Making Sure The Mail Goes Through - InformationWeek

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Making Sure The Mail Goes Through

Snow, sleet, and dead of night won't stop E-mail, but system downtime sure does. Companies can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on clustered systems that ensure uptime. But Marathon Technologies Corp. will sell a system based on standard Wintel servers that's designed to keep Microsoft Exchange up and available 99.999% of the time.

Marathon on Monday unveiled an Exchange server that would arrive at customer sites pre-configured. Until now, customers bought four standard Wintel servers, bought and installed the Marathon Endurance high-availability hardware and software, and bought and installed Exchange. Now customers can avoid installation costs and lost time.

Customers can choose the group of four servers from Compaq, Dell Computer, Hewlett-Packard, or IBM. The operating system can be either Windows NT or Windows 2000. They also get Microsoft Exchange and the Marathon Assured Availability system. Marathon says the pre-configured Exchange system will cost the same as a low-end Wintel cluster. The NT version should ship March 1, with the 2000 version shipping two months later.

Martha Underwood, IT manager of messaging at Boston-based MFS Investment Management, with $150 billion in assets under management, says the five Marathon Endurance systems she configured herself with Compaq servers and Exchange for 3,000 users cost her a little less than $40,000 each.

"Exchange has become mission-critical for us, the same as if the phones go down," Underwood says. "With Marathon, I haven't had a problem that a user would notice."

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