UMBC ebiquity

Establishing a Flexible Balance Between Humans and Autonomic Managers

Speaker: Kathryn Britton

Start: Monday, November 22, 2004, 03:30PM

Location: 325b

Abstract: What if information systems become so complex that humans can no longer effectively manage them? What if so much of the IT budget for an organization goes into systems administration that the organization has little to invest in new applications? In 2001, Paul Horn, an IBM Research VP, challenged the IT development community to come up with a technological means to prevent IT systems from collapsing under their own weight. Out of this challenge came autonomic computing (AC): ways to make IT software and hardware more self-managing.

For two years, I have worked on an initiative in IBM called the Integrated Solutions Console (ISC). Why is ISC considered a core technology of IBM Autonomic Computing (AC)? The three-dimensional AC adoption model shows different ways to make progress toward fully autonomic systems, one axis moving in steps toward closed monitor-analyze-plan-execute loops, another moving up the integration scale from managing sub-components to managing business solutions, and another showing different service flows. ISC plays a role for each progression. To move toward closed-loop systems, humans will delegate activities to autonomic managers; they will also maintain oversight and take control back occasionally. ISC provides the “face? of delegation and oversight. To move toward integrated management, ISC provides the framework for assembling user interfaces from separate products into a single console. It also supports rearranging these user interfaces to create solution-oriented management tasks. Finally, ISC enables visual representation of the administration involved in various service flows.

During this talk, I will explain the role of the human in IBM’s AC architecture and adoption model. I will also discuss the customer value of ISC in the context of our seven-level model of user interface integration.

Host: Yelena Yesha