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Stratus to migrate to Intel

Jul 15, 20043 mins
Data Center

* Stratus Computers to migrate servers to Intel processors

Stratus Computers, a vendor of highly fault-tolerant systems, will migrate its PA-RISC-based Continuum servers to Intel’s Xeon, the company announced recently.

“In telecommunications we are providing a migration path from Continuum to ftServer T running Linux,” says Ken Donoghue, PR director for Stratus. “On the enterprise side, we will introduce the ftServer V (V for Virtual Operating System, or VOS) server mid to late summer. We are consolidating all our operating systems on the Intel platform. V series lets VOS customers simply recompile their applications to Intel-based V series.”

The company, which already uses Intel processors in its ftServer and ftServer T Series servers, will move users of its proprietary VOS operating system to the lower-cost Intel servers. While Stratus’ Continuum is based on HP’s PA-RISC, the company claims that HP’s decision to migrate its own users from PA-RISC to Itanium did not play a part in its decision. The company claims that users requesting less expensive platforms prompted the move.

Stratus’ fault-tolerant servers are used for many applications that must be highly available, such as emergency dispatching and pharmaceutical industries. Stratus also targets a variety of vertical markets for its servers, including public safety, banking, telco, travel and logistics and manufacturing.

The servers are, for instance, being used for emergency medical services in Montgomery County, Pa. There they handle business for 93 fire departments, 34 EMS agencies and 37 other departments for a total of 800,000 calls a year. Because they share this information among these agencies, the ft 5600 two-way servers cannot go down.

Stratus PA-RISC-based Continuum servers start at about $225,000; Intel machines from Stratus cost 30% less. Due to the multithreaded nature of the Intel chips, performance gains are also possible.

Stratus says it will sell Continuum for five years and support it for 10 more.

The company’s systems primarily compete with clustered systems such as HP’s DL380 Cluster and with Marathon Technologies’ FTvirtual Server software and Endurance 6200.

Stratus computers run in lockstep. The ASICs used in Stratus servers are designed so there is no single point of failure. That feature, combined with the servers’ ability to “call home” if problems exist, makes them different from Marathon’s technology.

The company will focus on the Intel IA-32 platform for now. “Itanium is a little ways away for us,” says Donoghue. “A lot of that has to do with the applications. We are not seeing much of a demand for Itanium.”

Stratus will continue to focus on Intel and sees no reason that it will not be able to adopt the Intel 32/64-bit extension technology.