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Method to assess operations characteristics of managed elements Disclosure Number: IPCOM000028516D
Original Publication Date: 2004-May-18
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-May-18
Document File: 4 page(s) / 119K

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This development helps to assess periodically the service and operations requirements of applications and systems for the adjustment of the appropriate service classes between customer service and data center operations management. This method helps to mediate between the customer service and data center operations management in understanding the impact of service requirements to service efforts and balancing business relevance to operations efforts (and costs).

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Method to assess operations characteristics of managed elements

Today's computer based application systems e.g. a customer care & billing system, an e-mail system, a systems management system ... are usually very complex systems. This often leads to a situation where when asked which service level (= the services as backup/restore, monitoring, security ... provided by the internet data center (IDC) to that application) would be required by that system, nobody can answer the questions on which operations effort is being required by that particular system .

    As a result, one potential danger is - just to be sure - to spend too much operations effort - and of course money - for that application.

    On the other hand, another potential danger is to put an application in a too low service class by underestimating its business relevance and hereby causing problems and cost by inappropriate monitoring and service provided by the data center operations people.

    The third factor which influences the applications service requirements is time: as time goes by, applications and systems are changed, become mature, technology changes and develops, the applications business relevance changes - and so on.

All this requires, that the service and operations requirements of applications and systems (general: managed IT elements) have to be checked periodically and a new alignment to appropriate service classes has to be done accordingly.

Who's problem is being solved?

    Depending on who uses the assessment method, a different aspect of the problem described by the above background considerations is being solved :
1. The IT consultant's view: the consultant, asked to assignee service classes to the clients applications during an engagement can take advantage from an easy to use and adaptable to the clients environment assessment method to produce quick and repeatable deliverables.
2. The IDC operations manager: he can take advantage from that method by identifying his critical systems and applications and making sure to assign his operations resources accordingly.
3. The IDC's customer service manager: who has to negotiate a SLA with the IDC gets an instrument to assess his applications
4. both, 2+3 could use the method periodically (1 years period e.g.) to detect changes in the application operations requirements which have developed over time.

    The publication utilizes an already existing IBM* IT managed elements assessment method. During an interview clients subject matter experts are asked to which extend an external observable parameter (e.g. ownership of the application - that is: has the application a single owner or is it owned by more than one owner) applies to that particular application. The answers (usually HIGH, MEDIUM and LOW) are mapped to their numerical representation ( 4, 2 and 1). The set of all answers to one application can be seen as an element -vector. The calculated resulting vector giving two indicator numbers, one for the required flexi...