What comes after development? Simplified deployment for HPE NonStop applications
Continuing the modern home analogy
What characterizes a home as modern was the feature of our previous post. Among the many items that are readily associated with modern homes are not just their open floor plans and their modern hardware but clear sight lines. The suggestion here is that homeowners today are looking for the ability to participate in all activities in the home, no matter where they stand. Homeowners want to feel connected and connection can only come through visibility.
The same could be said for modern IT development.
In our first post on the subject, HPE Mission Critical Systems Marketing Manager Vikas Kapoor drew the comparison between homeowners and what defines modernization of the development environment: “In many ways, IT development wants to leverage open technologies as much as possible even as they want connectivity to every corner of the enterprise along with the ease of movement that this entails, within the enterprise and beyond.”
Comparing today’s IT deployments with how modern homes function can only go so far and yet the imagery is hard to ignore.
Software developers today not only value development environments that are open with a vast array of functionality readily accessible and connected, but they also want to see how their application is deployed.
In many cases they want to see how the application adds value to an enterprise. A modern home might indeed be a family’s castle but for IT professionals, their IT systems are a fortress for their most value currency — data. Here is where every enterprise application ultimately ends up and where competition is defeated, authorized users are welcomed, and insights are gained and acted upon.
Modernizing application deployment on HPE NonStop
In deploying new applications it’s of particular importance that nothing should ever compromise the key NonStop attributes of availability, scalability and data integrity as oftentimes NonStop is the direct external interface. It is where touch points between the enterprise and users occur and where fresh data is created. NonStop is at the center of what matters most: data.
While data may be likened to gold, in reality it’s more like air. Without it, an enterprise cannot breathe. As fresh as data created on NonStop might be, without connections and ways to move data, its value diminishes rapidly with time.
Deployment? Modern aspects and requirements of applications to be deployed? Again, we can ask, what is modernization now and into the future?
HPE Master Technologist Justin Simonds says, “Modernization, when we used to speak about it, was platform based — modernize the interface (no SCOBOL), modernize the language to C or Java (no TAL/COBOL) and finally modernize the database. This ‘next generation’ of modernization is about the system fitting into the new cloud environment. This leads into DevOps, Git, Jenkins, etc. So, modernization at the company level rather than the platform level and not just a modern application, has more to do with fitting easily into the modern environment.”
Recognition of languages, databases, and the increased presence of cloud services is all part of the modernization equation that the NonStop community recognizes all too well. But modernization is more than just development. It’s just as essential to recognize the importance of deploying those applications in a standard environment with easy-to-use tools and methods.
IT professionals today know what they need to successfully develop an application. But when it comes time to deployment, the frameworks, visualization, and the way data is organized and then moved are often predetermined by enterprise IT.
There are well-defined expectations and for software developers to view any platform as being modern, conformity is unequivocal. The platform has to support those capabilities the enterprise has already deemed as being modern. For instance, when it comes to the world of hybrid IT, the need for consistency and conformity has never been greater. After all, the expectation is to use the tools you have and to capitalize on the investments already made.
“Developers no longer need to be concerned over the perceived intricacies of programming to a fault tolerant paradigm but rather all they need to be concerned about is their own programming efforts. Everything else will be looked after on their behalf,” says Kapoor. For instance, “Together, Pathsocket and NSJI libraries provided by the NonStop team help create TS/MP Serverclass applications without needing to know the specific APIs that make such applications special – the former for C/C++ and the latter for building Java based applications.”
NonStop with Java: Tools and Services to make deployment easy
When it comes to the makeup of a modern IT data center, NonStop professionals are fully aware of hybrid IT and the opportunities this provides. NonStop has become an active participant, either as a traditional server or virtually present in private clouds.
When it comes to the topic of Java and the many Java-centric services NonStop supports, this too is being seen as further evidence of the investment HPE is making in NonStop software. For the NonStop community this investment by HPE has been critical to NonStop media messages of modernization as Java is one of the preferred languages recognized as being modern. Java ensures a level of portability and in so supporting Java, NonStop can become host to many emerging solutions.
From humble beginnings from almost two decades past, today NonStop support for Java has reached a level where it is no longer just a case of porting an application to NonStop but having the tools to readily inherit NonStop fundamentals without having to acquire a deep understanding of the software modules unique to NonStop.
With what the Java ecosystem on NonStop (NSJ and its friends) now supports, there is no need for specialized NonStop skills to tackle the porting and then deployment of any Java-based mission critical applications. And to develop something from scratch, there are additional tools available as well. Regardless of whether porting or developing, deployment is made easier with the modern Java-based tools and supporting services available today on NonStop. When there is a commitment to DevOps, then these NonStop developers can be assured that the tools that they are familiar with are supported on NonStop.
What’s new with Java on NonStop
What is new with Java when it comes to deployment? How well does NonStop support the runtime environment Java applications require? With the availability of NSJ11 Update 2, the Java Virtual Machine and Java Runtime Environment offered on the HPE NonStop are now based on the OpenJDK 11 community version.
Any Java application that conforms to the Java standards can readily be deployed on the NSJ. This is an important milestone for NonStop as this brings an enterprise-class environment, fully leveraging the strength of a strong worldwide community, for server-side Java applications to NonStop. Just as important when it comes time to deploy a Java application that has been ported to suit the NonStop operating system and complies with the headless Java APIs defined in the standards. All this has been pursued to ensure the goal of making NonStop more open and modern can be readily recognized by all application developers.
HPE NonStop API Gateway and other connection enablers
Whether your application needs support for Enterprise Java Beans (EJB), a Tomcat compatible container, the latest HTTP server offering, or simply a gateway to other platforms, no anticipated application should stall at the time of deployment from anxieties over a lack of supporting infrastructure.
Deploying an application where there is no option to connect to other processes and databases would limit the usefulness of that application. The HPE NonStop API Gateway is provided to address these enterprise requirements. In addition to its functionality to connect NonStop to other platforms, this product participates in authentication and authorization, transforms data structures, does dynamic routing enabling canary releases of applications and other functionalities.
Looking further ahead, there are plans in place where NonStop API Gateway will offer service orchestration/aggregation, additional connectivity protocols, and more. For example, implementation of open interfaces where users can plug in their own custom subroutines and error codes is in an advanced stage of development.
However, it is the sustained interest in the provision of a REST/HTTP(S) interface carrying JSON formatted data payload and where it includes a built-in web server that is indicative of yet more functionality to come. Even as it already is capable of distributing/routing incoming requests to multiple services inside NonStop, the API Gateway also offers proxy functionality to send requests out of NonStop to remote servers.
Recently, HPE announced support for connectivity to the Apache Kafka messaging bus, too. The NonStop vendor community has already stepped into the Kafka arena with product offerings just as they offer products to support REST / HTTP(s). Major functionality of the API Gateway itself has been implemented using Apache Camel with the intent to provide an open-source framework that enables integration of NonStop with various other systems using several Enterprise Integration Patterns.
Develop and deploy with the mission critical leader
A modern home may indeed be defined as being open, with sight lines that lead to greater connectivity with the family even as they look for greater participation in all that happens around them. Much the same can be said about the modernization of IT.
Whether you look for your favorite development tools or simply want to ensure the infrastructure you need for deployment is present on NonStop rest assured the investments that HPE continues to make in NonStop means that today, they are all there for your benefit. Whether you develop in C/C++, Python or Java, what you need has been provided and in so doing, NonStop continues to be a leader in all things mission critical. The importance of NonStop? It is always there! The importance of data? It is the air that we breathe!
To learn more, visit www.hpe.com/info/nonstop