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September 23, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Marathon Corp, the tiny Boxborough, Massachusetts-based NT fault-tolerance company, has won the backing of NEC Corp and its Japanese trading partner Sumisho Electronics. The two have signed what is described as a multi-million dollar OEM agreement with Marathon, which will supply NEC with its Endurance 4000 Constant Computing technology for Windows NT. Formed in 1993 by refugees from Digital Equipment Corp’s VaxFT fault-tolerant business, which was closed down, Marathon put together a mostly hardware fault-tolerance kit out of commodity parts to enable four standard Intel-based systems to be linked together (CI No 3,138). The result was a system with no single point of failure or repair without the need to modify applications. Additional SplitSite technology enables systems to be split up to a mile away from each other. It began shipping in April 1997, and release 2.2, supporting symmetrical multi-processing nodes, came out at the end of July. Marathon holds four patents resulting from its technology. including a patent on the software fault tolerance within Endurance. NEC first became interested at the start of this year, and has been working with Marathon on merging SMP, I20 input/output support and VI Architecture clustering into Endurance. It wants to include the technology as part of its Express server range.

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