GCSE Computer Science: Reliability in Computers
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is "reliability" in computer systems?
Reliability in computer systems refers to the consistent performance according to specifications, even when facing hardware or software faults. A reliable system can handle challenges like component failures or software bugs without affecting overall performance.
Why is reliability important in critical systems?
Critical systems are vital in essential services or operations (e.g., healthcare, finance, transportation). A failure in these systems can lead to severe consequences. Ensuring reliability in critical systems minimizes risks associated with system failures and maintains smooth functioning of crucial services.
What are the differences between backup, redundancy, and fault tolerance?
Backup involves creating copies of data and system configurations to restore a system in case of data loss or failure. Redundancy creates duplicate components or systems to take over when the primary one fails. Fault tolerance is a system's ability to function correctly even in the presence of faults, achieved through redundancy, error detection, and recovery mechanisms.
What is defensive programming and its role in system reliability?
Defensive programming is a software development approach that proactively anticipates and handles potential errors, exceptions, and edge cases. By incorporating error checking, input validation, and exception handling, defensive programming creates software less prone to bugs and more resilient to failures, improving system reliability.
How can computer system reliability be measured?
Reliability can be measured using metrics such as Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF), Mean Time To Repair (MTTR), Availability, and Failure Rate. These metrics help compare systems, identify improvement areas, and establish performance benchmarks to meet reliability goals.