Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, and Oracle said today that they would be jointly investing in a project to develop super high-availability servers and network products over the next three years.
The "5 nines: 5 minutes" program is a framework for developing networked server configurations that offer 99.999 per cent availability on HP's Unix server platform.
"We are setting the framework for a lot of aggressive announcements as a result of this investment," said Bill Russell, VP of the enterprise systems group at Hewlett-Packard.
According to the partnered companies, this level of availability means a total downtime of only 5 minutes per year. Currently HP sells servers on the basis of 99.95 per cent uptime, which the company said resulted in an average four and a half-hours downtime per year.
Russell said significant resources were being contributed by the partners to pay for joint research and development, marketing, and to offer combined service and support packages once the new high-availability guarantees were put in place.
No time frame was given for products coming to market, other than that the 99.999 per cent guarantee would not be in place until after 2000.
Central to the level of availability guaranteed by the companies is a new set of high-end Unix servers due out in 1999 and based around Intel's Merced 64-bit processor. All hardware components would be made hot-swappable for replacement while applications continue to run.
According to Russell these were totally new models designed around the premise of higher availability and a substantial increase in power. Money would be returned from service payments if the high-availability configurations failed to meet the partnership's guarantees, he promised.
Oracle's contribution was to focus on integrating its parallel server functionality of its Oracle8 database with Hewlett-Packard's MC/Serviceguard server clustering and monitoring technology.
A Cisco spokesperson said her company would expand the availability guarantee by developing network configurations that were more resilient and more network tools for helping pro-active prevention of downtime.
Some parts of Atacama have not received rainfall for 500 years - but a sudden deluge of water upset the Desert's delicate biological balance
Spitzer Space Telescope could not spot Oumuamua, suggesting that it is actually pretty small
Greenland crater one of the 25 largest impact craters on Earth
This long-sought progenitor star was identified in an image captured by Hubble in 2007