At my high school reunion last week, I was asked the age-old question: What do you do now?

The quick answer? I work for a company that produces computers no normal human being would ever need in their home.

The real answer? I work for a company that produces computers no normal human being would ever need in their home, but use every day, at the most critical points of their lives.

Allow me to elaborate.

A gamer would have no need for a Stratus server. However, if the servers of a casino running billions of dollars though slot machines, tables, and other betting arenas went down for 2.5 seconds, the casino would shut down and all hell would break loose. Those fancy slot machines are nothing more than expensive terminals run by a computer in a back room. This is where Stratus’ fault-tolerant always-available, 99.999% uptime servers and services come in handy.

Similarly, a road-side car repair shop might not need 24/7/365 uptime levels for their Dr. Pepper orders and tire-rotation record keeping. On the other hand, Toyo Tires would lose hundreds of thousands of dollars with a single split-second system failure. Any fault at all, and an entire batch of tires must be thrown out. Toyo works with Stratus to keep their production systems running without fail – the cost of downtime is just too big a risk.

On second thought, I might retract my “roadside repair shop” comparison – Sheetz, a “mecca for people on-the-go,” provides customers with products ranging from gourmet sandwiches and espresso to gasoline and cigarettes. They provide travelers all of this without the need to leave their cars. Stratus’ solutions enable Sheetz to effectively eliminate downtime risk to their point-of-sale payments system and loyalty program.

In short, I work for a company that ensures millions of people’s everyday lives go on uninterrupted, and without incident. What do you do?