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Customer Assistance For Determining RAS Capabilities

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000201815D
Publication Date: 2010-Nov-24
Document File: 2 page(s) / 23K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a software solution which provides the metrics for a Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability (RAS) score which can be used to compare products and their features.

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Customer Assistance For Determining RAS Capabilities

Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability (RAS) features in a product are difficult to compare. Traditional measures include failure or replacement rates, downtime, or service costs. In general, a more reliable product has higher availability (uptime) and has less need for service. This may diminish the importance of serviceability features in some cases. But, a perfectly reliable product cannot be produced. The difficulty comparing different product designs is easily seen when considering that added hardware to provide component redundancy to increase availability reduces the reliability of that product and might also diminish its serviceability (increase service costs) due to increased complexity and parts cost. Traditionally, Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability have been measured independently. The overall comparison is done with experienced engineers who often provide an opinionated answer.

Developers are challenged to improve quality from generation to generation of a product. In the past, three unique and competing measures were utilized with no clear answers with regard to RAS as a whole. But, as electronics are becoming inherently more reliable with small, incremental improvements over time, the measure of RAS quality becomes focused on a combination of Availability (uptime) and Serviceability (service costs) with only some very limited and critical reliability features needing any consideration. This resolves the issue of conflicting metrics and enables an unbiased RAS quality comparison of devices.

The disclosed software solution establishes a baseline set of availability and serviceability capabilities known to be possible and reasonable to implement in the product type under consideration. This set is further partitioned into features that deliver these capabilities. In some cases, there are multiple choices of features to deliver a given capability. Developers use these features to generate an RAS feature score that is used to compare the capability of multiple products or to generate a reference point for system capability. Customers today are very concerned with the RAS capabilities of their systems and being able to quickly and easily compare them to new products is a necessity. This solution provides the means to do so and is very easy for anyone to understand and use effectively; it is not limited to RAS experts. It also provides a means to quickly view side-by-side comparisons using either the RAS feature score, or a detailed set/subset of features.

Using the above mentioned assumption, the invention described here solves the problem of comparing quality of dissimilar products as well as different generations of similar products, relative to the levels of RAS quality found in each. The methodology provides:
• Evaluations that are based upon criticality and implementation of each feature and function delivered by the RAS implementation. The eval...