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Stratus Refreshes Fault-Tolerant Server Product Line

Stratus Technologies this week refreshed the mid-level and high-end versions of its fault-tolerant Windows-based servers. The company also introduced support for Windows Server 2003.

Stratus positions its ftServers as competitive with Windows-based clustered configurations on price but with a better reliability record. The Stratus systems use at least two physical processors and memory cards for every logical processor and memory card in a system. The redundancy means that a hardware failure does not interrupt the operation of a mission-critical application.

Stratus has gained the most traction so far in vertical industries with stringent high-availability requirements such as public safety, banking, enterprise telephony and manufacturing.

The improvements in Stratus' mid-level and high-end server lines follow similar changes in its entry-level 3300 model earlier this year. The improvements consist primarily of increased modularization of system components and more dense servers.

The new ftServer 5600 replaces the ftServer 5240, and comes in both one-way SMP and two-way SMP (two or four physical processors). In addition to modularization and densification, the ftServer 5600 also represents a price drop from the older system. Stratus officials say a typical configuration of the 5600 now costs around $30,000-$35,000, where a similarly configured ftServer 5240 cost more than $60,000.

The top-of-the-line ftServer 6600 replaces the ftServer 6500, and scales up to four-way SMP. Because the 6600 can be purchased with triple-modular-redundancy, a system that behaves like a four-way SMP system would actually carry 12 physical processors. Most are ordered with dual modular redundancy, meaning they carry eight physical processors. The ftServer 6600 will be available with either 2.0-GHz or 2.8-GHz Xeon MP chips.

The company, which began its efforts to introduce fault-tolerant computing to Windows users with Windows 2000 Advanced Server, is now offering factory-configured systems with Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition. It is a significant milestone because Stratus worked with Microsoft to add fault-tolerance improvements into the Windows Server 2003 code.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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