Stratus Bets $50,000 on Fault-Tolerant Server

Stratus will pay customers $50,000 if their ftServer 6300, powered by Intel's Xeon 5500 Series "Nehalem EP" processor and running Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 OS, is hit with unplanned downtime during the first six months of ownership. Stratus' fault-tolerant servers are designed for large multitasking data center applications, and offer redundant components running in lockstep.

Stratus Technologies is betting $50,000 on its latest fault-tolerant server.

Stratus Dec. 15 announced its Zero Downtime $50K Guarantee program, which covers its ftServer 6300, the latest of its fault-tolerant systems powered by Intel's "Nehalem"-based Xeon processors and running Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 operating system.

The program says that if problems with Stratus' hardware, system software or operating system lead to unplanned downtime within the first six months of buying a system, Stratus will give the customer $50,000 in cash or product credit.

The program is open to all customers worldwide and will end Feb. 26, 2010.

"When customers buy what they think is a fault-tolerant solution, they should expect a system that, for all practical purposes, has no unscheduled downtime," Roy Sanford, Stratus' chief marketing officer, said in a statement.

Stratus' fault-tolerant systems are designed to deliver 99.999 percent uptime-or about 32 seconds of unscheduled downtime a year, according to the company. The servers offer redundant key components running in lockstep, so that if one component fails, the system will continue running with the other component, with no interruption to the customer.

The failed component can then be taken out and replaced while the server continues to run, and the new component will be brought into sync with the rest of the system.

The ft6300 is powered by Intel's quad-core Xeon X5570 chips, running at 2.93GHz. The system is aimed at high-transactional, large data center applications, such as credit card processing and high-speed ATM networks. It's also good for large database applications and virtualized data center environments, according to Stratus.

The ft6300 Power Bundles #1 and #2 consist of the Windows OS, disk drives and supporting peripherals.