Highly reliable systems achieve a low failure probability during their operational lifetime with the help of redundancy. This technique ensures functionality by replicating components or modules, on both software and hardware. The addition of redundancy and further architectural decisions that arise from its usage results in increased system complexity. The resultant complexity hinders analytical approaches to evaluate competing architectural designs, as the time and effort spent with this type of evaluation may significantly delay development. A way to avoid time spent on this type of analysis is to submit the designed architecture to simulation, both for validation and evaluation. In this paper, we propose the usage of a simulation tool, specifically QEMU, to assist reliable system development and simulation. Based on this tool, extensions were developed, aiming for a simulation environment that covers the redundancy use case, allowing to validate the complex interactions under redundant architectures, and supports reliability estimations to compare architecturally redundant designs.
Reliable Software Design Aided by QEMU Simulation
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