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Managing Serviceguard Fifteenth Edition

Appendix C Designing Highly Available Cluster Applications


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This appendix describes how to create or port applications for high availability, with emphasis on the following topics:

Designing for high availability means reducing the amount of unplanned and planned downtime that users will experience. Unplanned downtime includes unscheduled events such as power outages, system failures, network failures, disk crashes, or application failures. Planned downtime includes scheduled events such as scheduled backups, system upgrades to new OS revisions, or hardware replacements.

Two key strategies should be kept in mind:

  1. Design the application to handle a system reboot or panic. If you are modifying an existing application for a highly available environment, determine what happens currently with the application after a system panic. In a highly available environment there should be defined (and scripted) procedures for restarting the application. Procedures for starting and stopping the application should be automatic, with no user intervention required.

  2. The application should not use any system-specific information such as the following if such use would prevent it from failing over to another system and running properly:

    • The application should not refer to uname() or gethostname().

    • The application should not refer to the SPU ID.

    • The application should not refer to the MAC (link-level) address.

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