IBM and Cisco announced a set of open software technologies designed to increase the end-to-end intelligence and responsiveness of the global IT infrastructure representing a major advancement in the development of "self- healing" computing systems and networks. IBM and Cisco are working on a set of proposed technologies and standards creating a common language to detect, log and resolve system problems.
IBM plans to start integrating these new autonomic technologies into its entire portfolio of software, storage and server hardware products immediately. In the second phase of this initiative, Cisco intends to integrate these technologies into its products and services. Together the system and network enhancements will help to enable a self-healing enterprise infrastructure. Pioneered within both companies development labs, the new problem determination technologies are envisioned as the basis for standardized exchange of problem determination data across the IT enterprise. These new technologies lay the foundation for systems and networks to detect, analyze, correlate, and resolve IT problems and automatically diagnose the root cause of a problem in complex systems. Customer data centers have a large set of products with diverse and often proprietary instrumentation, which makes end- to-end analysis difficult or impossible. Adapting an architected, standards- based design results in an infrastructure that helps enable delivery of end-to- end problem determination and problem remediation.
The new technologies are part of the companies' commitment to develop and drive open standards. IBM and Cisco are working across the industry to develop an open standards approach. IBM has submitted a Common Base Event (CBE) format, which is envisioned as the basis for standardized exchange of problem determination data via web services, to the OASIS Standards Body.
Once problem determination tools and processes are implemented, enterprises have the ability to diagnose problems more quickly, and often before they happen, reducing downtime and the associated revenue losses.
Building and implementing networked self-healing systems into the enterprise environment is a gradual one and IBM has already begun helping the industry by developing a common approach and terminology to architecting autonomic computing systems. In April IBM introduced the autonomic computing blueprint, which is based on open standards and is designed around developing self-managing systems that use intelligent control loops to collect information from the system, make decisions and then adjust the system as necessary. IBM is also working with the business partner community, providing ISVs with the latest technologies as well as supporting them in bringing new applications to market with these latest capabilities, all built around open standards.
One of the factors contributing to the complexity in problem determination can be attributed to the multitude of ways that different parts of a system report events, conditions, errors and alerts. Today, even simple e-business solutions may contain as many as 25 to 40 logging mechanisms. These log files contain a variety of content formats because systems are built using disparate pieces and parts, often with products from multiple vendors. Technology developed by the IBM Research Division has been crucial to overcoming these difficulties by providing a way to automatically learn the format of log files, thereby reducing the time required to process and develop interfaces to new log data (often from days to hours).
The network has always played a pivotal role in enabling companies to automate their business processes. As the network increases in strategic value, the intelligence of the network becomes the determining factor in customer success. Cisco continues to lead in the creation of integrated intelligent networks through the delivery of faster, smarter, lasting systems, services, products, and technologies.
During this process, businesses can expect to see value on numerous levels, including a reduced total cost of ownership, improved availability and productivity. IBM and Cisco have a global strategic alliance, which offers customers industry-leading, integrated e-business solutions. The two companies draw on their strengths in Internet infrastructure, e-business systems, networks and services to deliver end-to-end Internet business solutions to enterprises and service providers.
More information is available at www.ibm.com/autonomic.
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