Monday, October 20, 2008

Service Availability Forum Releases its Latest Specifications

The Service Availability Forum (SA Forum), which is an industry consortium that fosters an ecosystem for commercial off-the-shelf building blocks used in high-availability network infrastructure products, systems and services, announced the availability of Release 6, an enhanced set of specifications that for the first time addresses the interaction between hardware events and software entities.

Release 6 introduces a new service called Platform Management that bridges the SA Forum's Hardware Platform Interface (HPI) and Application Interface Specification (AIS), enabling greater service availability, application portability and platform usability.

The Platform Management Service (PLM) integrates the hardware world of HPI and the software world of AIS to provide a standardized system view and enable service availability. This representation allows developers to match configured systems with hardware that is actually present in a device, allowing software to easily access relevant hardware states using a standardized model.

Additionally, Release 6 provides significant improvements to the interfaces for HPI firmware upgrades and clarifies the process for hot swap management, further enabling application portability across a variety of hardware platforms. Other enhancements allow libraries to create threads controlled by the user and allow dynamic updating of resources in a running system.

Release 6 also includes enhancements to the Cluster Management Service (CLM) and the Availability Management Framework (AMF), making use of PLM's inherent fault correlation support. This enables application developers to create applications that must be highly available. The increased functionality enables processes doing global validation or multiple processes to react to the changes.

"Hardware-software interaction is a critical function for high availability applications," said Ulrich Kleber, SA Forum Technical Work Group chair. "The addition of Platform Management to the SA Forum family of services provides the final piece for implementers to build a complete carrier-grade base platform using SA Forum specifications."

The Release 6 specifications can be downloaded free of charge.

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