July-August2019 TheConnection

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While the northern hemisphere is in the middle of summer, some of its occupants scorching under the heat one normally only ever sees coming from Australia or perhaps in parts of Nevada and Arizona, it could also be considered the season of major events. From Scotland to Dallas to Las Vegas, the information coming from HPE has been diverse as it has been uplifting. HPE is onto something and it was hard to suppress the company’s enthusiasm whether they were talking about the cloud or the edge. And yet, for the NonStop community, it seems that HPE is taking us all on a journey that could result in NonStop having a presence almost everywhere you turn.

There were three major announcements at HPE Discover that will have an impact on the NonStop community. The first was that by 2022, every product offered by HPE will be available as it always has been, but will be also offered on the basis of a service. Greenlake, that not yet very well advertised initiative within Pointnext, will be the home for all of these offerings and while Greenlake as initially aimed at channels it will be expanded to include Aruba and networking as well as it will address Small to Medium size Businesses (SMB).

The adoption of consumption-based pricing and the flexibility that comes with it may not be on the top of the list of NonStop users requirements for now, but knowing there will be an option to consume NonStop on the fly, as needed, may in fact prove to be innovative in ways we cannot image just yet, but some NonStop vendors will certainly benefit from this option. As HPE sees the world working today, in its promotion of Greenlake, “We live in a consumption-based world — music, TV shows, groceries, air travel, and much more. Why? Because consuming services delivers a better outcome faster, in our personal lives and in business. It’s true for music, and it’s also true for IT.”

The second major announcement had to do with the growing importance of the edge. As HPE CEO Antonio Neri sees it, everything that is part of HPE’s product portfolio supporting the data center will be offered in support of the edge. And if you missed the news, at HPE Discover there was a demo of NonStop running on the Edgeline EL 4000! It is not a product at this time and no guarantees that it will be productized, but HPE executives were given the chance to talk to those who developed the prototype and were impressed. Increasingly the edge is where operational technology (OT) is meeting information technology (IT) and whereas there are needs of those looking to aggregate or filter data at the edge, increasingly there are demands for more processing and storage capacity and if you want to protect the edge, wouldn’t NonStop be a great choice?

As one source with whom I checked explained it all so well, “IT / OT convergence is the integration of information technology (IT) systems used for data-centric computing with operational technology (OT) systems used to monitor events, processes and devices and make adjustments in enterprise and industrial operations.” One of the key aspects of NonStop has been the strength of its security properties and while perimeter security is being viewed as vulnerable and will always be breached at some point I cannot help but wonder whether NonStop on the perimeter will be a good way to beef it up and lessen penetrations coming from the edge.

And what is the edge today? Is it just sensors and connected systems or is it much more? If it isn’t in the data center is it on the edge? For many it is all about location, location, location! And yes, if it’s not in the data center overseen by IT then it is out on the edge. And security will become a huge issue in time. According to Tech Target commentary, “OT’s modernization through IT integration brings with it the required consideration of security. Many operational technology systems were never designed for remote accessibility and, as a result, the risks of connectivity were not considered. Such systems may not be regularly updated. The vulnerabilities of OT systems can leave organizations and critical infrastructure at risk of industrial espionage and sabotage.”

NonStop will certainly prove beneficial when it is deployed out on the edge and the good news for the NonStop community is that it will be likely supporting completely new applications, but it is also confirmation that NonStop has a much bigger role to play going forward. At HPE Discover Neri also said that HPE would be supporting just three platforms – ProLiant, Synergy and Apollo. This is the third announcement that caught my attention and while it may not have fallen under the classification of major announcements it brought into focus the fact that NonStop, having run on ProLiant and x86 for some time and can run on the edge as well as within IT, even as it has been proven now to run on Synergy (but not yet productized) support of two out of three of these platforms is good news for everyone in the community.

It really has been the season for major HPE events. HPE Discover wasn’t the only event as we enjoyed a very popular ETBC event in Edinburgh along with a very lively N2TUG event in Dallas. The increased level of enthusiasm evident at HPE everywhere you turn is further proof that the culture has significantly changed in the past year and that too is worth noting. There really isn’t anything better to report than that of a company now very enthusiastic about its prospects for the future and perhaps this was the biggest of the major news to be observed this summer.

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