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NEC Debuts Fault-Tolerant Linux Server

NEC Solutions America on Wednesday shipped a fault-tolerant Linux server that the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company promised will remain up and running 99.999 percent of the time.

The Express5800/320Lb boasts duplicate CPU modules that each include two Xeon MP 2.4GHz processors with up to 311GB of hard disk space. The two modules are each housed in a 4U, and run in sync so that if one fails, the other is immediately available.

NEC's Linux, which it dubbed "Fault Tolerant Linux," was built on the older 2.4.18 Linux kernel; any Linux app running on that kernel can run in fault tolerant mode with no changes. According to NEC, the combination is a first for the industry, and puts the Express system at the top of the Linux availability heap.

"We're providing a platform for mission critical Linux applications that will not go down," said Larry Sheffield, a NEC senior vice president, in a statement.

Designed for mission-critical business applications and databases that must be up around the clock, the Express5800/320lb starts at $25,499 and comes with four processors, two CPU modules, two I/O modules, and redundant video cards and CD-ROM drives.