I used to be a Field Technical Specialist many years ago, and one of my areas of interest was high availability clustering technologies. In those days I’d already heard about Stratus’ fault tolerant technologies and solutions that provided near-zero downtime for x86 servers and applications. Now, I’m very excited about the recent news that IBM and Stratus have partnered together to deliver the best of breed combination of highly reliable IBM System x servers and leading edge Stratus everRun Enterprise software to support mission-critical workloads.
Here is what Bob Galush, VP of IBM System x 1S & 2S Servers and Options, says about the solution: “The IBM System x Reliability Solution for Stratus everRun Enterprise integrates top-notch reliability software from Stratus with our highly resilient, industry-proven System x servers. We anticipate a growing demand for high availability and business continuity solutions. This new best-of-breed offering will facilitate outstanding uptime for clients’ business critical applications."
Susan Bailey, Vice President of Americas Sales for Stratus, added: “The IBM System x Reliability Solution for Stratus everRun Enterprise is the ideal solution for businesses wanting mainframe-like reliability utilizing cost-effective, industry leading x86 architecture. Having an always-on business continuity solution powered with the combined expertise of Stratus and IBM will open the door for more and more companies to experience the benefits of moving their most critical applications to a virtualized environment.”
Here are 5 key things that you need to know about the IBM System x Reliability Solution for Stratus everRun Enterprise.
1. The Reliability Solution is designed for continuous availability, fault tolerance, and disaster recovery
The Reliability Solution offers a set of hardware and software components, technologies, and tools to make sure that your Windows and Linux applications can continue to run without any interruption, despite of a failure in hardware, software, or even if the entire site goes down. Unlike many other high availability solutions that focus on recovering from a failure as quickly as possible, the solution is focused on preventing downtime. IBM and Stratus achieve this by incorporating multiple levels of redundancy with intelligent monitoring and fault handling capabilities into the solution. These features can be deployed across all your locations, enabling geographically dispersed data protection.
2. The Reliability Solution is based on IBM Reference Architecture
IBM Reference Architecture (RA) is your confidence in the solution. RA defines building blocks that were validated for architecting a fully integrated and tested solution. With pre-configured and validated reference design, RA simplifies implementation and shortens time to production, minimizes risks, and accelerates ROI. RA for the Reliability Solution offers a cost-effective and flexible fault resilient environment for a wide range of customer sizes, user types, and industry segments.
3. The Reliability Solution runs on proven IBM System x servers
The Reliability Solution can be deployed on IBM System x high performance dual-socket servers, the x3550 M4 and x3650 M4, powered by Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 and E5-2600 v2 product families. Alternatively, a single-socket IBM System x3250 M5 can be used instead.
IBM System x servers are developed, quality tested, and certified by IBM, the leading vendor in technology patents for 21 years running, and they are backed by IBM's incomparable worldwide service and support.
The ultimate design goal for IBM System x servers as a part of the IBM X-Architecture strategy is to prevent hardware faults from causing an outage. Part selection for reliability, redundancy, predictive failure alerts, recovery and self-healing techniques are used in a fault resilient IBM RAS strategy to avoid application outages.
IBM servers are top-ranked by TBR (August 2013 Report) for customer satisfaction and by ITIC for reliability and uptime (ITIC February 2013 Survey).
4. The Reliability Solution uses Stratus everRun Enterprise software
Stratus everRun Enterprise is industry-leading software that incorporates standard virtualization techniques to replicate a single operating system and application image across two physical servers. Using two physical servers supplies 100% redundancy at the hardware component level, while the everRun software mirrors and constantly synchronizes all elements of each virtual machine across the physical layer. This provides a “no single point of failure” environment for each virtual machine protected by fault tolerance, and it is transparent to the applications.
5. The Reliability Solution is easy to deploy and manage
The Reliability Solution is easy to use with click and go installation and centralized management tools for complete control of your IT. It offers comprehensive monitoring and notification features, backed by 24x7 Stratus’ technical support and monitoring services and IBM’s 3-year onsite limited warranty with 9x5xNBD terms that are included with the solution, with optional warranty upgrades to 24x7 available.
For more information about the solution, please refer to the following publications and links:
Ilya Krutov is an IBM Redbooks Project Leader. He writes books and papers on different topics related to IBM System x, IBM BladeCenter, and IBM Flex System. Follow Ilya on Twitter at @IlyaAtRedbooks.