Failover involves the automatic switching of functions from a primary device, such as a server or router, to a secondary device, in the event the primary device is no longer operational. The secondary device receiving the failover could have extra capacity or be a spare unit kept on-line in reserve. The goal of the failover process is to be as seamless as possible so as to not be noticeable to end users.

Failover Benefits and Issues

Failover is an integral part of mission critical systems where redundancy is required. Failover typically involves the use of clusters or a backup system in a geographically separate location. While failover provides an increased level of fault tolerance it is not a simple task to accomplish. Clustering and failover require a great deal of technical knowledge if the system is to be properly set-up and maintained. Make sure your internal resources or external hosting provider have failover expertise before you assign them the failover task.