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M2M NonStop talking to machines

M2M NonStop talking to machines?

 

If you think about it, NonStop has always been doing machine-to-machine communication (M2M) and is probably talking more to machines (ATM's, POS terminals, telco switches ...) than to humans using their PC / notebook / tablet / smartphone to access eg. a NonStop-based reservation system.

 

M2M is one of the buzzwords becoming more popular now, also in context with the “Internet of Things” (IoT) which is widely believed to be the next big trend following cloud computing. Journalists often refer to that famous refrigerator knowing when to order new food, but there is much more to come – not only smart meters but also many millions of sensors and devices that can be read/controlled via the Internet. For instance, during a load peak it does not hurt to switch off deep freezers for a while and if you can’t well that’s not a crisis. But it is very, very important to switch them on again and not doing it would be serious to the family (city) with a freezer full of spoiled food. So M2M, in some cases, does need availability and reliability.  And its needed on a very large scale, for potentially millions of devices.

 

NonStop is often seen as a niche product, mainly to be used in the area of card-based payments and for controlling telco switches. But NonStop can do much more especially in these new and exciting growth areas requiring ultimate availability.

 

M2M comes with a number of special requirements that do lead toward the features of a NonStop - so it opens up another area where NonStop could gain market dominance, like it did in the past in the areas of card-based payments and HLR. The only difference - the market potential in M2M is much bigger.  In EMEA, the IT spending in manufacturing is more than the IT spending in banking and telco combined – and further rising, also due to the “Industry 4.0” initiative driven in Germany (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industry_4.0 ). A big portion of that business is based on M2M …

 

But why is NonStop such a good fit for M2M?

 

Because machines are fundamentally different than humans. Unlike people, machines are not patient, have no sense for improvisation and are not looking for workarounds (no wait, maybe they are like humans...). Even small functional deviations or delays will cause costly downtime or even worse, can cause severe damages and hazards. So it is extremely important to always deliver very predictable results and stable performance. And “just rebooting the server” isn’t a very good idea in that environment.

 

Industrial automation experts have always been looking for utmost reliability and now - after Stuxnet - have become highly aware of the need for iron-clad IT security. So, NonStop - being failsafe, delivering extreme data integrity and not being susceptible to the many viruses, worms and malware stalking around the Internet - serves M2M very well. I’m not convinced having our critical infrastructure (like power grids, etc.) controlled by commodity-based systems is such a good posture in our cyberwar era.

 

And NonStop has some proof points in M2M. For instance in Germany, there are a number of NonStop customers running industrial IT applications involving M2M functionality and have been for many years. Among those are some of Germany’s premium car manufacturers, companies producing steel or aluminum, as well as producers of machinery, farm equipment and household appliances just to mention a few.

 

With the help of NonStop EMEA, the German NonStop team has raised an initiative to improve NonStop awareness in Industrial IT - not only among potential customers but also with opinion leaders and ISV partners as well as within the “greater HP”. As an example, NonStop has been positioned as a key enabler for industrial cloud computing via the “Virtual Fort Knox” research project driven jointly by HP and the prestigious Fraunhofer Institute for production technology and automation.

 

If you were able to visit the Hannover Fair last month (world’s largest fair for industrial production), you would have seen the HP NonStop booth with a live NonStop BladeSystem and would have discovered more about NonStop in M2M and Industrial IT.

 

I think this is an exciting new area for NonStop. Obviously not all sensor traffic needs to go through NonStop but there is a critical subset that should. In the ‘connected cars’ area the oil life left in the car can be handled by ‘cloud’ commodity servers (Linux, Windows) but if the air bags deploy I want a NonStop alerting first responders with the critical location information and perhaps my vital signs. The vital signs gets into another important area in Health and Life Sciences: remote patient monitoring. Some hospitals are even piloting remote intensive care units. If I’m in intensive care at home, I’d rest easier knowing my vital signs are being collected and sent through a NonStop. How about you?

 

Comments
jjsimonds | ‎05-15-2014 12:46 AM

So if you haven’t already, be sure to registerfor HP Discover Las Vegas 2014 today and take advantage of great hands-on experience with products and solutions delivered by the mission critical team. In addition, converse face-to-face with the experts that built the systems and participate in sessions and demos that cover the entire mission critical portfolio, including: HP Integrity servers, HP-UX, OpenVMS, HP NonStop, HP Project Odyssey and Mission Critical x86.

 

Want to see what else is available to you? Preview the HP Discover Session Catalog today.

 

We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!

 

Justin

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About the Author
I have worked with NonStop systems since 1982. I am a Master Technologist for HP and am part of the IT SWAT organization, the Cloud SWAT an...
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