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HPE NonStop OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

HPE NonStop is the #10 ranked solution in our list of top Blade Servers. It is most often compared to HPE Superdome X: HPE NonStop vs HPE Superdome X

What is HPE NonStop?
When availability matters, the new HPE Integrity NonStop X enables you to stay ahead of your competition by mitigating the risk of downtime and effortlessly meeting your business processing, OLTP, and database requirements all with an industry-standard x86 architecture. HPE brings you an unparalleled portfolio of HPE Integrity NonStop systems the NonStop i family and the NonStop X family. These systems deliver the highest level of availability for the most-demanding, high-value workloads and customer-facing applications.

HPE NonStop is also known as HP NonStop.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Blade Servers Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

HPE NonStop Customers
Bankart, Capital Securities Corporation
HPE NonStop Video

Archived HPE NonStop Reviews (more than two years old)

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ITCS user
Senior Technical Lead at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
MSP
Provides system availability and fault-tolerance. I would like see the ability to port other applications in a plug-and-play manner.

What is most valuable?

  • Fault-Tolerance
  • Availability
  • Performance

How has it helped my organization?

It helps us to keep the business running 24/7. Our client is a bank and we need to run the show continuously. Availability is the key factor along with fault-tolerance. The system/application should be fault proof to withstand software/hardware failures and run 24/7 without downtime. Along with this performance, the current market situation demands that customers are not kept waiting.

These factors are pretty important for me while making a decision or designing the architecture.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better scalability. I would like see them make it easier to port other applications in a plug-and-play manner.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for eleven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no stability issues. These are the most stable servers in the fault-tolerance space.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were some scalability issues. When we decided to migrate an application or port application, the limitations of these servers didn't help us.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support a rating of 8/10.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

HPE NonStop is expensive now. However, with a new solution of HPE NonStop on Xeon Processors and vNonStop, I am sure that the cost will come down drastically.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Implementation Partner, Support
it_user570300
NonStop System Engineer & Administrator at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Availability is important since we are a 24/7 shop.

What is most valuable?

Availability (AL4) is key. We are a 24/7 shop and we have customers all over the world who require 24/7 transaction access. They need to pay, process, or make transactions for whatever service they need. The HPE NonStop solution is rated with the highest level of availability in the industry.

How has it helped my organization?

We are a 24/7 shop, so availability is very important.

What needs improvement?

The products/systems are the best of the breed. But this is diminished by the software vendors who seem to make the solution very expensive.

Maybe HPE should deal with all the software vendors directly and negotiate more customer friendly pricing.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for 17 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did not encounter any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not encounter any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support a rating of 10/10.

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

We did not use a different solution previous to this one.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward and HPE support was great. The Global Customer Support Center (GCSC) and the technical support database are well updated.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The NonStop system is well priced, but the software that runs on it is quite pricey. Maybe HPE should deal with all the software vendors directly and negotiate more customer friendly pricing. Depending upon where you are in the world and what currency you use, this can really become an issue.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Nothing else compares to this solution. We never evaluated anything else.

What other advice do I have?

If you have a 24/7 shop and availability is what you are looking for, then buy HPE NonStop.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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ITCS user
HP NonStop Specialist at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Scalability is important because when the system load increases we want to be able to add power without downtime.

What is most valuable?

  • Reliability which is important because we’re a bank and we want 100% uptime. So we need a system that doesn’t fail.
  • Scalability is important because when the system load increases we want to be able to add power without downtime.

How has it helped my organization?

I work for a bank, and payment systems almost always run on HPE NonStop systems. So the organization doesn’t function without it.

What needs improvement?

Currently the NonStop platform doesn’t support virtualization of servers or CPU’s. Only storage. It would be nice to have virtual cpus or servers for use in test environments for example.


For how long have I used the solution?

I work for companies that have always been using HPE NonStop systems.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Good scalability is one of the main features of the NonStop systems.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is A++. If there is a problem, HPE will fix it.

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

I am not aware of any previous solutions.

How was the initial setup?

Setup is complex, as payment systems are never simple.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

NonStop systems are expensive so make sure you really need them.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There are no other options available for us.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior HP Nonstop System Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Fault tolerance is the heart of the product, which I scale by turning on CPU cores.

What is most valuable?

Fault tolerance is the heart of what a NonStop is. The high availability of NonStop systems comes from close cooperation between the hardware and software. Every component in an HPE NonStop server is duplicated. If one component fails, there is instantaneous failover to a backup. This includes not only hardware components, such as processors, memory, I/O channels, and power supplies; but also all software components, such as system and application processes. As a consequence, a NonStop server is self-healing in the presence of any single fault and many multiple faults. If a component fails, no one notices except for the IT staff that must correct the fault.

Scalability is important to me. I might need a performance boost at certain times of the year, especially around the Christmas period. In a company I previously worked for, we payed particular attention to the number of POS and ATM transactions around the Christmas period because this was known to be the busiest period of the year. It would have been nice not to have to worry about the transaction rate and CPU/DISK performance, but to simply turn on a CPU core for that particular time of year. Since upgrading the hardware, this worry is a thing of the past.

Security is always important, and the NonStop is no different. Many security layers make it very difficult for hackers to access information you don’t own or don’t need to see, even if you know what you are doing.

How has it helped my organization?

There is never any downtime due to the way the hardware and software interact. They are both fault tolerant and, therefore, give a robust service.

What needs improvement?

This is very hard to say. How do you improve on perfection?

If pushed, then the only thing I can think of would be utilities provided by the vendor. Nearly all of the utilities are provided by third-party partners. As such, they are pretty expensive. There are also quite a few overlapping features between the products, which makes it quite difficult to select one over the other.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using HPE NonStop in its various levels since 1984.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have never encountered any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have never encountered any issues with scalability. If you need to scale up, you simply turn on one of the cores.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good. The first-line support people are very very experienced and knowledgeable.

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

I have never used a different solution. However, I know of other companies that have moved away from NonStop technology as a cost saving exercise – only to encounter many issues including large amounts of downtime. Downtime in a financial, energy or telecom business is very expensive both in customer and financial terms. It should be avoided at all costs. Some have even moved back to the NonStop platform.

How was the initial setup?

The initial installation and setup is pretty straightforward, but that would depend on your level of expertise. For people that do not know the platform, it could be quite challenging; but there are third-party companies out there that specialize in NonStop.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing and licensing costs used to be quite expensive. However the total cost of ownership for NonStop is now lower than other platforms. This assumes that you are comparing platforms with the same txn rates, capacity and performance.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have never looked at other options. HPE NonStop is the only real mission critical, fault tolerant option.

What other advice do I have?

Implement it. You will never regret it. However, if you are not looking for mission critical, fault tolerant machines; and you don’t care about your downtime, or the hidden expense that you might incur, then maybe it’s not for you.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user364560
Enterprise Architect at Equens SE, European payment processor
Consultant
They're innovative, proprietary servers with a strategic position in the marketplace. We're still going to phase them out.

What is most valuable?

They've been very reliable since we started using them in 1978, but we're going to replace them in a few years.

How has it helped my organization?

They're innovative, proprietary servers with a strategic position in the marketplace. We're still going to phase them out.

What needs improvement?

We have to replace the software because the software is key. In three or four years, we'll completely phase them out. Also, there are no knowledgeable people for this product. They're all in their 50's as no young people are interested in this technology.

I think HP NonStop is a very valuable platform, especially regarding HA of course, but its largest disadvantage is that it's a proprietary platform. That's one if the reasons that we're going to phase it out in due time. I can imagine that companies are and will be using the platform, and we'll use it for many more years as it's certainly a strategic platform for HPE, but on the other hand, I cannot imagine that any company will choose it as a new platform.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We've never had issues with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have never had any issues with the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've always been able to scale it sufficiently.

How are customer service and technical support?

We're satisfied with the technical support of HP.

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

We've used it for so long that I don't think we've used another solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was so long ago that I don't know whether it was straightforward or complex.

What other advice do I have?

I would never advise someone to buy or to implement the new NonStop because it's hard to find skilled people.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user379005
Payments Systems lead engineer (remote) at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Valuable features include fault-tolerant transaction processing and reliability.

What is most valuable?

  • Rock solid reliablity
  • 99.9% uptime
  • Fault-tolerant transaction processing

How has it helped my organization?

Retail payments must be reliable with high uptime.

What needs improvement?

NonStop (formerly known as Tandem) in the Guardian OS could use another, friendlier macro language. The one provided (TACL) is a bit cumbersome - and there are not practical alternatives available.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for 12 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There was no issues with the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is why stock markets use it for transaction processing. Stability is what NonStop Tandem is famous for.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You can't exceed the scalability available.

How are customer service and technical support?

Excellent. Tech support is always, repeat always, a seasoned expert engineer.

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

I have worked on NonStop my entire career.

How was the initial setup?

Relatively challenging, for example it was difficult to configure the communications.

What about the implementation team?

We used a vendor team.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you have a high transaction volumes, it can be justified. If your transaction volumes are ordinary, this may be way too much machine for your needs. Think five million retail transactions monthly, as an example.

What other advice do I have?

If you are contemplating a fault-tolerant, high uptime transaction processing machine with above normal transactions volumes - to act as a transaction server with infrequent changes to code - and you simply must have bulletproof performance - this might be the ticket. And if it is, spend a little time checking into the flavors: original Guardian OS, or the Unix OSS. Primarily languages used are TAL, C, and, yes, Cobol.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user368025
Global Infrastructure Designer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
The most valuable features for us are the security, availability, and hardware support.

Valuable Features

The most valuable features for us are the security, availability, and hardware support.

Improvements to My Organization

Because we're able to get immediate support, this prevents downtime and directly impacts cost savings.

Room for Improvement

The hardware fails often, and I feel that HP really needs to pay more attention to this issue. We've talked to them about it.

Use of Solution

We've been using it since 2000.

Deployment Issues

We've had no deployment problems.

Stability Issues

It's quite a stable solution.

Scalability Issues

It scales to our needs.

Customer Service and Technical Support

The level of technical support depends on how helpful the first level is. Sometimes they understand our problems pretty well and escalate immediately…

Valuable Features

The most valuable features for us are the security, availability, and hardware support.

Improvements to My Organization

Because we're able to get immediate support, this prevents downtime and directly impacts cost savings.

Room for Improvement

The hardware fails often, and I feel that HP really needs to pay more attention to this issue. We've talked to them about it.

Use of Solution

We've been using it since 2000.

Deployment Issues

We've had no deployment problems.

Stability Issues

It's quite a stable solution.

Scalability Issues

It scales to our needs.

Customer Service and Technical Support

The level of technical support depends on how helpful the first level is. Sometimes they understand our problems pretty well and escalate immediately when necessary. Other times they really don't know how critical something is so they ask a lot of questions and we have to send in log files, taking much more time than I think is necessary.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user334938
CIO/CTO at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
It's very adaptable to modern systems with message-based/queue-based architecture, although it could use more and continued modernization.

What is most valuable?

Fault tolerance  99.9999999% up-time

How has it helped my organization?

Very adaptable to modern systems with message-based/queue-based architecture.

What needs improvement?

More and continued modernization.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for over 30 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is the standard for reliability and fault-resilience.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is the standard for scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

The NonStop Support Center is very good, with an occasional bump in the road.

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

IBM mainframes Bull mainframes  Unisys mainframes …

What is most valuable?

  • Fault tolerance 
  • 99.9999999% up-time

How has it helped my organization?

Very adaptable to modern systems with message-based/queue-based architecture.

What needs improvement?

More and continued modernization.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for over 30 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is the standard for reliability and fault-resilience.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is the standard for scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

The NonStop Support Center is very good, with an occasional bump in the road.

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

  • IBM mainframes
  • Bull mainframes 
  • Unisys mainframes

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward, with detailed installation manuals.

What about the implementation team?

It was done in-house. I would advise you  to have two or three dry runs at implementation, documenting everything.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I would recommend you to perform very firm price negotiations. Also, get the best price point and buy-in from C-level execs ASAP.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user317919
HP NonStop Developer/Analyst at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
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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