8.1 WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THIS CHAPTER
Services are becoming an ever-larger part of the world economy. There will be an increasing number of service consumers across the globe. These consumers will expect that the services they purchase will be reliable. In this chapter, we will discuss what it means for a service to be reliable and some of the engineering techniques used to make them so. We cover always-on services and on-demand services but focus more on on-demand services because reliability for always-on services is equivalent to the reliability of the infrastructure used to deliver them.
So far, we have worked with reliability engineering for systems, by which we meant tangible, physical objects designed and assembled to fulfill certain purposes. Now we turn to examination of those purposes and how to ensure that users of the systems receive the services they desire from those systems, or how well those systems fulfill their purpose(s) from the point of view of the users. In an important sense, this is an even more fundamental viewpoint because it finally encompasses the entire value chain from supplier to user, enabling the systems engineer to achieve a holistic view of system development from concept to user. While many publications concerning service reliability may be found in the literature (e.g., Refs. 3, 5, 9, and many others), the systematic study of service reliability as a distinct discipline was begun in ...