Stratus shipped me an early preproduction server and, like a Lego toy, the company's engineers worked on-site to assemble the machine's seven-slot chassis and install the two sets of processor, disk, and I/O modules. The end result: A four-way 2.8GHz Xeon MP server with 4GB RAM, two Ultra160 SCSI hard drives, and two PCI expansion slots.
Actually, multiply that by two. All the hardware was doubled for fault tolerance, so the test server actually had eight processors, 8GB RAM, four hard drives, and four PCI slots, which must be populated in identical pairs. Note that the company has only a small list of cards, mainly Fibre Channel and SCSI adapters, that it has qualified for installation in this server. The test system had two 18GB boot drives and two 36GB data drives; the company didn't provide any PCI cards for the I/O modules. The two servers share a common set of USB and video adapters.
Next, Stratus installed Windows 2000 Advanced Server (Service Pack 3) -- a process that the company insisted its engineers perform, because they replace some of the Windows drivers with their own "hardened" code, as well as adding other pieces of software to manage the synchronization and failover of the lockstep devices across the backplane, replicate memory between the two processor modules, and monitor and manage the devices. The company also offers Windows Server 2003, but I chose to stick with Windows 2000, simply because of my greater familiarity with the older code base.
Testing the ftServer 6600's fault-tolerance features consisted primarily of running continuous tasks on the server while unplugging, failing, and then re-enabling its hardware components. Those tasks included operations that repeatedly wrote the system clock time into a log file, so that any disruptions in operation could be easily seen, as well as external health monitoring via Rational's SiteLoad load-testing software.