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Achieving fault-tolerant software with rejuvenation and ... - IEEE Xplore

Achieving fault-tolerant software with rejuvenation and ... - IEEE Xplore

Achieving fault-tolerant software with rejuvenation and ... - IEEE

focus fault tolerance Achieving Fault-Tolerant Software with Rejuvenation and Reconfiguration William Yurcik and David Doss, Illinois State University Requirements for constantly functioning software have increased dramatically with commercialization of the Internet. Application service providers and service-level agreements specify contractual software performance in terms of guaranteed availability and error thresholds (failed connection attempts, transaction failures, and fulfillment failures). These requirements are difficult to satisfy, particularly as applications grow in complexity, but the alternative of letting systems unpredictably The authors present two complementary ways of dealing with software aging: reinitializing to a known operating state before a failure occurs or reconfiguring after a failure such that the service the software provides remains operational. crash is becoming less of an option. Such crashes are becoming increasingly expensive to business and potentially life threatening to those who depend on essential services built on networked software systems. As the makeup of systems is increasingly composed of software relative to hardware, system crashes are more likely to be the result of a software fault than a hardware fault. Although enormous efforts go into developing defect-free software, it isn’t always possible to find and eliminate every software bug. Software engineers develop software that works in the best of all possible worlds, but the real world includes environmental disruptions, transient faults, human errors, and malicious attacks. 1 Building constantly functioning software systems in such a highly dynamic and unbounded environment is a challenge. Even if individual software could be certifiably “assured” as bug-free, this assured software would likely have to execute on systems with “nonassured” software that could potentially introduce new faults into the system. 2 Developing systems through software integration and reuse (rather than customized design) has become a cornerstone of modern software engineering. Thus, when considering software systems as a whole, it is prudent to assume that bugs are inherent and software should be fault tolerant. Furthermore, when specific software continuously executes, software aging occurs: The software ages due to error conditions that accumulate with time and use. 3–5 Causes include memory leaks, memory fragmentation, memory bloating, missing scheduling deadlines, broken pointers, poor register use, and build-up of numerical round-off errors. This aging manifests itself 48 IEEE SOFTWARE July/August 2001 0740-7459/01/$10.00 © 2001 IEEE

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