In a program designed to make it easier for SMEs to access virtualization technology, Stratus is offering VMware Infrastructure Foundation bundled free on its ftServer systems. The bundle, which normally costs $995, includes the ESX virtualization hypervisor and vCenter management tool. The move comes as software companies, including VMware and Marathon, look to bring fault-tolerance features to their software.
Stratus Technologies is shipping its fault-tolerant servers with VMware virtualization software bundled at no charge.
In a campaign called "We Feel Your Pain," Stratus is offering VMware
Infrastructure Foundation virtualization technology-which includes the
VMware ESX hypervisor and one agent license for vCenter virtual
infrastructure management-with its Intel-based systems.
The program is designed to give businesses-particularly small or
midsized enterprises, or larger enterprises' remote sites-easy access
to virtualization technology on Stratus' fault-tolerant systems, Denny
Lane, director of product marketing and management at Stratus, said in
The VMware Infrastructure Foundation technology normally sells for $995, Lane said.
Stratus' offer runs until June 28.
The company's fault-tolerant ftServer systems, which run both
Microsoft Windows and Linux distributions, offer dual components that
run in lockstep. If one component fails, the second one picks up the
slack, with no loss of data or performance. The company has been
working with VMware for more than two years to bring virtualization
into the high-availability mix.
Stratus is a VMware reseller, and also offers the Standard and
Enterprise editions of VMware Infrastructure, which includes VMotion
and VMware HA (high availability).
Those companies that start with the free VMware Infrastructure
Foundation have an upgrade path if they want it down the road, Lane
A number of vendors, including VMware and Marathon Technologies, are
looking to marry fault-tolerance with their virtualization technology.
VMware officials in September announced that they were going to add to
the high-availability tool they already offer with a fault-tolerant
feature-dubbed VMware Fault Tolerance
-that creates a shadow copy of a virtual machine that will kick in if there is a hardware failure.
Marathon last year unveiled its EverRun VM software
, which is designed to bring low-cost fault-tolerance to virtual machines.
Lane said that offering virtualization capabilities on its hardware
platform gives Stratus a leg up on its software-based competitors.
"For availability, a purpose-built hardware platform will always
give you better availability [than a software-based offering]," he said.
Software products work like a hardware cluster, and bring such
requirements as shared disk resources, redundant applications and
redundant operating systems. In VMware's case, it also requires its
expensive Enterprise Edition of ESX. All this might work well for
larger enterprise data centers, but not for smaller companies or remote
With Stratus servers running VMware Infrastructure Foundation,
businesses don't need a vCenter Server license-VMware includes a
Web-based GUI and a single server management console for free-and there
is no need for redundant servers. Because of that, there's also no need
for for redundant application, OS or ESX licenses. In addition, the SAN
and networking around the environment is simplified with the lack of
redundant servers, Lane said.