I noticed the term “Stratus vCenter Uptime Appliance” a couple of weeks ago but couldn’t find any details on it. It appears that Stratus has now officially announced their vCenter Uptime Appliance. The appliance is built on the company’s fault-tolerant, Intel® processor-based ftServer architecture. In short, these systems are kept in lockstep and if one fails the other one will take over.
Not totally unexpected Stratus compares its solution to vCenter Heartbeat, which they say is more expensive and more complicated to implement. The Stratus solution is roughly $ 6.5k (source), but keep in mind that this is for a 4u physical system and you will need to add the cost of power/cooling/rackspace on top of that, where of course you could run vCenter Heartbeat perfectly virtual. It is not difficult to compare the price, but I’d rather see a cost comparison. Anyway, lets look at the architecture used. The following diagram, created by Stratus, compares the two solutions. I guess it is obvious straight away what the main difference is:
The difference is that Heartbeat is two instances being kept in sync where Stratus is a single instance. Although Stratus takes the “simplicity” approach to compare both architectures, in my opinion this also shows the strength of vCenter Heartbeat. That second instance could be running in a different datacenter / location. I guess each of these have its advantages / disadvantages.
Both of the solutions are definitely worth looking in to when deploying critical environments, but before you make a decision list the benefits/ costs / complexity / resiliency and weight them against each other. Nevertheless it is great to see solutions like these being developed.