This Stratus was booted up in 1993 and still runs but not for much longer
Many of you who use latest electronic gadgets and PCs which don’t even run for a full year might find this shocking. There are some gems in the world which have been manufactured even before you were born and are yet running efficiently. Some these old systems are running in the most unlikeliest places like this French airport which has been running its servers on Windows 3.1 while others turn up on Craiglist and sell for peanuts.
But one such server is running since 1993 and has completed almost 24 years of life without a breakdown. This Stratus fault tolerant server was first booted in 1993 and has been running non-stop.Phil Hogan, an IT application architect working with steel products maker Great Lakes Works EGL in Dearborn Mich first booted up this brand-new Stratus Technologies fault tolerant server.
While a lot may have changed since 1993 but the Stratus has been running like an old war horse. Over the years, Hogan has changed many hardware components in this unique machine like disk drives, power supplies etc. Hogan, however, estimates that close to 80% of the system is original.
“It never shut down on its own because of a fault it couldn’t handle,” said Hogan. “I can’t even think of an instance where we had an unplanned shutdown,” he said.
The manufacturer of Stratus line of servers held a contest in 2010 to identify one of its servers that had been running the longest. Hogan’s server which had completed 17 long years of operation emerged a winner.
Something about this unique server
This Stratus system runs an older version Stratus proprietary VOS operating system, which Hogan believes hasn’t been updated since the early 2000s. “It’s been extremely stable,’ he said. While his company doesn’t have a maintenance contract with Stratus, Hogan says that he sources parts from third party vendors. Luckily for Hogan there are still vendors available who stock spare parts and accessories for this antiquated war horse.
Jason Andersen, the vice president of business line management at Stratus, said the systems they produce “are totally redundant in every way shape or form.” Since the 2010 server longevity contest, Andersen said Stratus has learned of other 20-year-old-plus systems but it’s possible that the server at Great Lakes Works may still be the oldest.
Stratus fault tolerant systems are used in payment processing, telecommunications, and credit card processing, as well as in manufacturing, energy and natural resources among other industry verticals, said Andersen. Stratus builds systems that support Windows, Linux, VMware and VOS.
Sadly for Stratus, the end is near
Like all good things, Stratus server seems to be nearing its end. Hogan’s company is now is now a part of United States Steel Corp. The new company plans to upgrade its entire system and Stratus will, therefore, be retired.
Really a sad moment for Hogan and all the tech lovers in the world. We at Techworm hope that the United States Steel Corp will donate this awesome machine to some museum where it can serve as a memento.