Redundancy issues in software and hardware systems: An overview
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The redundancy is a widely spread technology of building computing systems that continue to operate satisfactorily in the presence of faults occurring in hardware and software components. The principle objective of applying redundancy is achieve reliability goals subject to techno-economic constraints. Due to a plenty of applications arising virtually in both industrial and military organizations especially in embedded fault tolerance systems including telecommunication, distributed computer systems, automated manufacturing systems, etc., the reliability and its dependability measures of redundant computer-based systems have become attractive features for the systems designers and production engineers. However, even with the best design of redundant computer-based systems, software and hardware failures may still occur due to many failure mechanisms leading to serious consequences such as huge economic losses, risk to human life, etc. The objective of present survey article is to discuss various key aspects, failure consequences, methodologies of redundant systems along with software and hardware redundancy techniques which have been developed at the reliability engineering level. The methodological aspects which depict the required steps to build a block diagram composed of components in different configurations as well as Markov and non-Markov state transition diagram representing the structural system has been elaborated. Furthermore, we describe the reliability of a specific redundant system and its comparison with a non redundant system to demonstrate the tractability of proposed models and its performance analysis. © 2011 World Scientific Publishing Company.
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