Technologies ftServer keeps demanding, virtualised Tier 1 applications running at top performance even during a “catastrophic” component failure, according to a series of tests by independent laboratory Principled Technologies.

“(ftServer) continued to operate – without data loss and nearly unchanged database performance on guest virtual machines – in the face of a potential catastrophic event more extreme than is likely to ever occur in a real system,” according to the test report, sponsored jointly by Stratus and NEC.
In a test environment that simulated a high-volume transaction processing system – an online DVD store – the Stratus ftServer 6300/NEC Express 5800/R320a provided “out of the box scalable database performance and fault tolerance to all guest virtual machines (VMs) by supporting multiple virtual CPUs (vCPUs) per VM.” It also continued processing transactions even when test engineers pulled an entire CPU enclosure out of the rack. Despite losing half of its physical CPUs, the server was back to pre-failure processing speed in less than 30 seconds.
The ftServer ran VMware virtualisation software and provided all of the fault-tolerant and high availability capabilities. The testing environment also included Microsoft SQL Server 2008 databases of between 10 megabytes and 100 gigabytes. VMware high availability products were not included. By taking advantage of the ftServer system’s multi-core capabilities, the Principled Technologies test crew was able to push processing speed to 60,000 orders per minute on four virtual CPUs. Within 12 seconds after the technicians pulled out the CPU, performance leveled and began increasing until it was back up to pre-failure processing capacity. The server lost no data during or after the failure.
“Hardware-based fault tolerance delivers availability and performance that software alone simply cannot, along with the peace of mind to commit your Tier 1 applications to virtualisation,” says Roy Sanford, Stratus Technologies chief marketing officer. “Beyond the scope of Principled Technologies’ rigorous testing, there are many additional advantages to deploying virtualisation on a fault-tolerant platform, such as root-cause analysis, proactive monitoring and diagnostics, and the simplicity of a single fault-tolerant server compared to the complexity of alternative methods.”