Monday, October 11, 2010

SA Forum: "There's No Upside to Downtime"

By Alan Meyer, SA Forum Marketing Work Group Chair

With a growing reliance on mobile technology, uninterrupted telecommunications service is expected by today's consumers. In addition, it is pivotal to the success of companies whose products or services run on networks. The market demand for service availability, which implies a service is always available, regardless of hardware, software or user fault, has increased steadily.

The Service Availability Forum (SA Forum) is an organization enabling the creation and deployment of highly available, mission-critical services by promoting the development of an ecosystem and publishing a comprehensive set of open specifications.

For nearly a decade, the SA Forum has developed open specifications for service availability middleware, helping ensure that systems achieve five 9's (99.999%) uptime. A broad spectrum of telecom companies are using and implementing products based on SA Forum specifications. And many institutions and companies also take an active role in the definition, development and marketing of these standards.

The SA Forum is currently focusing its efforts on educating a broader audience on the benefits of service availability and on sharing practical information about SA Forum specifications and implementations. This focus reflects the recognition that the Forum's robust set of specifications has moved from development to deployment and that service availability has become increasingly significant in the business world.

To grow awareness of service availability solutions, the SA Forum has launched a new cartoon series, which conveys the importance of service availability in our everyday lives. "Walter's Moments" follows the life of an ill-fated executive faced with a broad range of situations where he learns firsthand the costs of using services that do not have a high level of availability.

From component and board manufacturers to service providers and operators, each element of the communication infrastructure ecosystem will benefit from the widespread adoption of Service Availability standards. Benefits include faster time to market and revenue, simplified introduction of new "best-in-breed" products, accelerated innovation, telecom equipment provider choice and reduced lifecycle costs.

Alan Meyer is Marketing Workgroup Chair of the Service Availability Forum and is also Director, Telecom Platform Software at HP.