Alameda, Calif., Aug. 6, 2001 - Wind River Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:WIND), a leading provider of software and services for connected smart devices, today made fully available a series of software extensions - collectively known as Foundation HA (high availability) - that enable rapid development of data- and service-critical embedded systems that must guarantee reliable handling of information and continuous availability. The Foundation HA software extensions build on Wind River's VxWorks AE real-time operating system (RTOS) to provide specific features essential for systems that must remain up and running without service interruption, even during periods of partial failure in the underlying system. Market segments targeted by Foundation HA include optical switching, voice over IP and other communications infrastructure equipment, financial transaction applications handling large volumes of data, military / aerospace equipment and industrial measurement and control devices.
To ensure continued operation of HA systems during periods of partial failure, extra hardware and software components are introduced. Communication between elements within such a system is typically extremely complex. Wind River's Foundation HA software has been designed to enable rapid commercial development of these complex applications while ensuring that all reliability, availability and serviceability requirements are met.
Because different HA systems require varying degrees of system uptime, the Foundation HA extensions are modular, allowing developers to utilize different components in various combinations to achieve the precise level of high availability desired. Wind River's HA software, combined with the VxWorks AE RTOS, can facilitate the development of systems that require 99.999 (five nines) percent uptime, including both planned and unplanned outages.
"Until fairly recently, in-house proprietary designs were the standard approach for building HA applications in many industries," said Dr. Jerry Krasner, executive director of CMP's Electronics Market Forecasters (EMF). "Due to tighter time-to-market limitations and emerging industry standards, a substantial market has opened up for commercial off-the-shelf software that delivers HA features. Wind River's Foundation HA software takes advantage of this opportunity by delivering a complete HA software platform that works with carrier-grade hardware out of the box. EMF has closely followed the emergence of optical technology as the new frontier in the telecommunications marketplace. The ability of Foundation HA software to address optical developers is a major plus."
The Foundation HA software provides a framework that allows developers to define system recovery policies that reflect their application's needs and requirements. A number of software management components are key to the software including an alarm management system that provides fault notification to an alarm framework and a device management system that allows devices to be added, removed and reconfigured while the system is running. Other key benefits include:
- I/O Hot Swap - Allows for the physical removal and replacement of peripheral I/O in a CompactPCI backplane while the redundant peripheral I/O cards that are providing service remain active.
- CPU Failover - Supports full live switchover of a failed CPU to a live standby CPU without rebooting or restarting the system.
- Platform Abstraction - Permits usability of Foundation HA across a variety of hardware including emerging Ethernet back-plane technology (PICMG 2.16).
- Device Management System - Provides a virtual hardware device abstraction layer that allows compliant I/O devices and drivers to be reconfigured and rearranged while the system is in operation.
The Foundation HA basic package provides a fault handling framework that includes an alarm management system, object management system and device management system. In addition to serving full HA systems, this framework is also useful in non-HA systems containing alarms that affect multiple elements within the system. For instance, the framework can enable fault tolerance and recovery within an industrial measurement control factory system that needs to be aware of and recover from faults that may occur across multiple devices connected to the system. In addition, the framework enables seamless device management in computing environments where resources are being connected to or removed from the system at any given time, such as plug-in cards for digital cameras or personal digital assistants.
Compatible System Hardware
Wind River's Foundation HA software extensions are tightly integrated with CompactPCI-based HA hardware from Motorola and additionally supports non-CompactPCI hardware suitable for HA designs. The software has also been designed to take advantage of new HA hardware standards as they come to market.
The Foundation HA extensions for VxWorks AE are fully available for customer shipment, supporting the PowerPC and Intelâ Pentium, Pentium II, and Pentium III target microprocessor families. The VxWorks AE RTOS is a component of Wind River's Tornado AE development platform and supports Windows NTTM, 2000 Professional, Solaris 2.7 / 2.8 and Red Hat Linux 6.x host environments.
Partner Quote Addendum
"We have been building hardware solutions around an increasing market trend towards commercial off-the-shelf high availability platforms for many years with products such as our CPX8216 CompactPCI chassis and MCP750 cards," said Charles deTranaltes, senior product manager, Motorola Computer Group. "Motorola is very pleased that Wind River is supporting our efforts with their standardized Foundation HA software components. This comprehensive hardware/software platform will ensure that our mutual communications infrastructure customers can rapidly develop high availability systems with less than five minutes of downtime a year. Later this year, Motorola plans to extend Foundation HA functionality by porting Motorola's Advanced High Availability software to the VxWorks AE operating system."
"The increased robustness and functionality of Foundation HA provides developers of communications systems with a compelling operating system for use in highly-available systems," said Ken Hosac, vice president of business development, GoAhead Software. "When integrated with a commercial, off-the-shelf service availability solution, such as GoAhead SelfReliant, Wind River's Foundation HA allows developers of mission-critical systems to implement reliable systems that meet today's stringent uptime requirements."
"Foundation HA provides a solid basis for the development of systems requiring five-nines availability," said Steve Roldan, director of product management for Force. "Working closely with Wind River further strengthens Force's capability to provide integrated highly available system solutions to the market."
About Wind River
Wind River is a worldwide leader in embedded software. Wind River provides software development tools, real-time operating systems, and advanced connectivity for use in products throughout the Internet, telecommunications and data communications, digital imaging, digital consumer electronics, networking, medical, computer peripherals, automotive, industrial automation and control, and aerospace/defense markets. Wind River is How Smart Things Think™. Founded in 1983, Wind River is headquartered in Alameda, California, with operations in sixteen countries worldwide.
Wind River Systems, the Wind River Systems logo, VxWorks , and Tornado are registered trademarks of Wind River Systems, Inc. Other names are registered trademarks or trademarks of the respective companies or organizations.
Director, Global Communications