So it’s not surprising to see the fault tolerant systems vendors turn their attention toward moving their technology into the virtual realm. It’s also not surprising to see them turn toward Xen. The open source Xen hypervisor is getting some attention. Egenera chose Xen as the platform for its virtual environment management tool last fall. And late last year Stratus forged a partnership with XenSource to embed the Xen hypervisor into its fault tolerant technology.
And earlier this year, Marathon Technologies announced a deal with XenSource. While Stratus and NEC sell specially designed fault-tolerant x86 systems, Marathon sells fault tolerant software.
Marathon’s software uses a virtualisation layer to make two physical servers appear as a single system. Marathon executives say their software, which can run on unmodified Windows servers, reduces the cost and complexity of traditional clustering approaches.