Edge server maker Stratus Technologies today announced that the 12th generation of its ftServer line is now on sale, bringing new hardware upgrades, improved resiliency for mission-critical workloads and, in time, support for a broader range of operating systems.
The latest ftServers come in four main configurations. The 6920 platform, designed for rigorous data- and transaction-intensive work in large data centers or similar, is the largest, while the 6910 is designed to fit into smaller facilities. The 4920 and 2920, respectively, scale back size and capability to fit into medium-size facilities and remote offices, and running individual applications on shop floors or in industrial plants.
The main upgrades, from a hardware perspective, include new Xeon processors that should help with high-volume transactional work as well as AI and IoT, improved SAN bandwidth for more fluid access to central data repositories, and support for both copper and fiber optical networking.
But the most important aspect of the latest ftServers might be software support, not hardware. At launch, the platforms will support VMware vSphere, and support for RHEL and Windows Server are planned before the end of the year.
That type of flexibility is both crucial for organisations working in an increasingly heterogenous computing environment, according to Dave McCarthy, IDC vice president and edge computing analyst.
“There is a shift in OT infrastructure from proprietary systems to ones that are built on open industry standards that facilitate the convergence of IT and OT workloads,” he said. “This helps reduce costs for customers while allowing them to more quickly adopt new technologies.”
Open standards make it much easier for businesses to remotely manage systems running on edge servers, and that ease of use has perceptible follow-on effects in terms of productivity, McCarthy added. Maximising uptime, therefore, is a key potential upside for the ftServer platform.
“Industries with capital-intensive, revenue-generating assets view unexpected downtime as the enemy,” he said. “For these organisations, an hour of downtime can result in millions in lost business opportunity. This is driving demand for server platforms that are highly resilient.”
VMware vSphere users can buy the 12th generation of ftServers now, and Windows Server and RHEL customers should anticipate variants that support their operating systems of choice before the end of the year. A spokesperson for Stratus declined to provide pricing information.