Servers & Systems: The Right Compute

How hardware fault tolerance empowers real-world success

For verticals like financial services and telecommunications, downtime and outages are extremely costly. Learn how these industries can maintain continuous uptime with fault tolerance.

HPE hardware fault tolerance-blog.jpgIn today's always-on world, the applications, services, and data that we use have become absolutely critical for almost every aspect of both our everyday lives and the business we conduct. As downtime becomes increasingly unacceptable, technologies like hardware fault tolerance are more important than ever.

Yet few organizations are equipped to adequately prevent downtime. Research conducted by Vanson Bourne found that 82 percent of businesses surveyed had experienced downtime over the course of the previous three years, and that 88 percent believe their organization stands to improve when it comes to preventing downtime. For those that had experienced downtime, damaging consequences included an inability to deliver services to customers (45 percent), vulnerability to security threats (25 percent), and lost business (21 percent).

While every organization needs to protect the uptime of its mission-critical systems, there are some industries where the effects of downtime are especially serious. For verticals like telecommunications, healthcare, and financial services, downtime can disrupt customers' lives and potentially cause real harm. In these industries, fault tolerance reaches a new level of importance.

For businesses that cannot risk a moment of downtime, Hewlett Packard Enterprise has built servers that feature true fault tolerance. These servers, known as NonStop systems, prevent downtime with shared-nothing parallel processing, fault isolation, and workload takeover capabilities. Here's how these features and more are transforming some of the world's most high-maintenance verticals.

Keeping telecom always on

A number of organizations in these critical industries have been running on NonStop for years. Consider the case of Proximus, a leader in the Belgian telecom space. Proximus offers a variety of services, including fixed line, mobile, internet, and TV. To accurately bill for all of these services, it needed to create a single, consolidated billing design based on real-time call data records (CDRs). These are generated for all user activity, such as sending a text message, streaming a video, or calling a friend.

The challenge? Proximus generates about 600 million CDRs per month. This growth is only going to continue as more users leverage the services Proximus provides. The company needed a solution that would stay online at all times to track every single text message and Google query its users made.

To meet this need, Proximus deployed the latest HPE Integrity NonStop X server system. It enabled the business to remain constantly online so it could track customer usage in real time and deliver accurate bills. As an additional benefit, customer satisfaction increased because consumers can now consistently receive accurate account updates. Having eliminated performance, stability, and capacity concerns for its billing application, Proximus can now focus more on growing its business and improving its services.

Improving healthcare resiliency

In the healthcare field, providing resilient services, data security, and good user experiences is absolutely critical. However, healthcare organizations shoulder the burden of large amounts of data and stringent compliance requirements.

To overcome these challenges, healthcare leaders must look to solutions that not only provide high availability, but also offer the performance enhancements and business continuity capabilities modern healthcare environments need. This is why so many in the healthcare space rely on HPE NonStop systems for continuous availability. With its failover capabilities for business continuity, healthcare IT leaders can ensure that patient data is always available when caretakers need it.

By leveraging NonStop solutions, healthcare leaders can preserve 24/7 availability of critical patient information and effective business continuity between active mirrored sites. On top of all that, healthcare admins can standardize their systems with NonStop, thereby lowering costs with easier system management and better replication solutions.

Staying highly available in financial services and payments

Businesses in the financial services industry must remain up at all times so consumers can access their money and make the purchases they need. Consider Trust Networks, a company that provides banking ATM services in commercial facilities across Japan. With approximately 1,000 ATMs currently in operation, and more coming, it was absolutely critical that Trust Networks make sure its ATM relay server was functioning at peak performance and resiliency.

To do so, Trust Networks took advantage of the high levels of hardware fault tolerance made available by the HPE Integrity NonStop family of systems. This architecture ensures that transactions are performed quickly, and that both the hardware and software layers supporting them are truly fault tolerant. With this level of resilience in its ATMs, Trust Networks can provide its customers access to their funds at all times.  Another large Japanese bank relies on HPE NonStop with mission-critical relay services for its core ATM business. The bank maximized performance and scalability for critical transaction switching while achieving continuous availability without data loss. It also added enough processing capacity to meet an aggressive 10-year business growth projections.

NonStop is also the payments engine for many of the world’s leading retailers and point of sale (POS) operators. Case in point is one of the largest home improvements retailer in the United States. Faced with the challenges of peak sale performance issues, low capacity for growing transactions and strengthening security amongst growing cyber/banking frauds, the company decided to upgrade its payments infrastructure and move to the latest NonStop X systems. With 100% uptime for its critical application and improved performance, utilization and security, the retailer is now processing more than 1.5 billion customer transactions per year from its more than 2,200 stores and 300,000 associates.

As our digital world continues to evolve, we'll need systems that can support continuously growing needs for resiliency and performance. Increasingly, any downtime at all is becoming unacceptable. The more society and business rely on digital solutions, the more fault tolerant solutions like HPE NonStop will help providers differentiate themselves from the competition.

Bill Kleyman.jpgMeet Server Experts blogger Bill Kleyman, Executive Vice President of Digital Solutions, Switch.  Bill brings more than 15 years of experience to his role as EVP of Digital Solutions at Switch. There, he delivers innovative and emerging solutions to customers, helping them achieve business goals and remain competitive in the market. An active member in the technology industry, he was ranked #16 globally in the Onalytica study that reviewed the top 100 most influential individuals in the cloud landscape; and #4 in another Onalytica study that reviewed the industry’s top Data Security Experts. His work can be seen within thousands of articles, blogs, chapters in various books, white papers, journals, and more. 

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