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CORD must account for partial and intermediate failures and incremental upgrades; it is not acceptable to ignore the operational realities of building a system by integrating multiple, independently developed and deployed software components. Without holding the reference implementation to the high bar of “production ready,”  CORD must be architected for zero-touch: to account for the possibility that the operational behavior of the system is not always in sync with the target state of the system, and to automatically steer the system to the correct functioning state.

To this end, CORD employs best practices in scalable cloud services: to treat error states as expected in a production system, to provide built-in mechanisms to automatically recover from failures, and to support incremental hardware and software upgrades without service disruption.