Since the days of my youth I have been drawn to computers, cars and cycles. Motor cycles, of course, but in general, anything that included an element of speed. Performance too, and yes, to a small degree, risk! As I watch my own career develop over the years I don't think there are many windmills left I haven't tilted. Perhaps jousting at imaginary enemies is a stretch, but my penchant for supporting the underdog is undeniable.
Who else would try to sell an OS to IBM mainframe users when IBM supplied an OS for free, as I did with EDOS in the 1970s? Who else would sell plug-compatible mainframes (PCMs) where system performance was less than anything IBM or the rest of the PCM industry was delivering, as I did with Nixdorf in the 1980s? And yes, who would remain enthusiastic about Fault Tolerant computers even as all but one has exited the marketplace, as I continue to do with NonStop?
However, as someone who watches lifecycles – company, technology and product – intensely, I am acutely aware of the need to jump from one lifecycle to another to avoid the descent into irrelevance and I have to say, I am now watching HPE refuel NonStop as it jumps onto the upward sweep of a new lifecycle; hybrids! Point is, it's been a long time coming, whether as hybrid clouds, hybrid servers and platforms or simply hybrid applications. More precisely, however, my interests are now moving beyond the heterogeneous deployments of the past to focus solely on those systems that, within a chassis or cabinet, include a variety of processors selected for their match with the applications being deployed.
My earliest exposure to a real hybrid was when IBM included specialty processors in support of Linux as an integral part of their mainframe, whereby zLinux emerged alongside zOS to form a hybrid. Even though IBM provided specialty processors to improve the performance of Java, if you really were a Java centric data center, your best choice for optimum Java performance was to run those portions of the application on zLinux. Sound familiar? More importantly, are we surprised?
HPE with NonStop sharing cabinet / chassis space with Linux and or Windows suddenly changes the game for NonStop users and in doing so, brings into sharp focus (once again) the need for application performance monitoring tools that can integrate the output from all of these platforms under a single pane of glass for more effective visualization of what is transpiring on all components of the hybrid. This was the theme of a post back in 2012 – A bigger pane of glass – a case of even greater monitoring integration.
For me, Prognosis is in a truly unique position where investments made in open platforms and unified communications will fare well with users who recognize the emergence of a new technology lifecycle where NonStop systems participation is firmly on the upward lifting portion of the familiar bell curve describing all lifecycles. Dashboards will need to continue to display alarms and alerts for any application even when their processes are dispersed over a variety of systems.
I recently participated in a webinar hosted by IR which had a great attendance. The focus had been on the new NonStop X together with NonStop X support of Hybrids comprising NonStop and Linux / Windows - you can now view this webinar on demand here. Following on from this successful event I will be giving another webinar focused on what transpired at the biggest NonStop community event of the year, the 2015 NonStop Technical Boot Camp (Boot Camp). And yes, there were a number of surprises in stall for all who participated.
It's not often that an event of this size attracts senior HPE executives but being NonStop and having strong ties to the NonStop Community, Martin Fink, EVP and CTO, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, stopped by to give the keynote address. While I highlight this in the current post to the NonStop community blog, Real Time View, What did I learn from 2015 NonStop Technical Boot Camp? I didn't mention how Fink gave me an exclusive "interview" immediately following his presentation. "NonStop: The Inside Story" was an immediate hit with the community and for those who have come to NonStop in recent times, Fink was promoted to head of the then NonStop Enterprise Division (NED) almost ten years ago to the day.
As it pertains to hybrids and the birth of a new technology lifecycle, two things stood out for me. One was the use of language – no longer do we talk about modern, but rather, contemporary; no longer do we talk about commodity, but rather, industry standard; and no longer do we talk about roadmaps but rather, product plans. Again point is, modern, commodity and roadmaps today come with a lot of baggage and the choice of words being used today is consistent with recognition of just how fast the industry is moving. There it is again, speed, performance and yes, just a little more risk.
Perhaps even more importantly, at Boot Camp, we heard about visions for NonStop and I can't recall when last anyone walked to the podium to articulate a vision for NonStop as it implies longevity of a product extending beyond any visible horizon. And yes, NonStop is going to be playing a sizable role in the future of HPE Mission Critical Systems. Speed, performance, a little risk and yes, a path that stretches way beyond our field of vision! Cool; and yes, long overdue for an extremely patient community.
In closing these will be the topics I will be covering in my webinar for IR to be held the morning (Mountain Time) of December 3rd. You can register here- I look forward to your participation. But before closing, I have mentioned the element of risk – something I am never fearful about – but when it comes to NonStop the small element of risk I see possible is for the NonStop community to become less than vocal about the distance NonStop systems have come today to be as contemporary and industry standard (with pricing to match, of course) as an alternative system under consideration. So yes, let's all make some noise about the new NonStop X!