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Method and apparatus for a cognitive configuration management service. Disclosure Number: IPCOM000248102D
Publication Date: 2016-Oct-26
Document File: 4 page(s) / 79K

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The Prior Art Database


This article discusses a method and apparatus for enhancing the user experience related to configuration management using cognitive services. Cognitive services provide a way of extending search and enhancing the context describing configuration data. The enhanced context and search facilities simplify configuration management and help ensure configuration consistency.

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Method and apparatus for a cognitive configuration management service

Method and apparatus for a cognitive configuration management service.


IT system configuration management is a complex problem. Across IT infrastructure most systems, components and applications require configuration to run correctly an efficiently. Configuration is very diverse and complex and must be managed carefully. Changes must be understood and logged and the ability to back-out changed configuration to a stable state is critical to recovery of IT systems.

Normal configuration is decentralised and managed in a manual or semi-manual fashion by system administrators. The system administrators may be located in different geographical locations making the task of coordination difficult and error prone.

IT documentation explains how configuration should be applied, configuration syntax, recommendations and defaults, Internet forums, blogs and other technical Web pages provide information on configuration including hints and tips, errors, best practice, known defects, etc.

This invention proposes a method and apparatus to combine and understand diverse unstructured data related to configuration management including system, component and application configuration data plus data from user documentation, internet forums, blogs and other technical Web pages in a way that enhances the configuration management process. The invention proposes using big data and analytic technologies in conjunction with a cognitive service to create an enriched, self learning configuration management system.

This invention proposes acquiring configuration related data, parsing, annotating and enriching the data, re-formatting the data, storing the data in indexed repositories, applying cognitive processes to the data to understand patterns and relationships within the data, then presenting the data in the context of a configuration management task such that the user experience is enhanced. The user interface will allow the user to view, edit, delete and save configuration files in the context of related documentation, hints, tips, warnings, and relationship to other configurations data. The enhanced understanding of the configuration data in context will enable the invention to identify possible configuration errors before the users applies a change and in some cases predict configuration issues before they occur .

The invention proposes collecting data for a variety of data sources including IT documentation, Web sites (blogs, forums, and other IT technical sites) using a number of available techniques. These techniques include Web services, Web APIs, text recognition, log scraping, file reading, database access (SQL and noSQL).

Collected data is parsed to extract the most valuable fields, annotated to enhance search capabilities and processes to identify patterns and inter-relationships. The processed (enriched) data is then persistent in a number of purpose built repositories rea...