Traditional RTOS architecture

One of the principal reasons for this lack of graceful recovery is the monolithic architecture of a traditional realtime embedded system. At the heart of most of these systems lies a realtime executive — a single memory image consisting of the RTOS itself and often numerous tasks.

Since all tasks — including critical system-level services — share the very same address space, when the integrity of one task is called into question, the integrity of the entire system is at risk. If a single component such as a device driver fails, the RTOS itself could fail. In HA terms, each software component becomes a single point of failure (SPOF).

The only sure recovery mechanism in such an environment is to reset the system and start from scratch.

Such realtime systems present a very low granularity of fault recovery, making the HA procedure of planning for and dealing with failure seemingly straightforward (a system reset), yet often very costly (in terms of downtime, system restoration, etc.). For some embedded applications, a reset may involve a specialized, time-consuming procedure in order to restore the system to full operation in the field.