HPE NonStop Review

I was able to double the capacity for a banking client because of the solution's linear expandability and upward software compatibility, although hardware speed could use some increase.


What is most valuable?

  • Protection against single failure. This makes it an ideal product for critical applications as found in banking (ATM control, EFT, web based banking etc), telecoms (administrative mobile phone support, switches), and any business where high availability is required.
  • Linear expandability. HP NonStop is probably the only solution in the market that offers this really. Double the amount of CPU's, and double the amount of transactions can be processed. Double the machines link them at highspeed, and a double amount of transactions can be processed. This makes it ideal in fast growing markets like we had with EFT/ATM's and mobile telephony.
  • Upward software compatibilty. Upgrading to a new operating system version means, in the worst case, recompilation of user software. Normally the software will function without applying any changes.
  • Stability. The protection against single failure requires a very stable product, both hardware and software.

How has it helped my organization?

As I worked for various organizations in various branches, it's difficult to give a single example.

Normally in banking, replacing systems with bigger ones is a long term process with lots of carefully executed procedures. I remember a Dutch bank in the early 90's that measured in September an enormous increase in EFT transactions. Their capacity would fail in a couple of months at Christmas, and for sure they couldn't afford this. Beginning in November, a new system with doubled capacity was tested and installed thanks to the linear expandability and software compatibility.

What needs improvement?

Like on any system, hardware speed always could be increased.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the product since 1987. Since then it evolved as hardware from propriety CPU powered to industry standard Intel CPU powered. The operating system essentially stayed the same, although various add-ons were developed.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I've never encountered any serious issues blocking operations in this area.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've never encountered any serious issues blocking operations in this area.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I've never encountered any serious issues blocking operations in this area.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Both customer service and technical support are of a high level, 8-9/10. However, this can vary based on the type of service agreement.

Technical Support:

Both customer service and technical support are of a high level, 8-9/10. However, this can vary based on the type of service agreement. My experience is that the technical staff really knows where they're talking about.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

As said, I worked for several organizations. Most of the time they already used HP NonStop or had already made the decision to use it.

How was the initial setup?

Intial setup is straightforward. I was originally a software developer, but experienced no problems on system setups which I have done that several times. But, of course it is complex in the way that you need to understand what you are doing.

What about the implementation team?

It is completely dependent on the system size, organization and branch. However, HP NonStop platforms can be used in smaller and bigger organizations.

What was our ROI?

It's dependant on the system size, organization and branch. If the operational support team can be minimalized, ROI may be high. But, for example, banks have procedures that require leveled support, and this increases the operational costs.

What other advice do I have?

HP NonStop hardware previously known as Tandem NonStop with the Guardian NonStop Operating System. Hardware and Operating System are being used together to provide "NonStop" operations with protection against single failure of a hardware or software component. On earlier systems, CPU power and system memory was paired on a single board, but in the newer now-a-days systems all can be configured within normal limits.

Essentialy it is a propriety solution, although also a Unix variant operating system is available that runs in parallel with Guardian. It is a nearly perfect product, although it also has some restrictions and short comings.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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