What Does Switchover Mean?

Switchover, also sometimes called failover, refers to the switching of a system, automatically or manually, to a substitute system in case of failure of an equipment or a component. A switchover plays an important role in the stability of a system in case of an unforeseen emergency crisis, especially in huge systems and setups where a breakdown can result in financial and other types of losses.


Techopedia Explains Switchover

Although switchover and failover are terms that are often used interchangeably, they are actually different when it comes to performance. Switchover is the manual switching of a terminated system upon occurrence of an error. This is because either the system is too complex to figure out the exact location of the problem or the problem must be addressed before a switchover can be performed. Failover, on the other hand, is the automatic switching of system to a standby system without human interference. A switchover may also be needed in case of a system upgrade (hardware or software), installation or maintenance of an already present system and shifting of tasks to a standby system.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret 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 IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.