Marathon FTvirtual Server 6.1.2 review
To test fault tolerance, we mapped the virtual disk to another Windows Server 2003 system and ran Iometer on it, configured for continuous read operations. To simulate a complete CoServer failure, we simply powered one off from the front panel. The Manager utility changed to reflect the loss of a server, but Iometer didn’t bat an eyelid and continued unabated. However, we did see the effects of lockstepping; as now this wasn’t being performed, Iometer reported an increase in read performance of around 15 per cent for the virtual disk. We also set up web and FTP services on the virtual server and fired a copy of a 700MB file to an XP client on the LAN. We simulated the same system failure and watched the FTP transfer complete without any problems. In both cases, when the second CoServer was powered up the disk mirrors automatically resynchronised and fault tolerance was restored without any user intervention.
We’re impressed with Marathon’s FTvirtual Server. It performed well in the lab and clearly doesn’t need a huge amount of support resources to manage and maintain. Alerting facilities need to be improved, but otherwise this would make an ideal option for smaller businesses or enterprises looking for fault tolerance at a reasonable price.