December 9, 1996 10 AM ET

Stratus opens CE servers
HP-UX support will bring more apps to the platform

By Stephanie LaPolla

  Stratus Computer Inc. will shift gears on its operating system strategy this week when it ships new enterprise servers running HP-UX, broadening the application base and opening up new clustering options.

The upgraded CES (Continuum Enterprise Servers) for HP-UX, now shipping, are built for fault tolerance, with duplicates of every system component, from power cords to disk drives. The architecture ensures that "nothing stops" in the event of a component failure, said officials.

The move to HP-UX is a natural "next step" toward a more open system, said officials of the Marlboro, Mass., company. CES, which runs Stratus' proprietary VOS operating system for online transaction processing and its fault-tolerant Unix flavor, FTX, has been built on Hewlett-Packard Co.'s PA-RISC processors since early 1995.

The addition of HP-UX Version 10.10 should offer a fivefold boost to the number of applications that will run on CES, including HP OpenView and OpenMail, officials said. In addition, Stratus plans to cluster CES systems together using HP technology, said officials.

The HP support is just the first step in opening CES. Stratus is planning support for Intel Corp.'s Merced processor and for Windows NT in 1998.

Expanding the breadth of applications available on CES is a win for customers with mission-critical applications.

"It is much easier for me to support fault tolerance that is embedded," said Mark Lamp, president and CEO of Adac Laboratories, of Milpitas, Calif., a turnkey software systems integrator for the health care market. "HP, IBM and Sun [Microsystems Inc.] achieve fault tolerance through software backups, [which is] frankly very difficult to administer. I'd prefer the easy system administration that Stratus gives me in a single system image."

HP officials don't view Stratus as a threat. "Stratus is complementary to us," said David Scott, director of operating environment marketing for the General System Division of HP, in Cupertino, Calif.

The Continuum Series 400 HP-UX server is available now, and the Series 1200 will be available with HP-UX late next year. Prices for the systems range from $70,000 to $250,000.

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