Technorati provides a good example of keeping most of your site up during an outage. Of course, by the time I started writing this article the whole site was having issues. But here's the lesson …
For maximum reliability, design your web application to have a separate delivery of front end and application back end. These two layers float over a database system.
If your delivery engine goes done, then your application servers can still function. If your database goes down, then you have a fail over system to move to. This is called tiered segmentation.
From my observation, Technorati has segmented systems until you log on. After you log on the user is connected to both front end and back end systems.
The benefits of a tiered system include: optimizing front end traffic delivery, upgrading application servers in phase independent of front end, and greater redundancy.
How does your website handle an application failure? Can you still prove some functionality with your database down? How to reduce or eliminate Website outages? Remember, if your visitor can't get to your site, you are losing money.
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