Stratus Technologies pays $50K if Tier 1 applications have a fault on vSphere virtual machines

At we usually don’t pay much attention to the various sales promotion that vendors launch to win the hyper-competitive virtualization market. Sometimes we make exceptions. And today is one of those days.

Stratus Technologies is a well-known company for its 99.999% fault-tolerant hardware, ftServer, which is made by a couple of identical machines that act as one, providing out-of-the-box HA capability.

ftServer is certified by Citrix and VMware virtual infrastructures but Stratus doesn’t seem happy enough to tell its customers that its platform is guaranteed to work.

The company has just launched a new promotion called Zero Downtime Guarantee:

Stratus Technologies is betting $50,000 that Tier 1 enterprise applications are virtualization-ready — provided they are running VMware vSphere™ 4 on the Stratus ftServer platform.

The Zero Downtime $50K Guarantee announced today promises new and existing Stratus customers 100 percent uptime for newly purchased ftServer 6300 systems running VMware vSphere 4 Enterprise and Enterprise Plus editions. Any unplanned downtime caused by the failure of the server or virtualization platform during the first six months after being placed into production will put $50,000 cash or product credit in the customer’s hand. The program is open to end-user customers worldwide and runs through December 31, 2010. Conditions and exclusions apply.

(our emphasis)

Of course that little “Conditions and exclusions apply.” sentence in the middle of the press announcement is the key, but the details of these conditions and exclusions (for example: what are the applications that Stratus considers Tier 1?) don’t seem available online.
Customers may want to further investigate.