by CIO Staff

Stratus Unveils Non-Stop Xeon Servers

Dec 12, 20064 mins

Stratus Technologies has announced three new ftServer V Series servers running its proprietary VOS operating system. Stratus specializes in fault-tolerant systems, and until its development of Windows-based products in 2004, they all ran VOS.

The company said the new V Series 250, 300 and 500 servers boost the processing performance of previous-generation products by up to 60 percent. Disk I/O performance is up to twice as quick, depending on the model and workload. Stratus claimed that, like all its servers, the new V Series line will deliver better than 99.99 percent uptime availability.

The three-strong range makes use of Intel’s new Xeon processors. The V250 is a one-way 3.2GHz system with 1MB of L2 cache and up to 8GB of RAM, while the V300 is two-way with up to 16GB of RAM, and the top-end V500 uses two dual-core processors with 2MB L2 cache and 16GB of RAM. All have RAID5+1 configuration as standard, up to 146GB of SAS-attached storage from 12 spindles, two Gigabit Ethernet ports and six PCI-X slots, and all major components are hot-swappable, including CPU and I/O modules.

The company’s systems work by duplicating every component with the aim of removing downtime. Its lockstep technology means that hardware components process the same instructions at the same time. In the event of a component malfunction, the partner component acts as an active spare that continues normal operation.

The line is built upon the same basic hardware platform as Stratus’ third-generation ftServer lines for Windows and Linux operating systems, and ftServer T Series servers for the telecommunications market. The series will also support new Stratus storage options with redundant logic, cooling and hot-swappable power supplies consistent with fault-tolerant data processing, said the company.

Stratus’ servers are aimed at applications including securities and commodities trading, electronic payment processing, banking systems, telecommunications and manufacturing. And according to the company, its customers tend to be loyal, which is why it continues to produce VOS-based products. Those who bought V Series servers since the line was first announced in August 2004 have, on average, been users for 13 years, while one value-added reseller has logged 23 out of Stratus’s 26 years in business.

Stratus also recently signed a deal with open-source virtualization developer XenSource that will allow Stratus to use Xen virtualization technology in its products and enhance it for Stratus’ purposes.

Prior to launching the first V Series, Stratus had provided VOS users with a wide array of open-source tools, features and technologies to enhance application functionality and extend the ability to integrate with other computing environments and platforms. Known as the OpenVOS initiative, the program made available to VOS system users, developers and administrators such technologies as GNU C++, Apache Web Server, STCP, SAMBA, RADIUS, POSIX and IPsec, among others.

The Philadelphia stock exchange (PSE) was among the first to deploy the V Series line in 2004 for supporting its new options electronic trading system, according to Stratus. PSE company EVP and CIO Bill Morgan said: “The options industry was in the process of a major shift to electronic trading, and we had to redesign both our business model and the technology supporting it in order to effectively compete in this new environment. We relied on Stratus and its new V Series line to supply us with a system architecture that offered stability through its fault-tolerant design, speed and capacity, as well as flexibility to support our ongoing development efforts to add new competitive applications in the future.”

“The exceptional response to the V Series line from our installed base is really a testament to the value our customers place in their VOS applications, which typically drive huge amounts of business revenue,” said Stratus senior VP Greg Enriquez. “However, regardless of the value, they also need room to grow, more power, more storage, and ever-increasing processing capacity to keep these applications viable. That’s what our customers expect to receive when they buy Stratus, and that’s what we’re committed to delivering for as long as they need it.”

-Manek Dubash, (London)

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