Stratus is a server of steel that has been running for 24 years straight, which is probably the longest uptime for a server without any unplanned maintenance. The Great Lakes Works made the server in Dearborn, Michigan. They are also known for making
“coated steel products primarily for the automotive industry for use in both exposed and unexposed applications.”
The server was manufactured to deal with the company’s financial matters such as processing payment transactions and credit cards, so it was designed as a fault-tolerant one. Thus, it is capable of working round the clock uninterrupted even with some failing components. But still, no one expected it to last this long!
Phil Hogan, an IT application architect, tells Computer World,
“It never shut down on its own because of a fault it couldn’t handle, I can’t even think of an instance where we had an unplanned shutdown,” he says.
Besides being extremely reliable, the server is very user-friendly having a character-driven interface akin to the ISA green screen. The company hasn’t bothered to change the 1993 interface, even after nearly two and half decades as the users enjoy
“the reliability of it, and the screens are actually pretty simple,” says Hogan.
Alas, every good thing must come to an end, and same is the case with the beloved Stratus. A 2015 deal saw the Great Lakes Works being brought under new management. Moreover, the new system upgrade, due in April 2017, will replace the Stratus server’s remarkable run. But rest assured, if the new server stutters for even one second, the whole office will sigh reminiscing the good old days of their trusty friend Stratus.
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We used a Stratus fault-tolerant server as part of one of the support systems for the Space Shuttle program. That machine had two of everything. A hardware solution when everyone else was using software. Very expensive, but it served our needs at the time.