Stratus acquires competing HA software provider Marathon

With the purchase of Marathon, Stratus hopes to become a one-stop shop for HA and fault-tolerant systems

In a move to expand its scope of providing high availability (HA) and fault tolerant systems, Stratus Technologies has acquired privately held Marathon Technologies, an application availability software provider based in Littleton, Massachusetts.

"The acquisition of Marathon is totally synergistic. With the combination of Marathon's offerings with our offerings, we are the one stop shop for availability," said David Laurello, Stratus chairman and CEO. "In addition, it expands our channel base, or partner ecosystem and gives us a much more diverse customer base."

Marathon Technologies focused on selling software to ensure fault tolerant system operations. Its flagship product, the Marathon EverRun MX, offers a software based approach to ensuring Microsoft applications could run without interruption on multicore and multiprocessor computers.

With this purchase, Stratus is further expanding its portfolio of HA and fault-tolerant systems. HA systems are critical for ensuring operations run even if an individual server stops operating. Such HA services are good for mission-critical operations, business continuity and disaster recovery. Stratus originated as a provider of HA servers, which are now sold under the name ftServer. Subsequently, Stratus released HA software called Avance for small and medium-sized businesses that run commodity hardware.

The purchase of Marathon will allow Stratus to offer a more sophisticated fault-tolerant software package with EverRun MX. Unlike Avance, EverRun can offer true fault tolerance, namely the ability to switch to a backup copy of a program without losing any in-transit data. The software also has additional business continuity, disaster recovery and reporting features not found in Avance.

EverRun "is a little bit above our Avance HA offering but a little bit below our ftServer offering," Laurello said.

Over time, Stratus will combine the best features of both Avance and everRun MX into a yet-to-be-named software package. The technologies will also help Stratus as it prepares packages for running HA and mission critical workloads in private clouds and other virtualized environments.

Stratus will also benefit from Marathon's partner network and customer base, Laurello said. Marathon partners include Microsoft and Citrix Systems. In terms of customers, Marathon made significant inroads into serving vertical market segments such as security, airline baggage logistics, home and corporate security, and manufacturing."There is very little overlap," Laurello said, noting that Stratus itself was strong in financial services, public safety and manufacturing.

The approximately 40 employees of Marathon, located in the U.S., U.K., and Japan, will be offered employment with Stratus.

Stratus Technologies is based in Maynard, Massachusetts and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Stratus Technologies Bermuda Holdings.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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Joab Jackson

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