Stratus just announced the release of its “Always-On infrastructure for IIoT” (Industrial Internet of Things) platform. This latest generation of its industry leading availability platform, ftServer for VMware, incorporates some significant new options for the broad continuous availability market and specifically the industrial automation sector. These include performance monitoring through Sightline Assure and the integration of OPC, the industry standard communications mechanism for industrial control systems (ICS). Craig Resnick of the ARC Advisory Group commented, “The Stratus Always-On infrastructure for IIoT, combined with its OPC UA integration for Industrial Automation connectivity, provides the industry with a proven solution that is modern, future-ready, and can address the continuous availability issues of IT /OT convergence head-on.”

As a long-time partner with VMware, Stratus has consistently delivered the best of both availability and virtualization where avoiding downtime and data loss are critical requirements. The company’s deep expertise in these areas enables it to effectively bridge the gap between the requirements of OT tasked with keeping ICS’s up and running, and IT, where keeping infrastructure safe, secure and up-to-date is of paramount importance.

The ftServer enhancements are significant because with Sightline Assure customers can now monitor and diagnose not only the ftServer, but their virtualization layers, operating system, software applications and any underlying infrastructure, including switches, servers and storage, all from a single pane of glass. In one trial, a customer was able to diagnose a network problem they had been working on for over two months in just 10 minutes. Stratus’ OPC capability allows an ftServer to become an integral part of an automation system, enabling its health status to be displayed on a human machine interface (HMI) of an ICS. Customers in industrial automation have welcomed this new capability, particularly for environments where their network is totally firewalled from any external connection, which prevents connection to the Stratus active server network (ASN).

The new ftServer platform supports VMware vSphere 6 and is the only industry standard platform that delivers absolute availability with no data loss or performance degradation in a simple self-contained form factor. This is in contrast to any other solution that requires multiple servers, storage and switches, relying on software to deliver a highly available solution. For anyone who doubts this, Stratus offers a $50,000 uptime guarantee for VMware installations – something you don’t see from other vendors.

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