When it comes to NonStop, much of the focus of late by HP has been on providing platforms and tools to help customers modernize their applications. To the rest of the world, NonStop remains an enigma in that it’s widely accepted for some applications – practically dominating some market segments – and yet, it’s a platform barely changed from the day it was introduced back in the late 1970s, when a Tandem / 16 – later called a NonStop-I was shipped to Citicorp. The rest is history, but even now, so many years later, financial institutions and NonStop retain a strong relationship with the world’s ATM and POS networks involving at least one NonStop system in the transaction path.
I guess when you get something right it’s a good place to start, but with the focus on transaction processing, NonStop has seen a raft of vendors developing product in support of a highly varied world of client devices. Modernization, therefore, focuses on ensuring trusted transaction processing applications can meet the needs of modern consumers. From the earliest forays into client / server computing, on through to web applications, and later SOA and Web services, to today’s modern Apps – NonStop hasn’t missed a beat. However, there’s still a lot more to address before the applications on NonStop can truly promote themselves as being modern and that will come as these applications are enhanced to support integration with Big Data.
Modernize the logic, modernize the client interface, modernize the database, modernize the network and yes, modernize the data – so much is going on in the NonStop marketplace and HP has pulled a number of rabbits from the hat. New applications have been ported to NonStop that rely on Java – yes, the NonStop Application Server for Java (NSASJ), according to HP, “is a value-added port of JBoss AS release 1.2. The product includes the Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) Container and the Web Container modules of the JBoss AS.” The presence of HTTP servers in support of HTML5 represents further opportunity for vendors to build modern client interfaces, supporting tablets and smartphones. NonStop SQL is now firmly entrenched at most sites with support for ODBC / JDBC helping applications to migrate to NonStop. And with WebAction, the door has been flung wide open for even greater integration with popular Big Data frameworks, now gaining traction within the business community.
Expressed as simply as possible, whether it’s in support of better fraud detection at the point of transaction capture, a richer consumer experience on a tablet or smartphone, or simply staying on top of SLAs in place with external processing agencies, WebAction provides the missing link. Previously, tapping data stores directly proved an insurmountable task for all but the very largest IT shops – turning on a pipe too big to consume for the most part. But now, only the data relevant to the transactions being processed on NonStop is being made available, via web actions, and this is modernization on the very cutting edge of technology. Wherever modernization plans exist for NonStop applications Big Data cannot be ignored and if it is absent from your plans, become proactive and make sure everyone around you knows the true value it will provide the business. Otherwise, the challenge may be that others within IT will very likely discount your modernization efforts, relegating them to the too little too late bin and that’s not in anyone’s interest where NonStop is concerned!