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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Impact of Component Availability on Service Availability

In order to understand the potential for the failure of an IT service, it is first necessary to identify the components or configuration items on which the service depends. Clearly, for the service to be available, all the components that contribute to the hosting and delivery of the service must be available.

For ex: for a Website to run, we need the web server, a database which contains all information and an Internet connection in order for the website to run. If any of these 3 components is not available, the website (service) as a whole will be down.

Availability Management, as a proactive process, learns of business requirements from the Service Level Manager and then seeks to ensure that services and the components on which they depend are capable of meeting this requirement. Designing-in availability to new services is always more cost-effective than making changes after the service is deployed, so Availability Management needs to be actively involved at the design stage. The two most effective ways to design-in the required level of availability are to select components with an adequate specification and to design the systems to reduce the dependency on individual components.

Most services have a fail-over or a back-up component that kicks in when the main component is down. These are called fault tolerant systems wherein a back-up system kicks in and provides the service when the main system is down due to some problem.

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Next: Availability Management Techniques

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