The simplest example is a boat with two separate engines driving two separate propellers. The boat continues toward its destination despite failure of a single engine or propeller. A more complex example is multiple redundant power generation facilities within a large system involving electric power transmission. Malfunction of single components is not considered to be a failure unless the resulting performance decline exceeds the specification limits for the entire system. Pre-alpha refers to the early stages of development, when the software is still being designed and built. Alpha testing is the first phase of formal testing, during which the software is tested internally using white-box techniques.
Configurations can also be defined with active, hot standby, and cold standby (or idle) subsystems, extending the traditional “active+standby” nomenclature to “active+standby+idle” (e.g. 5+1+1). Typically, “cold standby” or “idle” subsystems are active for lower priority work. All faults that affect availability – hardware, software, and configuration need to be addressed by High Availability Software to maximize availability. Having a solid preventive maintenance definition of availability program in place helps reduce asset failure or needing to take equipment out of production. You can optimize preventive maintenance processes by identifying and prioritizing tasks, and figuring out how often they should be performed to help to maximize asset and system availability. Preventive maintenance is regular and routine maintenance performed on physical assets to reduce the chances of equipment failure and unplanned machine downtime.

What does system availability mean for maintenance?

High availability is an important subset of reliability engineering, focused towards assuring that a system or component has a high level of operational performance in a given period of time. At a first glance, its implementation might seem quite complex; however, it can bring tremendous benefits for systems that require increased reliability. Another related concept is data availability, that is the degree to which databases and other information storage systems faithfully record and report system transactions. Information management often focuses separately on data availability, or Recovery Point Objective, in order to determine acceptable (or actual) data loss with various failure events. Some users can tolerate application service interruptions but cannot tolerate data loss. For example, hospitals and data centers require high availability of their systems to perform routine daily activities.

  • Mobile devices offer users the ability to access software anytime and anywhere, further expanding the reach and availability of applications.
  • By addressing these concerns, trust and confidence in distributed software availability can be established, ensuring the safe and secure utilization of software applications.
  • High availability software should enable scale-out without interrupting service.
  • Furthermore, we will explore strategies for improving user experience, factors affecting the availability of enterprise software solutions, and the significance of maintenance and updates in sustaining software availability.

Beta testing is the next phase, in which the software is tested by a larger group of users, typically outside of the organization that developed it. The beta phase is focused on reducing impacts on users and may include usability testing. Availability should be measured against the time the service is required or its required service level. If the business goal is to enter and process orders while the business is open, it will dilute your measurements to factor in uptime during off-hours, weekends, and holidays. The focus of availability management has shifted from designing systems that are fault tolerant (addressing MTBF) towards designing systems that recover quickly.

Addressing Security Concerns in Distributed Software Availability

Additionally, cloud services cannot detect software failures within the virtual machines. High Availability Software running inside the cloud virtual machines can detect software (and virtual machine) failures in seconds and can use checkpointing to ensure that standby virtual machines are ready to take over service. For mission-critical software systems, high availability is crucial to prevent significant disruptions and financial losses. Strategies to ensure high availability include the implementation of failover mechanisms, load balancing, real-time monitoring, and proactive maintenance.
If the developer wishes, they may release the source code, so the platform will live again, and be maintained by volunteers, and if not, it may be reverse-engineered later when it becomes abandonware. His company also provides Marketing, content strategy, and content production services for B2B IT industry companies. Joe has produced over 1,000 articles and IT-related content for various publications and tech companies over the last 15 years. Availability is the ratio of time a system or component is functional compared to the total time it is required or expected to function. This can be expressed as a proportion, such as 9/10 or 0.9 or as a percentage, which in this case would be 90%.

What is the definition of ‘Availability’?

MTBF is dividing the total uptime hours by the number of outages during the observation period. Software availability refers to the accessibility and presence of software across various devices or platforms. In simpler terms, it describes the ability to obtain, install, and utilize software. With the advent of technology, software availability has expanded beyond traditional physical copies to encompass digital downloads, cloud-based solutions, and Software as a Service (SaaS) models. It is crucial to understand this concept as it forms the foundation of how we engage with software in today’s digital age. Cloud service providers offer an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model that gives you access to storage, servers, and other resources.

IBM dropped the alpha/beta terminology during the 1960s, but by then it had received fairly wide notice. The usage of “beta test” to refer to testing done by customers was not done in IBM. During its supported lifetime, the software is sometimes subjected to service releases, patches or service packs, sometimes also called “interim releases” or “maintenance releases” (MR). For example, Microsoft released three major service packs for the 32-bit editions of Windows XP and two service packs for the 64-bit editions. Such service releases contain a collection of updates, fixes, and enhancements, delivered in the form of a single installable package. Classes of software that generally involve protracted support as the norm include anti-virus suites and massively multiplayer online games.

However, asset reliability refers to the probability of an asset performing without failure under normal operating conditions over a given period of time. With an increased demand for reliable and performant infrastructures designed to serve critical systems, the terms scalability and high availability couldn’t be more popular. While handling increased system load is a common concern, decreasing downtime and eliminating single points of failure are just as important. High availability is a quality of infrastructure design at scale that addresses these latter considerations. The term release to manufacturing (RTM), also known as “going gold”, is a term used when a software product is ready to be delivered. This build may be digitally signed, allowing the end user to verify the integrity and authenticity of the software purchase.
Cloud computing scalability refers to how well your system can react and adapt to changing demands. As your company grows, you want to be able to seamlessly add resources without losing quality of service or interruptions. As demand on your resources decreases, you want to be able to quickly and efficiently downscale your system so you don’t continue to pay for resources you don’t need. Multiple redundant nodes must be connected together as a cluster where each node should be equally capable of failure detection and recovery. High availability is one of the primary requirements of the control systems in unmanned vehicles and autonomous maritime vessels.