(also fail-safe mechanism, fault-tolerant computing)
Fault tolerance definition
Fault tolerance in computing refers to the ability of a system, network, or application to continue functioning effectively even when a component fails, such as a server, data center, or connection. It’s a crucial aspect of any system design, ensuring business continuity and minimizing downtime in case of unexpected failures.
See also: end-to-end encryption
Fault tolerance examples
- Redundant systems: Redundancy is a common approach to achieving fault tolerance. For example, having multiple servers in a network that can step in if one fails, maintaining the functionality of the system.
- RAID storage: RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is a data storage fault tolerance method that duplicates data across multiple disks. This allows data to be recovered if a disk fails.
Pros and cons of fault tolerance
- Business continuity: By maintaining the functionality of a system even in the case of component failure, fault tolerance ensures that businesses can continue to operate and serve their clients.
- Data protection: Fault tolerance methods like RAID provide protection against data loss, an important consideration for any business.
- Complexity and cost: Building a fault-tolerant system can be complex and costly because it often involves duplication of hardware, software, and data.
- Maintenance: Fault-tolerant systems require meticulous maintenance and monitoring to ensure all components are working and updated.
Fault tolerance tips
- Plan for the unexpected: Building fault tolerance into a system involves considering all potential points of failure and how they can be mitigated.
- Monitor system health: Regular checks of the system’s health and swift response to alerts can prevent system failure.