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High Availability

The Components of High Availability Systems
High availability, viewed solely as a technology issue, leads to expensively unavailable systems.

Availability depends, fundamentally, on trained people following specific processes using products designed to be highly available.

People must know how to administer, manage, and use highly available systems. They must follow policies and procedures designed to minimize failure recovery analysis and downtime.

They must avoid introducing points of failure during planned system maintenance. And they must use inherently reliable products which have the ability to recover rapidly if a failure occurs.

This model, independent of the number of computers involved, illustrates the various layers that govern system availability. At one extreme, all layers reside on a single computer. At the other end is a distributed environment where users operate desktop PCs, applications run on work group computers and the database runs on one or more large central servers.

As shown, availability is measured at the top layer—the user level—but depends on all the lower layers. Determining base platform availability calls for understanding the needs of users as well as the requirements for unavoidable database and application downtime.

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