Software Fault Tolerance

Most Realtime systems focus on hardware fault tolerance. Software fault tolerance is often overlooked. This is really surprising because hardware components have much higher reliability than the software that runs over them. Most system designers go to great lengths to limit the impact of a hardware failure on system performance. However they pay little attention to the systems behavior when a software module fails.

In this article we will be covering several techniques that can be used to limit the impact of software faults (read bugs) on system performance. The main idea here is to contain the damage caused by software faults. Software fault tolerance is not a license to ship the system with bugs. The real objective is to improve system performance and availability in cases when the system encounters a software or hardware fault.

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