Heartbeat Cable

What Does Heartbeat Cable Mean?

A heartbeat cable is a specific piece of hardware used to connect multiple servers in a process called failover. In this kind of setup, the heartbeat cable handles a "pulse", or recurring signal from the first server to the second server. If the first server encounters a problem, the second server can be programmed to assist when the heartbeat from the cable is interrupted.


Techopedia Explains Heartbeat Cable

Various kinds of connections can be programmed in different ways. In some cases, a failover event triggered by a missing pulse on a heartbeat cable connection can send a message to technicians or generate some other warning. This sort of failover connection allows for automated takeover of tasks that a given piece of hardware cannot complete. Failover setups are often part of emergency planning by businesses and organizations that want to protect productivity from natural disasters or other kinds of threats to operations at a given site.

Part of the issue with using a heartbeat cable involves accurate configuration. In many cases, a cable can be connected from "RF out" to "RF in" on two servers, but there may be complications. Installers may need to read relevant manuals to figure out, for example, how to ensure a particular display result for hardware status.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…