Fault-tolerant server vendor Stratus Technologies has introduced a new generation of servers based on Intel's Nehalem processors, making greater processing power available for customers requiring continuous availability of mission-critical applications.
Shipping to customers from mid-September, the new ftServer line-up comprises the entry-level 2600, the mid-range 4500 and the high-end 6300, all running Intel's Nehalem-based Xeon 5500 series processors.
Stratus claims that the new systems are the first with a fault-tolerant implementation of Intel's Nehalem architecture, including the QuickPath interconnect linking the processors and memory.
Availability of almost six nines uptime (99.9999 per cent) is possible with the new systems, according to Stratus.
The company's fault-tolerant architecture replicates all the major subsystems, so each ftServer looks like two separate servers in a single chassis. The two units operate in lock-step with each other, and the contents of memory and the disks in each 'slice' are an exact mirror image of the other, so if one should fail the system as a whole continues operating normally.
Andy Bailey, availability consultant at Stratus, said that the latest models have a new 4U-high chassis with a more modular design, enabling slices to be accessed more easily for maintenance or replacement.
The new models also support up to 96GB of memory, and each slice can have up to eight 2.5in Serial Attached SCSI hard drives.
Each slice in the 2600 models is a single-socket design with a 2GHz Xeon E5504 chip, while the 4500 models are single- or dual-socket. The 6300 models are dual-socket and fit the 2.93GHz Xeon X5570.
Supported operating systems include Windows Server 2003 and 2008, with support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and VMware's vSphere coming later this year.
Intel's multi-core Nehalem processors, launched earlier this year, are based on a new architecture that gives a significant increase in performance while cutting back on power consumption.
Bailey suggested that the chief market for the new ftServers is likely to be the financial services industry, but that many other sectors needing 24 x 7 operations are already using Stratus equipment, such as the emergency services and London Transport's Congestion Charge system.
The company is also targeting organisations operating Oracle Real Application Cluster installations, and said that its fault-tolerant architecture eliminates unplanned downtime while cutting the need to maintain excess servers for failover capability.
Prices for the new ftServers start at £13,000 to £14,000 for the 2600 models, £23,000 to £25,000 for the 4500 models with Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition, and £30,000 to £40,000 for the high-end 6300 models.
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