Feeds

Red rag, meet bull: The software resilience gamble

This topic really got you going

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

New research alert You, the fine Reg readers, recently regaled us with the gory details of your application failures - and it ain't too pretty. It turns out that a large majority of you find business is disrupted by app failure way too often.

Of the 1200+ readers who took part in the research, a whopping 84 per cent said their business suffered disruption caused by application failure at least once a quarter, with 33 per cent complaining of the same once a month and 24 per cent once a week.

But not every application failure is catastrophic, and it’s important to look at impact as well as frequency. The majority of failures simply result in a degree of user inconvenience. However, incidents with more serious consequences occur more frequently than most people might imagine. For example, one in five organisations confess to suffering tangible business damage from application failure on at least a quarterly basis.

Size of business has little impact on frequency, though different availability hotspots do exist. It was interesting to see that email availability is the bugbear for smaller businesses. That’s not funny if, like Freeform, email is a crucial lubricant to doing business.

So from a business perspective, it makes for dismal reading. No business would consciously sign up to this level of application failure.

Judging by the number and length of open comments we received from you, the work being caused in this area fosters a fair degree of frustration among IT professionals.

So how is this burden on the IT department being generated?

The first and obvious culprit is ‘stuff just fails occasionally’. Is resiliency, then, a well-worn topic within the software development lifecycle? Nope. It doesn’t get a look-in in most organisations when scoping and budgets are laid out. Essentially, ‘insurance’ (think of things like automatic failover) isn’t given much thought until after things have fallen over.

What else is adding to the frustration? We picked up a lot of anecdotal evidence that operational IT feels largely ignored during the software development lifecycle. So it ends up managing applications which are not ‘designed for operations’ and represent a risk, both to the company and to their own workload.

At the coal face, we got the impression that the SLAs in play in many organisations aren’t worth the pdf they’re written on. Neither is the monitoring. Why else would 76 per cent of respondents tell us they don’t get enough warning of problems?

On the upside, the data showed very clearly that minimising exposure to failure can be achieved through a combination of good process and appropriate technology to provide system resiliency and/or rapid recovery. A structured approach to defining and specifying application software projects needs to include input from the right people (ie you lot); Resiliency and availability need to be considered early in the project lifecycle, and explicit investment in appropriate fault-tolerance and recovery solutions can all have a significant impact on reducing the frequency of disruption due to system failure.

Sadly, there’s a significant gap between where most organisations are and their ideal position. The evidence, however, points to a need for some practical but fundamental changes which IT can drive to help businesses take the gamble out of software resilience.

Get your mitts on the full report right here.

As usual, feedback very welcome. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.