Monthly Archives: June 2007

Patterns for Fault Tolerant Software

My fellow Hillsider Robert S. Hanmer has just finished his book on fault tolerant patterns (to be available from John Wiley & Sons, October-November 2007). Here’s the book’s descritiption, in Bob’s words:

This book presents proven techniques to achieve highly available, fault tolerant software that can be implemented by software developers, software architects and small teams. The techniques are presented in the form of patterns as a resource for teaching developers and students about fault tolerance principles and also as a reference for experts seeking to select the technique appropriate for a given system.

Within the phases of fault tolerance (fault detection, error processing and fault treatment) the patterns will be organized in a way that leads from high-level abstractions to the concrete mechanisms. The collection of techniques will be programming language independent, and will be presented in a way that supports their working together to design fault tolerant software. This allows the designer to build the fault tolerant pattern language needed to solve their unique design problems.

Readers are guided from concepts and terminology, through common principles and methods to advanced techniques and practices in the development of software systems.

This book gives present proven methods of increasing the fault tolerance in a way that helps individual architects and developers. The fault tolerance domain lacks a handbook that provides well-known techniques and practices that are larger in scope than ‘defensive programming’ as many books focus on specific techniques or exclusively on reliability engineering.

I’ve been following Bob’s work and I am very happy to see it come to fruition in this form. For years seasoned programmers have been extracting techniques and insight from carrier grade software. It’s great to see a book on this topic from one of the long time members of the patterns community!