NEC Brings Fault Tolerance To Linux Servers

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NEC Computers wants to bring fault tolerance to Linux.

At LinuxWorld, held here this week, the Boxborough, Mass.-based vendor is demonstrating Linux drivers for its ft-series of fault-tolerant servers.

The company is currently hardening Linux drivers to work with the servers and expects to put the drivers into beta testing next quarter in North America, said Mike Mitch, director of enterprise systems at NEC.

The ft-series servers, which offer an entry-level way to build fault-tolerant infrastructures using the Windows architecture, are theoretically ready for fault-tolerant Linux, said Mitch. He expects the hardened Linux drivers to be ready this summer.

"This is the first time anyone has put Linux on a true fault-tolerant hardware infrastructure," said Mitch.

Mitch said Linux is being used for clustering, but not fault tolerance. However, he said, the majority of Linux systems that are being clustered are aimed at application load-balancing and do not offer fail-over of applications. "For [Linux fail-over, the technology is nowhere near available as it is under Windows," he said.

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