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Release It! by Michael T. Nygard

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Pattern5.3 Bulkheads

In a ship, bulkheads are metal partitions that can be sealed to divide the ship into separate, watertight compartments. Once hatches are closed, the bulkhead prevents water from moving from one section to another. In this way, a single penetration of the hull does not irrevocably sink the ship. The bulkhead enforces a principle of damage containment.

You can employ the same technique. By partitioning your systems, you can keep a failure in one part of the system from destroying everything. Physical redundancy is the most common form of bulkheads. If there are four independent servers, then a hardware failure in one can’t affect ...

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