Stratus adds Nehalem to fault-tolerant servers

The ftServer range of high-availability servers now comes with Intel's 5500 Xeon, plus a sizeable upgrade in RAM and support for virtualisation products from VMware

Stratus has upgraded its ftServer range of high-availability servers with the addition of Intel's Nehalem processors.

The ftServer 2600, 4500 and 6300 models, introduced on Tuesday, are one- and two-socket servers with maximum RAM of 96GB — three times as much as Stratus's previous generation of servers. Also new is the availability of eight pairs of 2.5-inch internal SAS disks, which provide up to 8TB of storage, Stratus said.

"We're also now supporting VMware ESX and vSphere 4," said Stratus availability consultant Andy Bailey. The new models also fix an issue with the memory, he added. "We originally had a slow memory resync problem, so resyncing took 15 seconds. But in the latest release, fast memory resync now works," he said.

Stratus is launching its servers based on Intel's 5500 Xeon (Nehalem) chip later than mainstream providers such as IBM, HP and Dell. According to Bailey, this is because the company needed time to integrate its CPU and memory lock-step technology with Intel's QuickPath technology, which adds on-die memory controllers.

"It's a challenge, because we have to maintain contents of memory across the two units," Bailey said.

The fault-tolerant systems can offer high availability by running a pair of servers whose CPU, memory and hard disk are in permanent synchronisation. Should hardware fail, the system offers a zero-latency failover, according to Stratus.

In addition, the system can withstand multiple errors, such as a hard-disk failure in one of the pair and a memory failure in the other, Bailey said.

Stratus's servers are aimed at the market for mission-critical machines.

The company also said it plans to launch its new software product Avance in the UK. Avance allows two servers to present themselves as a single unit, providing high availability for normal servers, such as those from HP and Dell. It is intended for edge-type applications such as branch offices and distribution centres, Stratus said.

Stratus said it is still working on "clarifying its channels of distribution" for Avance.

ftServer 420

The ftServer family now comes with Intel's Nehalem processors


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