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NEC To Roll Out Dual-Core Fault-Tolerant Servers

NEC Solutions (America) Inc. on Wednesday will introduce new fault-tolerant servers that use dual-core Xeon processors. They will be the last high-reliability platform NEC offers before introducing jointly developed systems with Stratus Technologies Inc.

NEC America and Stratus are both providers of fault-tolerant servers, which promise 99.999% continuous system availability. Stratus introduced a new line of fault-tolerant servers last month that also use the new dual-core Xeon processors. In November the two companies entered into a 10-year agreement under which the companies will cooperate on the development and deployment of all future fault-tolerant servers. NEC also took a 3% equity position in Stratus with a $9 million cash investment.

NEC on Wednesday is introducing the Express 5800/320Ma FT server. The server will be available in three variations using Xeon processors from Intel: a 3.2-GHz system, a 3.6-GHz system, and a 2.8-GHz dual-core system. The servers will have up to 8 Gbytes of memory for the 3.2 GHz system, and 16 Gbytes of memory for the 3.6 GHz and 2.8 GHz systems.

The Express 5800/320Ma FT servers are designed to have less than five minutes of downtime per year, saving users thousands of dollars in potential losses due to downtime associated with lower reliability clustered computer systems, says Dick Csaplar, product manger for fault tolerant servers for NEC.

"We market our servers on the total cost of ownership," Csaplar says. "The hardware is slightly more expensive than clustered hardware, but when you add in the need in clusters for additional software and potential losses due to failure and downtime, that cost equation flips over."

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