Stratus Rolling Out Dual-Core Fault-Tolerant Server
- By Stuart J. Johnston
- January 25, 2006
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
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
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.