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SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES 10) Installation and Administration
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12.0 High Availability under Linux

This chapter contains a short overview of the key concepts and tools from the area of high availability under Linux. It also offers suggested further reading for all the topics mentioned.

High availability describes systems that can mask certain malfunctions—in particular, the failure of individual computers—so the service can be made available to the user again after only a short downtime. Hardware and software are carefully coordinated and laid out for redundancy, enabling an automatic switch to the other components in the event of a malfunction. High availability differs from error tolerance because the service is temporarily unavailable for the short service switchover phase, which can be noticed in delays or short losses in connection.

A high availability system particularly means when the overall availability of the service is between 99.999 percent and 99.99999 percent. This corresponds to a downtime of between five minutes and three seconds over an entire year. The most important factor is not just the software and hardware side, but, primarily, well-conceived system administration with well-documented and understandable processes for minimizing faults. In every case, it involves weighing risks and costs. Different requirements and solutions may be appropriate, depending on the application scenario. Your Novell partner will be happy to advise you.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES 10) Installation and Administration
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