Explain some of the fault tolerance capabilities used in computer systems and networks

A Management Information System ICT Revision Questions and Answers

Fault tolerant computer systems contain redundant hardware, software, and power supply components that create an environment that provide continuous, un-interrupted service. Fault tolerant computers contain extra memory chips, processors, and disk storage devices to back up a system and keep it running to prevent failure. They use special software routine or self checking logic built in to their circuitry to detect hardware failure and automatically switch to backup devices. Table 1 outlines some of the fault tolerant capabilities used in many computer system and networks.

Layer Threats Fault tolerance methods
Applications Environment, Hardware Application specific redundancies and rollback to


  and software faults previous check points
Systems Outages System isolation, data security, system integrity
Databases Data errors Separation    of    transactions    and   safe    updates,

complete transactions histories, backup files

Networks Transmission error Reliable      controllers,     safe     asynchrony              and handshaking,       alternative                routing,   error

detection and error correction codes

Processes Hardware and software


Alternative computations, rollback to checkpoints
Files Media errors Replication of critical data on different media and

sites, archiving, backup, retrieval

Processors Hardware faults Instruction entry, error correcting codes in memory

and      processing,       replication,       multiple processors and memories

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