High Availability is a recent phenomenon
As recently as 10 years ago the personal computer was shipped as a self contained entity. Although the web existed, everything a person needed to edit documents and spreadsheets or listen to music or play video games existed right on your local computer. All the special purpose programs that you used in your job like graphics/video editors for graphics designers, programming languages for engineers and modeling tools for the sciences were available on your local machine. If the network failed, you could even read and write emails in “offline” mode, uploading the messages to be sent when you reconnected.
Fast forward to 2015 and we listen to our music via GrooveShark and watch movies via Netflix. We use “cloud” software like Gmail and Google Docs rather then local versions. And while many special purpose programs remain installed locally, essential portions have been outsourced to the cloud – for example, Microsoft recently retired the iconic “clip art” image library in its Office products in favor of online search. And unless you are truly expert in your software or do similar tasks from day to day, proceeding without connectivity can be difficult because software today is rarely installed with any documentation printed or electronic. For help you need to go online.
The reality today is that our computing devices are no longer destinations but are instead gateways to a worldwide information sphere that has become essential to many parts of our lives. High Availability – the art of creating computing services that keep running even when things go wrong – has moved from an esoteric feature buried deeply in highly specialized network hardware to being essential to nearly every business or recreational activity in modern society. It needs to be in the devices that provide connectivity to your home. It is needed in the servers that provide music, video, mobile apps, social network apps, online-shopping and business data. Outages in these services, or the path that the data takes from the provider to the consumer, result in inconvenience and significant loss of revenue. Sure, it’s possible to have your IT person watch your servers and when they die restart them… but that is slow, people get lazy or they might not even realize a problem is happening if it’s not catastrophic.
Mature High Availability software from OpenClovis
OpenClovis provides a framework that monitors software and hardware for failures, allows software to communicate rapidly with additional copies (for failures or load distribution) running on other hardware, and allows software to be quickly deployed on additional hardware to meet increasing load. It integrates tightly with your software – it runs inside your software – so it can tell you instantly that something is wrong, as compared to solutions that just look at the “container” and assume that the software must be working if the container is. Today your software needs to run all the time and grow and shrink with your load. Today you need OpenClovis’ OpenSAF-based software SAFPlus.