A typical SMB server workload might include applications including Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server and SharePoint, possibly also virtualized desktops using Citrix XenDesktop. "You can put these, including all the tiers of a SharePoint, which normally each need their own server, onto one machine, using virtualization," said Lane.
Previously, to achieve high availability for Hyper-V environments, companies have been using software-based solutions like clustering using Microsoft Clustering Services. "We think that MCS is often too complex and expensive for SMBs," said Lane. "You need multiple OS licenses and copies, applications need to be cluster-able, and you need to add clustering awareness. Plus, MCS also needs shared storage, so you need a SAN. This translates to more capital expense, plus requires more sophisticated IT skills, and more IT time."
On a Stratus fault-tolerant ftServer, "The OS sees the machine as one logical server, so Microsoft licensing lets us deploy Microsoft Server 2008 Enterprise R2 with just one OS license, less cost in terms of license and IT skills. Plus, you can run four Microsoft Windows 'guests' on top of the hypervisor without requiring additional Windows licenses, which contributes further to the pricing advantage."
According to Stratus, the cost for an entry-level ftServer 2600 -- a 2.0 Ghz 4-core 1-socket server with 4GB RAM -- starts around $14,000, not counting the cost of Windows or another operating system.
Support for Microsoft Hyper-V is available now on all Stratus ftServer systems running Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition, at no additional cost. Existing Stratus customers with Stratus service contracts will be able to get the new Stratus software for Hyper-V, assuming their hardware is recent enough (and have or upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise).