A standard for uninterrupted running of network services. A 24 x 7 network is a network whose services and resources are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with virtually no downtime. A further extension is the goal of 24 x 7 x 365 availability. In today’s emerging e-business economy, availability of the network and its resources and applications can make the difference between business success and failure.
A variety of technologies can be used to approach the goal of 24 x 7 availability. One of the most successful is clustering, a technology in which an application runs redundantly on multiple servers. When one of the nodes in a cluster fails, the other nodes take on the workload of the failed node so that there is no interruption in service while the failed node is being repaired or replaced. Microsoft Cluster Server (MSCS), included in Microsoft Windows NT Server, Enterprise Edition, offers clustering services for high-availability line-of-business applications.
Other technologies important to the 24 x 7 goal include fault tolerant hardware technologies. Examples are hot-swappable components, such as power supplies and hard disks that can be removed and replaced without the system having to power down or reboot. RAID 5 disk systems guard against data loss from disk failure. Cellular phones and pagers also play a role in attaining the 24 x 7 goal, as they allow businesses to keep in touch with administrators and technical support staff around the clock.
Pay your network administrators and support staff well - they deserve it in a 24 x 7 networking environment. Forget about alternative forms of compensation and shell out the big bucks. If you lose these people, they will be hard to replace!