Establishing a Flexible Balance Between Humans and Autonomic Managers


Monday, November 22, 2004, 15:30pm


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

Yelena Yesha

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