For users of VMware software with critical Tier 1 applications that demand zero downtime and zero data loss, Stratus Technologies, Inc. announced today that vSphere 5.1 virtualization software is now available on its newest line of Stratus ftServer fault-tolerant systems. Stratus is a global provider of products and services focused on protecting critical applications from system downtime.
Launched in September 2012, the sixth-generation ftServer 2700, 4700 and 6400 models are specifically engineered for superior availability and to be simple to deploy, manage and maintain. ftServer systems integrate into existing infrastructures as easily as any x86 server, yet they provide uptime of at least 99.999% (equivalent to 5.26 minutes of downtime annually) for the server and the vSphere hypervisor with little to no staff oversight. Stratus backs up its claim with a $50,000 zero-downtime guarantee for newly purchased systems that covers both server and hypervisor for six months from the time of installation.
The ftServer architecture enables the server to ride through hardware faults unaffected, unlike vSphere HA software, which does nothing to protect the underlying server from downtime. In the event of failure with HA software alone, VMs will fail over to another host where applications are restarted. Migrating and restarting all the applications can take many minutes, depending on the number and complexity of the applications. During this failover/restart period, applications are unavailable and data not written to disk is lost, as is the case with all cluster-like configurations. An ordinary server can also be a single point of failure for critical management operations such as those performed by vCenter Server.
With a broad range of ftServer configurations and price points to select from, sites with vSphere 5.1 running on a single server can benefit from:
- Uptime of 99.999% or better in continuous operation, including the hypervisor
- Single and dual Intel 8-core processors, including with hyper-threading and QuickPath architecture on high-end systems
- Full symmetric multi-processing (SMP) for powerful fault-tolerant computing without compromise
- Embedded 10Gb Ethernet for processing high-volume network traffic associated the higher number of VMs supported, as well as with, vMotion, NFS, iSCSI, etc.
- Proactive availability monitoring and system management that prevents outages from occurring, unlike failure-recovery solutions
- Root-cause analysis and repair of server and OS issues without interrupting processing
- Plug-and-play simplicity using off-the-shelf editions of vSphere software
- Minimal system overhead of < 5% and no need to over-provision hardware for uptime
- A bullet-proof infrastructure that prepares the IT organization to move to the cloud
Since 2004, companies have run VMware software on ftServer systems to prevent downtime instead of recovering from failure after the damage is done. Stratus remote monitoring and management services work in concert with the server's resilient software and redundant hardware to deliver superior uptime. The average ftServer downtime in 2011 for the global installed base of systems under service contract was 81 seconds. Daily updates to the Stratus online Uptime Meter(SM) display report the current uptime levels, a performance metric that only Stratus publically displays.