Книга: Distributed operating systems

5.3.5. Fault Tolerance

5.3.5. Fault Tolerance

Current computer systems, except for very specialized ones like air traffic control, are not fault tolerant. When the computer goes down, the users are expected to accept this as a fact of life. Unfortunately, the general population expects things to work. If a television channel, the phone system, or the electric power company goes down for half an hour, there are many unhappy people the next day. As distributed systems become more and more widespread, the demand for systems that essentially never fail will grow. Current systems cannot meet this need.

Obviously, such systems will need considerable redundancy in hardware and the communication infrastructure, but they will also need it in software and especially data. File replication, often an afterthought in current distributed systems, will become an essential requirement in future ones. Systems will also have to be designed that manage to function when only partial data are available, since insisting that all the data be available all the time does not lead to fault tolerance. Down times that are now considered acceptable by programmers and other sophisticated users, will be increasingly unacceptable as computer use spreads to nonspecialists.

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