By Barry Levine / CIO Today. Updated September 24, 2012.
If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em. Stratus Technologies, which offers continuous processing servers and software, has purchased its main competitor, Marathon Technologies. The acquisition, says Stratus, will create "the most comprehensive set of products and technologies for ensuring IT availability."
The acquisition includes Marathon's assets, intellectual property and everRun line. Specific terms of the purchase were not announced.
Network Redundancy and Uptime
Both companies focus on continuous processing solutions designed to keep enterprise networks up and running at all times. Continuous processing software and network redundancy help ensure uptime in a multi-server configurations. In the event of equipment or connection failure, virtual environments can immediately begin operating on another server. Alternatives to this approach include clustering solutions, although continuous processing software is considered a less complex and expensive solution.
Maynard, Mass.-based Stratus said that the addition of Marathon's everRun line solidifies its position as the leading provider of availability solutions. EverRun MX is the first software-based, fault-tolerant solution to support multi-core/multi-processor-based Microsoft applications.
Stratus Chairman and CEO David C. Laurello said in a statement that, with the combined portfolio, "there is virtually no requirement for uptime we cannot meet." He added that, "by adding software fault tolerance and increasing the size of Stratus' software business through this acquisition, we have accelerated our ability to deliver a total software solution to the marketplace."
Benefits to Stratus include an expanded set of partners, a broader software portfolio, and a larger customer base. The company said the purchase was another step in its long-term strategy to move beyond providing uptime for computing platforms, toward business continuity with application availability and disaster recovery.
'Completely Resilient' Environment
Marathon's everRun solutions create what the company calls a "completely resilient application environment" that is transparent to the application. The company said everRun continually monitors all components and will automatically redirect I/O from failed devices to redundant devices.
In addition to everRun MX, Marathon's product line includes SplitSite, which automates continuous availability and data protection between data centers using synchronous data mirroring. MX Extend provides long-distance protection for physical and virtual environments, and Monitor offers proactive monitoring of physical hardware, networking devices, operating systems, applications, and edge devices.
Stratus' products also include ftServer Systems, fault-tolerant servers designed for Microsoft Windows Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and virtualization workloads.
The Stratus line of server systems was launched earlier this month, encompassing entry-level departmental servers to enterprise-class servers. The company said the product line is built for under two minutes of unplanned downtime per year on average, when in continuous operation.
The ftServer line has three models, each based on the Intel Xeon E5 processor. The 2700 system is intended as a low-cost value model, and is targeted at volume deployments in remote locations.
The 4700 system is a mid-range server offering a variety of configuration options, and it uses the Intel QuickPath technology to boost systems performance, bandwidth and reliability. The 16-core 6400 system is intended for enterprise-class applications and processing-intensive data centers, such as server virtualization, database engine, electronic funds transfer, online banking, supply chain and cloud computing.