Computers out of their Sydney office continue to remind me of just how well-accepted NonStop systems became. As Randy Meyer, VP & GM Mission Critical Servers, HPE, observed in the brochure, Engineered for the Highest Availability, "As customers move to more acceptance of things like Linux® in the data center and cloud-based applications, they realize that portions of their application world still need NonStop levels of availability that can't be achieved using other models." With as much talk as there is today of Clouds and of server farm build-outs, even the most optimistic proponent understands that for enterprises where NonStop has a presence, it is all about the journey and despite the disruption that lies ahead, every company is having to take their IT systems with them.