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Marathon Offers Low-Cost, Fault-Tolerant Option For SMBs

Marathon Technologies believes its new low-cost option for its server-mirroring software will make a high-availability Windows server infrastructure more appealing to a wider variety of customers.

The Littleton, Mass., company on Monday unveiled the new EverRun HA software, which uses a virtualization architecture to ensure that one of two duplicate Windows servers will be operating at all times, said Greg Phillips, Marathon president and CEO. Priced at $7,500, the software can be loaded on one- or two-way servers and has built-in scripts that make continuous availability "virtually plug and play," Philips said.

Marathon already offers EverRun FT software, based on the same technology, that provides 100 percent uptime for about twice the price of EverRun HA. The main difference between the two packages is in the downtime: EverRun HA offers high availability, while EverRun FT promises fault tolerance.

In EverRun HA, for example, if the primary server goes down, it's backup automatically reboots. With EverRun FT, there’s a seamless handoff from one server to the other, said Jerry Melnick, Marathon's vice president of engineering. Servers running EveryRun HA do not have to be using identical components, as required in the higher-end EverRun FT, he added.

Phillips thinks Marathon's newest product will be particularly appealing to companies that need high availability but can tolerate some downtime. He said a sports network currently uses the FT product for its e-mail server because it needs to make sure e-mail is always available. "That's how they communicate with their reporters in the field," he said.

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