There was discussion this past week about the likelihood of NonStop users being able to use existing NS SQL in support of Big Data. The venue was a gathering of NonStop users and vendors of the mid-Atlantic user group that was well supported by HP. During an update by one of HP’s solutions architects who has been involved with NS SQL for a very long time, he suggested that much of what today’s Big Data frameworks aspired to, are already present within the NS SQL implementation. This follows similar arguments presented by other NonStop vendors, and there has been at least one feature published in The Connection that follows a similar theme – why not turn to NonStop systems to house Big Data databases? However, this is not a discussion I want to buy into for a couple of reasons. While it’s true that I am a strong supporter of NonStop systems in general, I don’t think any case can be developed that would encourage mainstream vendors to add support for their analytics tools to include NS SQL, just as I don’t see the system cost ever getting close to the price of commodity servers and disks. It’s just not a good use of the NonStop capabilities.
WebAction Brings Big Data to NonStop
According to recent exchanges with WebAction Cofounder, Sami Akbay, he also noted that, “the design center for transaction processing is all about short messages in, short messages out, and a very lightweight engagement with the database. What’s important here is to separate what can be done with a system, and what should be done with a system and when it comes to NonStop, it’s still all about transaction processing.” More to the point, Akbay then said, “When we developed our first release of WebAction we included support of NonStop because we believed NonStop systems could benefit from the analytics done on Big Data databases. Establish the relevant requirements in terms of what would interest the transaction application running on NonStop and WebAction would make sure any information satisfying the requirements would be fed back into NonStop. It’s pretty straightforward really, consumers want a richer online experience and it is becoming imperative that even the most basic transaction applications running on NonStop can benefit from what WebAction can provide. It’s as if they can leverage everything that’s happening around them with the touch of a finger.” Thinking about NonStop supporting Big Data may gain support in some circles but the reality is that there is a huge ecosystem growing out of Big Data and the vendors involved are nowhere near ready yet to include NonStop. Having one of the latest product offerings, WebAction, aggressively supporting NonStop transaction applications is big news and should be welcomed by all within the NonStop user base – after all, transactions not only have to be up and running 24 X 7 but they have to be providing something of value to their client constituency for NonStop to really be making a contribution to the business.