Network administrators are often concerned about the availability of file and print services. Network users are inclined toward intolerance of the services they depend on to perform vital task responsibilities.
A sign in a computer room served to remind staff of their responsibilities. It read:
If we are to deal with failure in a planned and productive manner, then first we must understand the problem. That is the purpose of this chapter.
Parenthentically, in the following discussion there are seeds of information on how to provision a network infrastructure against failure. Our purpose here is not to provide a lengthy dissertation on the subject of high availability. Additionally, we have made a conscious decision to not provide detailed working examples of high availability solutions; instead we present an overview of the issues in the hope that someone will rise to the challenge of providing a detailed document that is focused purely on presentation of the current state of knowledge and practice in high availability as it applies to the deployment of Samba and other CIFS/SMB technologies.