Stratus debuts ztC Edge, its virtualized industrial platform to meet growing need for compute at the network

Stratus Technologies, vendor of continuous availability solutions for mission-critical applications, unveiled on Monday its new Stratus ztC Edge. The first product of Stratus’ recently announced edge vision and direction, ztC Edge is a zero-touch, fully virtualized and self-protecting computing platform, specifically designed for industrial edge environments.

With built-in remote management and user-installable in less than an hour, ztC Edge significantly reduces the IT burden for virtualized computing at the edge. Its self-protecting and self-monitoring features help reduce unplanned downtime and ensure availability of business-critical industrial applications.

The Stratus ztC Edge includes built-in virtualization for up to three virtual machines (VMs), each running different industrial control or IoT applications; automated application and data recovery; automated site recovery; rugged, hot-swappable nodes that can be wall- or DIN rail-mounted; and cloud-based health monitoring and built-in remote management services.

Stratus ztC Edge comes equipped with an installation wizard and management utility that makes it easy for operational technology (OT) staff to set up, configure and manage their virtual machines, thus requiring little or no resources from corporate IT. Furthermore, ztC Edge’s virtualization host software can be updated dynamically, while the system is running, without requiring a system reboot.

Stratus ztC Edge is comprised of redundant nodes that act as a single system. With live migration of VMs, data replication, and redundant networking, it instantly provides protection for applications and data. The system continually monitors itself, evaluating its health and performance. If ztC Edge detects a potential central processing unit (CPU) or memory failure in one node, it proactively moves VMs from one node to the other ensuring application continuity.

Stratus also offers cloud-based system health monitoring and management services, which ensure that applications on a customer’s ztC Edge systems are always running, with minimal customer effort. ztC Edge can be configured to continually monitor and send system-generated logs to Stratus over a secure network. Stratus will analyze logs, triage alerts, and predict failures to address potential issues before they occur.

Depending on the service level chosen by the customer, Stratus will initiate corrective action (including the shipment of a spare part), conduct a thorough root cause analysis, or prepare a failure prevention plan.

Stratus ztC Edge is the first product of Stratus’ recently announced edge vision and direction. Future products in the ztC Edge family will include additional services, such as security, and full-stack monitoring and protection.  ztC Edge will be generally available within the next 90 days. Business partners and customers will be able to place orders in March 2018.

The influx of data from connected devices is driving the need for – and growth of – new edge computing infrastructure. According to research from IDC, revenue of edge computing infrastructure will reach $3.4bn in 2021, growing at a CAGR of 22 percent, with Internet of Things (IoT) and IT/OT convergence driving most of this opportunity.

With this growth comes the need for easier ways to ensure the availability of applications that run critical operations at the edge and collect and process this data.

In fact, in a recent market report by ARC Advisory Group, more than 90 percent of those surveyed indicated that as edge computing grows, organizations will need a simplified edge infrastructure that can be remotely managed.

ztC Edge, with its built-in virtualization, self-protecting capabilities, and managed services, provides a versatile industrial platform for running business-critical industrial applications outside of the data center in environments such as the manufacturing plant floor.

“Our customers and partners are telling us that industrial organizations desperately want to reduce complexity at the plant level – also known as the network’s edge. Process engineers and operational technology (OT) experts we work with are laser focused on the productivity and efficiency of their operations,” said Dave Laurello, CEO, Stratus. “They don’t have the bandwidth to install and manage cumbersome enterprise computing technology retooled for these environments. OT wants a zero-touch product that is built from the ground-up for their environments, one they can easily install and rely on without fail. With ztC Edge, we’re now delivering exactly what these customers want – a self-contained system that protects important data, keeps applications up and running, offers predictive servicing and secure connectivity. And, we are delivering these results without the management and maintenance burden.”

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