Stratus Technologies: Enabling Enterprise Grade Clouds

The move to the cloud is very real however concerns over security and reliability have been hindering adoption, particularly when it comes to business critical applications where high availability is non-negotiable.

Headquartered in Maynard, MA, Stratus® Technologies has been the leading provider of availability solutions for over 30 years. Led by Nigel Dessau, General Manager, Software Business & Chief Marketing Officer, Stratus is now working to improve the reliability of cloud infrastructures and reduce the complexity of making applications cloud-ready.

“Our goal is to enable the deployment and management of mission critical workloads in cloud infrastructures and ecosystems,” says Nigel. With over 16,000 high availability solutions in the market today, Stratus understands the need for achieving high reliability for critical workloads. We are taking that expertise to the cloud to accelerate its mainstream adoption.”

The company strategy is to abstract availability from the applications in the same way that compute and storage is – they call that Software Defined Availability.Addressing availability at the infrastructure layer significantly reduces the complexity, cost and time involved in writing availability into the application itself. Until now this has been considered the only way to meet stringent availability requirements in a cloud environment.“We are the only company to our knowledge that is working to solve this at the infrastructure level with an availability solution specifically designed for the cloud,” says a confident Nigel.

Stratus is placing their bets on OpenStack with their first cloud offering, a widely accepted framework that has all the benefits of an open source model. “Technologies like OpenStack®, Linux® and KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) reduce the “technology tax” on enterprises, while preventing vendor lock-in and providing the flexibility to build cloud environments using innovative, best-of-breed solutions,”says Nigel.

Stratus has built a combination of technologies around KVM so enterprises can build fault-tolerant levels of compute within the OpenStack framework, as well as a set of technologies that sits on top of the Heat project which orchestrates and provisions the applications to ensure all the data in the cloud ends up exactly where it’s supposed to be, at exactly the right time.

With intelligent orchestration in the cloud Stratus is making it possible to deploy an application with fault tolerance only when that level of maximum availability is needed. Consider a financial services application at quarter end or a payment processing application during the holiday shopping season. “We are giving enterprises the ability to scale up and scale down application availability requirements depending on their need at any point in time,” says Nigel.

This intelligent orchestration leverages the flexibility of cloud infrastructures to deliver the right availability and infrastructure to the workload so all application types – from mission critical to non-critical – can reap the benefits of the cloud from one solution.

Improving reliability for OpenStack clouds is critical to facilitating broader enterprise adoption. Stratus is working with its customers and members of the OpenStack community to provide a simple way to achieve always-on availability for all applications in the cloud. “This is a monumental shift for many IT organizations that want the benefits of the cloud without the risks,” says Nigel. “With our software-defined approach, we can accelerate the broader adoption of OpenStack.”

Road Map Ahead
Stratus is maniacally focused on ensuring that applications and systems do not fail. Over the past 30 plus years their innovation has prevented tens of thousands of the most critical applications in the most critical infrastructures from downtime.

Stratus is committed to being the leader in availability. “But as we have transitioned to a more software centric mindset we are discovering that we can provide so much more by participating as a vital part of different ecosystems,” concludes Nigel.


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