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The Way Business Is Moving

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Issue Date: June 2007

A step towards service

1 June 2007

Following last month’s report-back from CeBIT in Hanover, we take a look into the future of enterprise computing and discover that virtualisation is only a small step on the way to real service.
One of the common themes expounded by Fujitsu Siemens Computers' CTO, Joseph Reger, at this year's CeBIT was the fact that while virtualisation is a great technological step that is delivering cost, resource and power saving benefits, there is still far to go. In fact, one of the most important next steps in the evolution of enterprise computing is automation.
Cutting down on the number of physical devices and the constant need for human attention is the first step towards delivering transparent IT services; and service-based computing is the prerequisite to the realtime enterprise. Effective automation does not imply merely automating the processes in which resources are assigned to applications, but also the processes that keep IT systems running.
In an ideal world where IT services are available as and when needed, there can be no downtime or delays while the support department is called to install, update or fix something. This environment is called the realtime enterprise because it functions in realtime and requires IT systems to support it.
And while there is some way to go before this type of environment is realised, Fujitsu Siemens Computers has already taken a step towards high-availability IT operations with the introduction of its second generation auto immune systems (AIS).
This architecture is designed to automatically protect companies against system failure and has now been extended to include a new Service Engine. This component makes corrections to the IT infrastructure before downtime reduces system availability, without the users even being aware of the fault elimination.
The Service Engine has a knowledge database and is constantly learning during daily operations. As soon as a fault has been successfully eliminated and stored, all other infrastructures - regardless of whether they are in client or server environments - can be supplied with the successful solution.
This proactive immunisation not only results in an increase in availability, but also reduces IT service management costs. Experience gained from projects shows that use of the Service Engine allows 25 of the most frequently occurring faults and user errors to be automated to such a degree that the number of service calls can be reduced by up to 40%.
With this new generation of AIS, Fujitsu Siemens Computers is enhancing its managed services offerings as well as its high-availability and secure IT operations capabilities. In addition to automatic error detection, which remains unnoticed by the user and initiates service processes on a self-controlling basis, users can also eliminate faults themselves without having to involve the service desk.
Due to the automated and increased availability of IT, critical business processes and applications are also considerably better protected as regards realtime operation. Andrew Winter, MD of IT Product Services at Fujitsu Siemens Computers explains: "The approaches of today's IT industry do not meet the requirements a realtime enterprise places on the security and availability of business processes. We are therefore offering a new paradigm in service management that not only takes the availability of individual systems into account, but also the result of an entire business process. With Auto Immune Systems we are helping companies on their way to increasingly reliable and economic business processes."
Andrew Winter, MD of IT Product Services at Fujitsu Siemens Computers
Andrew Winter, MD of IT Product Services at Fujitsu Siemens Computers
In its primary configuration, AIS has proved itself during customer deployment. For example, the Landesbank Rheinland Pfalz in Germany successfully uses the patch management component to proactively distribute software to 2000 clients. This job takes only two hours.
At Siemens Enterprise Communication the AIS application is also used in the HiPath product family. Operation of this IP-based telecommunications system for corporate networks is made more secure and more available.
And the new Service Engine is currently in use at Fujitsu Siemens Computers itself. In a multiphase rollout, the IT infrastructure for the 11 000 employee clients is being equipped with the latest version of AIS. Instead of placing a call for each fault, employees are asked to report errors directly to the Service Engine. This not only initiates the automatic error elimination process, but also fills the AIS knowledge database and thus increases its value added. Users are also able to reset their password themselves which, without AIS, is one of the most frequent reasons for service desk calls.
For more information contact Andrew Winter, managing director IT Product Services, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, +27 (0)11 545 2538, andrew.winter@fujitsu-siemens.com


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