Stratus takes batteries out of backup

Greener storage system minimises the use of toxic components by relying on capacitors to maintain power

Resilient computing specialist Stratus Technologies aims to reduce the need for toxic batteries in its latest fault-tolerant servers, by replacing them with capacitors.

Instead of relying on the use of batteries to protect the cache inside the system, the ftScalable Storage array uses capacitors to maintain power during a sudden outage. The array can be configurable with up to 10.8TB of data storage and the backup is part of a complete redundancy system with hot-swappable RAID arrays, power supplies and fans as well as environmental monitoring.

Andy Bailey, availability consultant for Stratus, said the system was unique to Stratus. "At the moment, when you write data, you get it front-ended with cache," he explained. "If the power fails you lose that data so most companies use batteries to protect it, but they have problems, such as leaking."

Bailey admitted that capacitors only have a short charge compared to batteries, but said it was enough to do the job required and in a potentially cleaner and more environmentally friendly way.

The ftScalable Storage system uses a 2U chassis that can take up to 12 low-profile, 3.5-inch SAS drives and up to three chassis enclosures.