Today, the Exploring Windows Security Survival Guide brings another security triad, called Availability. This is a very important element as today the vast majority of the online business can’t afford to be unavailable for too much time. But it is not only online business that can’t afford downtime; in nowadays all business are working in high level degree of dependency in other services, many time to access other services the media that will be used is Internet, therefore even if the business does not have a high Internet presence, it is still using core Internet services such as e-mail. While the discussion of Availability goes way beyond the OS itself, the purpose of this post is to emphasize the Windows features and capabilities that may assist you while planning for a high availability scenario.
The Different Availability Layers in the OS
The discussion around availability from the OS perspective is very broad, it goes from deep OS implementation details to features that allow other applications to take advantage and provide high availability. The four pillars in Windows are:
Windows features such as failover clustering allows applications such as Exchange Server and SQL Server to offer high availability capability for data access. There are many built in Windows features that allow a better recovery against failure which helps to meet high availability requirements. The Windows Hardware Error Architecture Predictive Failure Analysis (WHEA) is new predictive failure analysis (PFA) feature that uses this information to predict and manage memory errors. From the traffic standpoint, Windows Network Load Balance also increases availability by allowing multiple hosts to share the traffic load.
Make sure to review the Availability section of the Windows Security Survival Guide for more information and links to Windows features that deals with Availability.