Stratus to offer quad core fault tolerant Xeon servers

The prospect of 99.999 per cent server availability is normally the dream of system administrators - but it's the promise of Stratus' range of fault tolerant servers, the company claims.

Based on the performance of previous server products, it is a promise that's now been carried over to the latest member of its server family: the quad core-based ftServer 6200, unveiled at its Continuous Availability Summit in Orlando.

Using Intel's quad core Xeon processor, the ftServer 6200 builds on Stratus' existing server architecture. Two processor modules handle the same instructions at the same time, so if there's a hardware failure on one system, the other will carry on operating. Processor modules can be replaced on the fly, and self-monitoring tools report on possible fault conditions, allowing engineers to replace hardware before it fails. Stratus' Active Upgrade tools also handle one perennial problem for Windows administrators - allowing administrators to apply hotfixes without rebooting the system.

The ftServer 6200 will ship in June, initially with Windows Server 2003 support. Red Hat Linux will follow later in the year. Alan Jennings, senior vice president of products and solutions at Stratus said the company is expecting businesses to use its new servers for transaction processing, databases and virtualisation. With support for up to 24GB of RAM and RAID subsystems, the ftServer 6200 will also work with third-party storage systems, including EMC and HP systems.

The ftServer 6200 isn't Stratus' only move into the quad core world, as it used the Orlando event to unveil its V series server roadmap. Dual processor systems will be joined by twin dual core and twin quad core servers - along with lower end systems intended for development use. Its proprietary operating system VOS will also move on with newer hardware, adding Java support.