[WEBINAR] The New Normal: Dealing with the Reality of an Unsecure World

Catastrophic Failure

Definition - What does Catastrophic Failure mean?

A catastrophic failure in IT is an event that substantially impairs, damages, shuts down or incapacitates part or all of a system. Catastrophic failures stop core operations and impede the ability of business systems to do their jobs in real time. These events require some concerted IT response and, in many cases, long-term planning for prevention.

Techopedia explains Catastrophic Failure

It is important to point out that catastrophic failures such as disk drive crashes, power surges, malware infestations and other major IT events can be classified as catastrophic, not by their inherent nature, but by how they affect the system, depending on its engineering and build. For example, planners use things like redundancy strategies and failover mechanisms to make systems more resilient – such that one particular catastrophic failure can affect two systems in very different ways. Suppose that system A has real-time data backups and failover systems in place, while system B is only running one database operation from one server. A localized IT event like the ones mentioned above would lead to catastrophic failure in system B, while system A hums smoothly along. The goal is to build systems that function smoothly and gracefully, regardless of various events that can cause catastrophic failure in more primitive systems.

With this in mind, it is up to businesses to identify what constitutes a "catastrophic failure" and to plan to prevent it. Business leaders can look at things like downtime and data loss as elements of catastrophic failure, while trying to preemptively engineer network protections and other strategies to avoid these catastrophic failures, and protect business IT systems.

Techopedia Deals

Connect with us

Techopedia on Linkedin
Techopedia on Linkedin
"Techopedia" on Twitter

Sign up for Techopedia's Free Newsletter!

Email Newsletter

Join thousands of others with our weekly newsletter

Free Whitepaper: The Path to Hybrid Cloud
Free Whitepaper: The Path to Hybrid Cloud:
The Path to Hybrid Cloud: Intelligent Bursting To Amazon Web Services & Microsoft Azure
Free E-Book: Public Cloud Guide
Free E-Book: Public Cloud Guide:
This white paper is for leaders of Operations, Engineering, or Infrastructure teams who are creating or executing an IT roadmap.
Free Tool: Virtual Health Monitor
Free Tool: Virtual Health Monitor:
Virtual Health Monitor is a free virtualization monitoring and reporting tool for VMware, Hyper-V, RHEV, and XenServer environments.
Free 30 Day Trial – Turbonomic
Free 30 Day Trial – Turbonomic:
Turbonomic delivers an autonomic platform where virtual and cloud environments self-manage in real-time to assure application performance.