An unusual and noteworthy retirement from the IT industry is scheduled to take place in April, Computerworld reports, when a fault-tolerant server from Stratus Technologies running continuously for 24 years in Dearborn, Michigan, is replaced in a system upgrade.
The server was set up in 1993 by Phil Hogan, an IT application architect for a steel product company now known as Great Lakes Works EGL.
Hogan’s server won a contest held by Stratus to identify its longest-running server in 2010, when Great Lakes Works was called Double Eagle Steel Coating Co. (DESCO). While various redundant hardware components have been replaced over the years, Hogan estimates close to 80 percent of the original system remains.
The server runs on a version of Stratus proprietary VOS operating system, which Hogan tells Computerworld has been very stable despite not being updated since the early 2000s. The character-driven interface has proven simple enough for continued use, particularly in light of the reliability advantages.
While the value of fancy interfaces relative to reliability remains an ongoing debate within the industry, running server software which is still supported is generally recommended, though not always followed.
Jason Anderson, vice president of business line management for Stratus, told Computerworld that since the 2010 contest, the company has become aware of other servers that have been operating for over 20 years, though the one Hogan set up may be the oldest.
U.S. Steel acquired DESCO in 2015, and is now planning to upgrade its IT system in April, which will mark the end of a remarkable run of uptime.
This article first ran on The WHIR.