Service Availability Forum

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Service Availability Forum
TypePrivate 501(c)(6)
HeadquartersBeaverton, Oregon, USA

The Service Availability Forum (SAF or SA Forum) is a consortium that develops, publishes, educates on and promotes open specifications for carrier-grade and mission-critical systems. Formed in 2001, it promotes development and deployment of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology.


Service availability is an extension of high availability, referring to services that are available regardless of hardware, software or user fault and importance.

Key principles of service availability:

  • Redundancy – "backup" capability in case of need to failover due to a fault
  • Stateful and seamless recovery from failures
  • Minimization of mean time to repair (MTTR) – time to restore service after an outage
  • Fault prediction & avoidance – take action before something fails

The traditional definitions of high availability have their roots in hardware systems where redundancy of equipment was the primary mechanism for achieving uptime over a specific period. As software has come to dominate the landscape, the probability of failure is often much higher for applications than it is for hardware and so these concepts have been extended encompass an overall view of service availability where downtime, irrespective of its cause, is an exceptionally rare event. Services and applications should always be available, whether it is during abnormal system operation, scheduled maintenance, or software upgrade, for example.[citation needed]

COTS "ecosystem" diagram

SA Forum support commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology for uninterrupted service availability, application portability and seamless integration. Collaborating industry organizations include the following:[citation needed]


SA Forum enabled COTS platform

Specifications for carrier-grade service availability include:

Educational resources[edit]

SAFORUM Cartoon Series
The SA Forum’s Walter’s Moments cartoon series helps explain the benefits of service availability to a wider audience.

The SA Forum free educational materials enable self-guided training the SA Forum specifications:

  • Application Webcasts[2]
  • Tutorials[3]
  • Whitepapers[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mapping Specifications". 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  2. ^ "Application Webcast Series". 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  3. ^ "Specification Tutorials". 2011. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  4. ^ "Featured Whitepaper: The Software Management Framework". 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011.

External links[edit]