Stratus saw that VMware's vCenter, a critical component of a VMware-based virtual environment, had become a single point of failure. Stratus knew that it had a highly compatible solution that could make that little problem disappear. All the company had to do was host VMware's vCenter on one of its ftServer systems and, Presto!, the function would become highly available, that is it would have 99.999+% uptime.
To make this solution easy to purchase and install, Stratus is offering one of its servers in a packaged configuration designed to address this very issue. Stratus calls this package "Stratus Uptime Appliance For VMware vCenter Server. While the name is a bit complex, the product isn't.
Here's how Stratus describes this little gem:
When you manage a large enterprise with VMware® vCenter® Server, downtime can be disastrous. This single point of failure can put everything at risk: from site recovery to operations, from business management to chargeback processes.
The Stratus Uptime Appliance for vCenter Server is a single-system solution designed from the ground up to prevent downtime via resilient hardware and software, combined with proactive 24/7 remote monitoring. Built on the company’s fault-tolerant, Intel® processor-based ftServer architecture, the Stratus solution offers users plug-and-play simplicity at significantly lower costs than a similarly configured VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat solution.
- 99.999+% uptime: less than 6 minutes of downtime annually, on average
- Automatically prevents failures instead of simply recovering from them
- Offers plug-and-play simplicity: operates like a standard Windows server
- Costs significantly less than similarly configured heartbeat solutions
Stratus is in the enviable situation of having a number of systems that can make unplanned downtime a very, very rare event. The product planners at Stratus have the opportunity to look at availability problems found in a typical industry standard system environment and resolve them simply by moving the software over onto one of their systems.
High availability is an issue that most consolidated virtual environments face. After all, if a company puts all of its eggs (in this case virtual servers) into one basket, extreme care must be taken to not to drop that basket or allow it to fall on the floor.
VMware, to give them credit, has developed a number of software tools that can address some of the issues, but their solutions tend to be somewhat complex and don't offer the type of fail over performance than a dedicated piece of hardware.
It is clear that this Stratus solution should be on the short list of any VMware-centric environment.
Note: Stratus is a Kusnetzky Group client