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System and Methods for an Autonomic Policy Framework Disclosure Number: IPCOM000030458D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Aug-13
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Aug-13
Document File: 3 page(s) / 129K

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The following document describes the architecture for a software framework that allows systems of applications to be administered, managed, and controlled by autonomic policies.

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System and Methods for an Autonomic Policy Framework

Enterprise-level businesses are typically distributed such that it becomes necessary to define operational procedures in printed or electronic form (e.g. memos, employee handbooks, and online manuals) in order to maintain consistent system usage when performing computer-related tasks. The effort involved with maintaining these procedures and making sure that they are properly interpreted by employees can quickly become quite significant.

Additionally, contemporary software hardwires application behavior in the application's source code, requiring developers to rewrite portions of the application and then redistribute it in order to significantly change its behavior.

The disclosed framework allows a system of applications to be administered, managed, and controlled by autonomic policies. The autonomic framework removes the need for human interpretation of policies thus improving the consistency and accuracy of policy evaluation as well as improving the system's ease of use for all involved. The integration of user-defined autonomic policies with computer software allows an enterprise to provide their employees with a supporting structure that aids them in using the software rather than forcing the employee to consult the documented procedures. Consider the example where a particular database server should not be shut down during business hours. An autonomic policy could be defined in the system to enforce that rule, thus preventing an administrator from inadvertently causing a service outage.

The framework consists of three main components:

1) One or more policy repositories that contain the policies defined for a system in some manner that permits querying, whether it be a database, a hash table, or any other data storage mechanism for a collection of policies. The Policy Core Information Model [2] describes one potential policy representation.

2) One or more policy enforcement points (PEPs) [1] where policies applicable to a managed element are evaluated. An enforcement point could be represented by any number of entities from individual graphical interface components (widgets/controls) to instrumentation in an application to entire applications or systems of applications used to manage broader environments.

3) A policy distribution manager (PDM) that facilitates the distribution of applicable policies from one or more policy repositories to interested enforcement points. Policy app...