Denny Lane dispells 3 myths about high availability servers, comparing our legacy 1982 products to our newest ftserver. The fault tolerant solutions are smaller, less expensive, and more up-to-date than ever, and run Linux, VMware, Windows, and even support both private and public cloud.
In response to a growing need from Microsoft customers for Mission Critical Windows, Stratus Technologies has been placing ftServers in a Microsoft Technology Centers (MTC) across the globe for product demonstrations, systems design and proof of concept (POC) testing. The Moscow MTC is the most recent site to go live and will focus on Mission Critical Hyper V and a rapidly expanding customer base of Russian energy, oil, and transmission (pipeline) customers. Mission Critical Windows and Stratus – it’s everywhere, including Microsoft’s Moscow MTC!
Jessica Meats, or Geeky Girl, claimed 99.999% availability for SQL 2005 today on a Technet blog post, “Mythbusting: SQL Server isn’t reliable.” She cites a customer quote from a Microsoft Fujifilm case study, and adds a 99.99% uptime claim from a Barbox case study.
What’s behind this? Take a closer look and you’ll see that Geeky Girl is a Microsoft employee who refers to a 5 year old case study on Microsoft’s web site. Using one of the oldest marketing tricks in the IT world, she misinterprets a customer quote to make the ridiculous claim that SQL (2005 no less) is 99.999% available. No proof, no data – and what does Microsoft say?
“Customers can have confidence in SQL Server on ftServer for local provisioning of database servers with exceptional uptime, rapid asynchronous data mirroring for disaster recovery, rolling upgrade style patch management with minimal operational impact, and for any database application where underlying hardware with near-six nines availability is the preferred choice.”
- Claude Lorenson, Director SQL Server Marketing, Microsoft Corp
Myth busted? Yes, with SQL Server running on ftServer.
I had the chance to speak at the Microsoft Connected Health Conference in Chicago this week, where Stratus was among a number of Microsoft partners sponsoring this event. This was a well received conference with good insights on technology and services. Talking with practitioners and other partners also laid bare some limitations with Microsoft products – and why Microsoft embraces their healthcare partners so readily. A few important gaps in healthcare IT are solved with Stratus capabilities in line with key Microsoft products:
Microsoft SQL Server: It is the foundation of just about every EHR system. And few if any practice under 25 doctors or 100 users need Enterprise edition. However the Standard edition does not support high availability. So many practices that ask for high availability see their costs skyrocket because of this, along with the other costs involved with Windows Clustering. And yet many of these practices don’t have the IT expertise to install and manage Windows Clustering in the first place. The result? Most small to mid size EHR installations have NO high availability and are extremely vulnerable to these systems going down.
Answer? Stratus Avance and Microsoft SQL – provides high availability for any version of SQL Server, ease of implementation and operation so little IT knowledge is needed, and far lower costs to make this approach much more affordable to small and mid size practices.
Microsoft BizTalk: Is widely deployed for information exchange requirements so think HL7, EDI, CPOE, etc – critical healthcare applications which need to be available. Downtime for these systems can have serious consequenses. BizTalk is widely deployed for these kind of critical data interchange needs yet isn’t really supported by Windows Clustering – talking with several consulting partners who specialize in this area it’s a critical application need that doesn’t have a viable Microsoft high availability solution.
Answer? Stratus Avance or ftServer and Microsoft BizTalk – viewed as a single system, either of these Stratus solutions provide higher availability than Microsoft Clustering could hope to achieve, and give a powerful, yet cost effective solution for BizTalk high availability.
Microsoft has it right with it’s partner ecosystem.
Microsoft’s Cindy Hibble interviews Peter Cook at HIMSS about uptime assurance and the growth of windows-based EHR systems in the healthcare industry.