Single Point of Failure

What Does Single Point of Failure Mean?

A single point of failure (SPOF) is a critical system component with the ability to cease system operations during failover. SPOFs are undesirable to systems requiring reliability and availability, such as software applications, networks or supply chains.


Techopedia Explains Single Point of Failure

In computing, SPOFs are identified and resolved through redundant and high-availability clusters. For example, upon machine failure, another machine immediately assumes lost functions and responsibilities. Similar redundancy designs are often employed at internal component levels. At system levels, multiple machines or systems provide required redundancy. Replication is used at the site level, where another site or location is prepared to take over in the event of sudden site access failure.

Highly reliable systems are designed without SPOFs. This means that failure of a component, system or site does not halt system or operational functions.


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Margaret Rouse

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…