Stratus bundles VMware vSphere Essentials

Stratus bundles VMware vSphere Essentials

Summary: It is clear that the folks at Stratus Technologies understand that virtualized environments are likely to become the norm at organizations of all sizes. Helping smaller organizations realize that vision is going to take some help, however.


It is clear that the folks at Stratus Technologies understand that virtualized environments are likely to become the norm at organizations of all sizes. Helping smaller organizations realize that vision is going to take some help, however. Stratus appears to be willing to put its "money where its mouth is" by including VMware Essentials when customers purchase one of their Stratus ftServer fault tolerant systems.

What Stratus has to say about this

VMware Essentials virtualization software for small and medium-size businesses will be bundled at no charge with the purchase of a Stratus® ftServer® system, Stratus Technologies announced today. First announced in March with VMware Foundation software for free, the “We Feel Your Pain” program is intended to help customers make cost-effective technology investments with immediate positive impact today and lasting value as the current economic cycle runs its course.

vSphere Essentials enables server consolidation and centralized provisioning, monitoring and management to deliver immediate hardware and operational cost-saving. The software includes the hypervisor, patch management, management agent and management server. However, VMware Fault Tolerance (FT) is not supported in VMware Essentials, Essentials Plus or vSphere Standard editions. VMware Essentials must run on a fault-tolerant server in order to achieve continuous availability for consolidation of servers and applications, and for individual applications critical to business operations.

For medium-size enterprises seeking to leverage existing infrastructure, or distributed sites at the edge of corporate networks, the server-consolidation benefits of virtualization are compelling. Stratus ftServer systems with free VMware Essentials software – US list price $995 – provide a continuously available computing platform with the plug-and-play simplicity of a standalone x86 server. The Stratus SMP fault-tolerant architecture supports up to eight processor cores and is designed to prevent downtime and data loss, making it an ideal platform for multiple virtual machines with mixed operating environments. An Intel Xeon processor-based Stratus server supports both Windows and Linux applications.

Snapshot analysis

Small and medium sized organizations could stand to reduce costs while deploying the same workloads by using virtual machine software technology. They could also enjoy higher levels of application availability and reliability with little or no additional effort by selecting a fault tolerant system.

Why a fault tolerant system? Virtual machines would almost never have to deal with system outages because the system itself would deal with them transpearantly. This means no additional layers of availability software would be required. This also means that the organization would not need to purchuce such software, find the expertise to install such software or even deal with the day-to-day operational issues that software presents.

What has scared off many of these organizations? Fault tolerant systems historically have been perceived as expensive, proprietary and slow.

What's changed? Stratus' newest generations of machines have been based upon industry standard components and are very cost-effective, when compared to purchasing several standard systems plus high availability software plus hiring needed staff with experience in "continuous computing" environments.

Adding VMware's virtualization products to these systems appears to allow Stratus to play in a different environment and should make it possible for smaller organizations to have the same "never stop" computing environments that larger organizations have deployed for years.

Topics: IT Employment, CXO, Hardware, Software, Virtualization, VMware


Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. In his spare time, he's also the managing partner of Lux Sonus LLC, an investment firm.

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  • Stratus

    I know of Stratus as one of the few mini-computer makers which made fault-tolerant, non-stop, massively parallel machines. Tandem Computers, now owned by HP, is also a huge player in the non-stop computing market.

    If we could get that type of functionality on the x86 platform, then we'd all have super-computing platforms on our desktops and laptops.
  • RE: Stratus bundles VMware vSphere Essentials

    Actually Stratus has been producing Intel based industry standard fault tolerant systems for close to 10 years now. These are not only Intel x86, running in true hardware lockstep, but they run off the shelf Windows, Red Hat and VMware vSphere. Stratus is an OEM partner with all 3 software vendors. Stratus machines have been running some of the most mission critical applications in the fortune 1000 companies around the globe for 3 decades. Many of these applications are running on the Stratus Intel based ftServer systems running one of the fore mentioned x86/industry standard operating systems, all of which provide the greater than 99.999% uptime Stratus is renowned for.
  • RE: Stratus bundles VMware vSphere Essentials

    Finding a robust patch management solution is becoming more and more difficult as machines are less and less accessible to the management console. I have found success using patch management software from Kaseya. Because of the agent based framework, I have connectivity to every machine that is connected to the Internet, independent of location. - URL: