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Stratus Rolling Out Dual-Core Fault-Tolerant Server

Stratus Technologies is poised to ship its first fault-tolerant server systems built on dual-core CPUs.

The new ftServer W Series 5700, which runs Windows Server 2003, will be available by the end of the month, the Maynard, Mass.-based company said this week. Each system consists of a pair of two-way symmetrical multiprocessing (SMP) servers tied together in a fault-tolerant, “lockstep” configuration.

Since each processor is dual-core, this provides a total of four CPUs, although the pairs are locked together so that they are both performing the same operations simultaneously. Each CPU is a 2.8Ghz dual-core Intel Xeon processor. In total, say Stratus execs, that adds up to “eight processing cores.”

Because of the fault-tolerant configuration, that means the actual throughput is that of two dual-core CPUs. However, the payback is more than “five nines,” or 99.999 percent, of uptime, the company claims. “I challenge you to find another [server maker] anywhere that claims five nines with plain old Windows,” says Denny Lane, Stratus director of product management.

The company bases its claims on its installed base of customers who have the Stratus “phone home” technology enabled. Because Stratus is constantly gathering live performance data from as many as 7,000 systems in the field, the company is confident it can live up to its uptime claims.

Due to its speed and multiple cores, the 5700 provides the most power of any of the company’s mid-range server systems, Lane adds. The servers fit in a four-unit rack space and can be configured with up to 16GB of memory and six internal drives. Each core has 2MB of Level 2 cache, and the processors sport an 800Mhz frontside bus. The W Series 5700 runs Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition.

Stratus is pitching the systems as suitable for fault-tolerant computing applications in manufacturing, telecommunications, financial services and public safety.

Pricing for the Stratus W Series 5700 starts in the range of $45,000, Lane says.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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