Vehicle Electronics & Architecture (VEA)


by Tri Nguyen


Northrop Grumman has developed Tactical Ground Vehicle High-Availability (HA) middleware conforming to open standards specified by the Service Availability Forum (SAF), a consortium of industry-leading communications and computing companies. The software hot-spare and standby capabilities realized by this technology operate across tightly and loosely coupled farms of processors, ensuring critical processes remain operational with zero or minimal interruption, as chosen by system architects. High availability software delivers key benefits to the warfighter. Systems experience less downtime, helping to maintain continuity of tactical operations. Both hardware and software failures are managed, reducing the impact on system aborts and essential function failures and therefore reducing the number of computing elements required to meet system level availability SWAP-CC (Size, Weight, Power, and Cost, Cooling). The wrappers Northrop Grumman has created for open source and commercial implementations of the SAF middleware are specifically designed for use in tactical ground vehicles, both minimizing the impact on software development and also creating the possibility of integrating COTS software without modification of the COTS distribution. We shield application developers from most HA domain specific details such as startup, shutdown, failover and recovery policies, and so minimize HA training and impact to cost and schedule. Benchmark tests also show that the addition of HA services does not significantly increase system resources overhead even when the system is stressed in high message traffic scenarios.