Cornastone ups the ante with Stratus offerings

Thu, 2009/03/12

While Cornastone Enterprise Systems is rustling up the industry with its Stratus Technologies offerings, Business Development Manager, Mark Jones still maintains that the company will rather quietly over-deliver than shout its successes from the rooftops.

Cornastone is a specialist IT solutions provider and supplies tailor-made hardware infrastructure, systems management and value-added software solutions to the local market, with implementations at companies such as Outsurance and Pick and Pay.

Over the last 12 months, Jones says his division has upped the ante around the Stratus Technologies and Cornastone partnership. Building on its five year relationship with Stratus, the company has recently created a Business Critical Solutions Division focusing specifically on Stratus ftServer systems with its high availability and virtualisation capabilities.

Currently, Stratus is offering ftServer systems configured with VMware Infrastructure 3 Foundation at no charge, a solution that is proving to be very lucrative for Cornastone.

Jones says this combination of industry-leading availability and virtualisation is an ideal solution for consolidation on a fault-tolerant server in remote sites or Small and Medium Business (SMB) and Cornastone has strong virtualisation skills in the Group.

“Given the state of the entire IT industry and the economy as a whole, it’s important for organisations to keep operational costs down whilst increasing performance and productivity. Stratus with VMWare provides a perfect platform for that,” he says.

In addition to the ftServer offering, Cornastone now also supports Avance, a low-cost virtualisation and business continuity software offering that is designed for SMB’s and distributed corporate networks that require high infrastructure and data availability but with reduced power consumption, cooling and real-estate.

Jones says by using Stratus virtualisation technology, organisations can reduce the number of physical devices – not just in the data centre but also at network and desktop level. This reduces the size and number of facilities to house and operate equipment by providing them with the capability to perform multiple functions.

“Today we are seeing a trend towards the recentralisation of assets back to the data centre. Virtualisation enables the recentralisation and consolidation of IT assets and significantly improves the service levels IT can deliver to business.

“Rather than having many dedicated assets, organisations can now share these assets and reduces the footprint of the overall data centre,” he says.

But according to Jones, the major selling point of the Stratus offering is its simplicity.

“We are finding that while virtualisation of non-critical applications is on the CIO radar, most companies we deal with are more concerned about high availability of their business critical applications. Stratus offers a combination of both in a simple manageable manner,” he says.

With the ftServer and VMWare offering, there is no need for the vCenter Server license. VMware includes a web-based GUI and a single server management console at no charge.

Secondly, redundant servers are no longer required, taking with them the cost and maintenance of redundant application, Operating System, and VMware ESX licenses. As a result, the SAN and network connections needed for multiple servers can be vastly simplified.

“This combination of Stratus ftServer and VMware ESX foundation provides the highest level of availability in the industry for virtualised environments. But above and beyond its industry-leading availability it reduces cost, is simpler to implement and manage, and is more feature-rich than competitive systems configured with VMware’s entry-level virtualisation product (ESXi), since it includes Virtual Center agent, consolidated backup, and hardware fault-tolerance,” he says.

Dick Sharod, Country Manager for Stratus Technologies says Cornastone is an important partner for Stratus in the South African market.

“Cornastone as a company understands the implications on the broader IT architecture and can assist clients with end-to-end virtualisation projects through staged services such as workshops, assessments, designs and roadmaps for implementation and support.

“The company has also developed green infrastructure solutions offerings that are aligned with organisations’ existing IT solutions, addressing ICT best  practice in addition to delivering a green benefit to its clients. These qualities are what we look for in solid partnerships,” he concludes.