Electronic Design

High-Availability Foundation Builds On Advanced RTOS

The modular approach to real-time operating-system (RTOS) configuration extends to Wind River's Foundation HA (High Availability), which is built on top of the company's VxWorks AE RTOS (see the figure). This method lets developers choose the level of sophistication and compatibility, starting from the venerable VxWorks application programming interface (API) through hot-swapping using Foundation HA.

VxWorks AE already addresses fault tolerance. Foundation HA, though, is designed to bring the RTOS into the five-nines space of 99.999% availability. VxWorks AE and Foundation HA split the serviceability chores.

Reliability tasks include:

  • Application isolation (AE)
  • User-mode protection (AE)
  • Overrun protection (AE)
  • Resource management (AE)
  • Availability tasks include:

  • Formalized event and fault detection (HA)
  • Framework for event and fault management (HA)
  • Support for leveraging redundant hardware (HA)
  • Serviceability tasks include:

  • Hot-swapping of hardware components (HA)
  • Hot-swapping of software components (HA)
  • Automatic software linkage (AE)
  • Foundation HA requires the typical redundancy and reliability hardware, including a processor interconnect system such as CompactPCI, Gigabit Ethernet, or an InfiniBand fabric. A software layer between VxWorks AE and Foundation HA includes an extended board support package and a platform support package. These packages provide access to hardware support, such as hot-swapping.

    Foundation HA consists of the Failover Management System, the Alarm Management System, PICMG 2.12 support on CPX8216, the Object Management System, CPU Failover, the Device Management System, the Hot Swap Management System, and the High Availability Extensions. These modules can be incorporated as necessary, although most high-performance systems will use all of them.

    More information is available at www.windriver.com.

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