The Secret to 24x7: an SLA
PDC. Apparently, the secret to 24x7 availability in the .NET world is an appropriate Service Level Agreement. Actually, a 60-page SLA; a 2-page SLA is just a problem waiting to happen. Astonishingly, this seemed to be the main jist of the message from the leads of the Birds of a Feather "Managing Scalable .NET Solutions". The idea seemed to be that the best way to provide 24x7 is to have a heavyweight SLA, so that when something happens and goes wrong, you have all sorts of documentation to show why it wasn't your fault. Brutal. Hellooo, we're a room full of software architects and designers (the question was asked by show of hands), not LAWYERS. We're still idealistic enough to believe that an application can be designed and built to run 24x7.
Evidently, others do not share in that belief.