What is meant by failover in IT?

The term failover comes from the English and means failsafe. In the event of an error in a server-based IT system, failover refers to the independent changeover from one server to another.

Today, computers control all processes and procedures in companies. No company is able to act without reliably functioning communication via telephone and e-mail. Word processing, accounting, databases, production – simply every process in the company is controlled and regulated by computers. The PC at the workplace merely represents the input platform. The heart of the IT system is a server that networks the input stations of the individual employees. All data is stored there. The server makes the stored data available to the individual departments for processing via the network services. Every department and every process in the company depends on the associated server and its network services. If the server fails due to a system error, practically every department is unable to act. The company is blind and deaf, communication is not possible either between departments or with customers and suppliers. The failover represents the automatic meant protection against this problem. If necessary, there is an automatic switchover to other services that continue to ensure operation. This can be storage, programs or network services that ensure high availability. A bypass or an alternative route can also ensure reliability.

However, the failover is only effective and useful if the backup system automatically takes over the work in the event of a failure. This is ensured by a cluster manager software. In addition, the servers monitor each other so that operation is automatically switched over in the event of a fault.

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