While all seven primary characteristics of IT infrastructure is important

While all seven primary
characteristics of IT infrastructure is important, reliability is definitely
one of the most important. Reliability is a quality you would seek in almost
any investment, a car, a washing machine, a computer, something to depend on. Reliability
in terms of IT infrastructure is the ability of the components of the whole
system to consistently perform according to its specifications. A reliable
system should be free of technical errors, and should produce correct outputs
at a given time. Reliability was practiced in the early beginning days of NASA
when Robert Lusser developed what is known as “Lusser’s Law”, the law states
“that the reliability of any system is equal to the product of the reliability
of its components, or the so-called weakest link concept” (“Reliability,
Availability” 2013). Lack of reliability and availability can cause serious
consequences, loss of revenue, dissatisfied customers, damage to reputation,
and loss of data.
Reliability can be said to include
availability and maintainability, however, its really more involved with the
probability of a failure occurring over a defined time interval. These three
‘ilities’ are closely tied, maintainability is concerned with restoration after
a failure, and availability is the measure of the system being absolutely ready
to take on a task.
Redundancy is one way companies
focus on reliability and availability. Having extra or duplicate resources
available to backup the main system helps make the system reliable by stepping
in if the primary system fails.
Three types of redundancy are:

Hardware: reserve
storage drives and servers
Software: backup
operating system
Data: copies of
duplicate data

Hardware can be made more reliable
and available by making use of extra hardware that can used in the event
something goes wrong. Two power supplies could provide reliability in the even
one fails. Parallel setup is when an organization uses two identical hardware
set-ups, allowing them to switch between the two systems, reducing disruption
to their normal operation. Another method in ensuring reliability and
availaility in hardware is redundant array of independent disks (RAID) which
“automatically make extra copies of any new or changed data using several hard
disks. If one or more of the disks goes wrong, the data should still safely
exist on at least one of the other disks” (“Reliability and” 2015). Software
reliability is improved by using redundant software, system checks, and
updating to make sure it’s able to perform fault-free. Data backed-up either
internally or on the cloud improves reliability, backing up is important for
everyone as files and data become corrupted, accidentally overwritten or
deleted.
Designing the IT architecture to be
fault-tolerant in the first place helps improve reliability so it can fail
while taking steps to avoid data loss once things start to go wrong. A dump
file in place makes sure the system makes an emergency copy of all data before
shutting down; a last resort means of recovery. Defensive programming checks
the system to warn a user that its not working properly, allowing the
organization to fix, or prevent a massive failure before it’s too late.
Reliability and backing up.
(Copyright 2015). Retrieved November 11, 2015, from.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/z9tf9j6/revision/5″>http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/z9tf9j6/revision/5
Reliability, Availability, and
Maintainability. (2013, September 1). Retrieved November 11, 2015, from.mitre.org/publications/systems-engineering-guide/acquisition-systems-engineering/integrated-logistics-support/reliability-availability-and-maintainability”>http://www.mitre.org/publications/systems-engineering-guide/acquisition-systems-engineering/integrated-logistics-support/reliability-availability-and-maintainability

 

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