Stratus unveils fault-tolerant Win 2k servers

CHICAGO — Stratus Computer Inc. today announced a new line of fault-tolerant Windows 2000 servers.

The new Stratus ftServer, unveiled at the Windows World/Comdex Conference and Exposition being held here, promises more than 99.999% availability — less than five minutes of hardware downtime annually — at prices that start at just over $23,000, said Steve Kiely, CEO of the Maynard, Mass.-based company.

That's at least 80% less than the previous price for Stratus' entry-level, Unix-based fault-tolerant computers, Kiely added.

Stratus is able to offer the new systems at these prices because they are based on commodity technologies such as Intel Corp. hardware, Kiely said. In addition, the servers also have fewer components.

Stratus' fault-tolerant Unix server configurations typically require four processors within each system, with each processor within the server monitoring and backing up the others.

The new configurations require just two processors to achieve the same level of availability, Kiely said.

The systems are being targeted at users who need near-continuous availability for running applications such as e-commerce and enterprise resource planning applications.

The multiprocessor servers will run the Windows 2000 operating system, supporting Server, Advanced Server and the Datacenter Server version of the software. In addition, each fault-tolerant server configuration will ship with a suite of Stratus high-availability features and recovery tools. For example, one piece of technology isolates device drivers from the rest of the system and prevents device drivers from writing data outside their assigned memory space in case of a problem.

The new servers also offer system and application monitoring features such as event filtering and logging, and application restart and termination analysis. A Resource Inventory Manager function automatically determines the revision levels of software and hardware components to prevent revision conflicts.

Stratus Service Network (SSN), a secure IP-based remote network, will link customer sites with Stratus support centers worldwide. The network will allow Stratus staff to remotely manage and support customer sites in case of problems. The SSN features remote server management tools including enhanced drivers, remote reset, a graphical remote console and alerting capabilities.

Copyright © 2000 IDG Communications, Inc.

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