High-end server vendor Stratus Computer Systems has unveiled a new range of servers signalling the company's intention to move further down the corporate food chain.
Stratus is positioning its ftServer family against the likes of IBM, Dell, HP and Compaq in the Windows NT and Unix platform space and marks a significant change in direction towards a standards-based server range. Until now, Stratus has traditionally built its servers around a proprietary operating system.
With two-thirds of the vendor's customers being finance or brokerage houses, the company is out to leave a bigger footprint on the Windows market which it expects to rival Unix usage by 2003.
Michael Thompson, Stratus senior vice president, worldwide sales and marketing, claims the company drew on its continuous availability (CA) heritage in the design of its ftServer range. He claims one ftServer will offer high availability (HA) comparable to a clustered version of the company's competitors. The idea then is to provide equal performance at a lower cost in both the hardware itself and the software applications loaded onto the box. One server, Thompson adds, requires only one licence.
Stratus will be employing 11 resellers across the country to lead its latest assault with the ftServer range, claims Roger Barnard, Stratus regional director, Australia & New Zealand. While Getronics will be used as its major international reseller, Barnard claims the company is finalising negotiations with one national reseller and two major resellers in each state.
Although Barnard is touting big things for the new server range, Thompson recognises the company's lack of size and recognition in the mid-to-large enterprise market as a stumbling block.
"Our biggest problem is going to be distribution and marketing," admits Thompson.
Furthermore, the company is allegedly offering five nines (99.999 per cent) availability for the Windows 2000 platform, supporting Server, Advanced Server and Datacentre Server versions. This equates to less than five minutes a year of downtime, a statement Thompson believes is a first from any vendor.
Stratus ftServer family
ftServer 5200 - A 550 MHz Pentium III Xeon processor based server at an entry-level price of $50,000. Available in January next year.
ftServer 6500 - Based on Intel's 700MHz large-cache Pentium III Xeon processors the 6500 server will start at $60,000 and is slated for availability in March 2000.