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Method, system, and program for managing reservations for computer systems in a shared environment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238497D
Publication Date: 2014-Aug-28
Document File: 2 page(s) / 27K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a mechanism to automatically manage the reservation of computer hardware resources, including the checking-in and -out of hardware.

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Method, system, and program for managing reservations for computer systems in a shared environment

Many lab reservation processes for computer systems rely on using an ad hoc manual process that depends on the honor system and users crosschecking spreadsheets containing lists of users and systems to reserve. Remote teams use the same computer resources and may be working in different geographies and time zones. It is difficult for team members to coordinate reserving computer systems using traditional methods (i.e. searching a spreadsheet for a free resource and then editing the spreadsheet). Handling resources with a database is not much different, since there is no direct correlation between the hardware and the database that is reserving the computers. Reserving computer systems using the traditional methods of spreadsheets and databases is inefficient, not always trustworthy, and leads to decreased productivity.

The solution is a reservation system that provides exclusive access for an individual user or group of users to computer hardware equipment for a limited period, which automatically expires. This mechanism does not require administrator support or special database tracking software.

The reservation system is incorporated as part of the Centralized Management System (CMS) for the computer hardware. This system provides access to the computer hardware as the CMS directly manages it, as opposed to third-party management. The reservation is part of the CMS, which the user is already using to manage the computer. There is no need to access an external tool or application. This means that users can easily reserve time for short periods, which makes the computer system available during the off-hour for global teams. Computer systems that are idle and no longer in use are automatically released and assigned to the available pool, after the system sends a notification to the user. This reservation system is more efficient, and eliminates the risk of two users using the same computer since access is controlled through hardware and network filtering and no longer relies on the honor system.

The reservation system includes a locking mechanism in the computer hardware Centralized Management System (CMS) that grants a credential token to the user that associates users with Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. Examples of management systems that can take advantage of the locking mechanism of CMS are a Service Processor, Chassis Management Module (CMM), Advanced Management Module (AMM), and Integrated Management Module (IMM).

To implement this system for managing reservations for computer systems in a shared environment:

1. User requests a credential token from the CMS for an available computer system for a set period

2. User provides this token to the CMS to associate the IP addresses and users that can connect with computer system

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