IT Service Delivery: Availability Management
All organizations, especially those working under Service Level Agreements (SLAs), must ensure that downtime of any service is minimized. This is particularly the case where an IT service, such as a Local Area Network (LAN), is mission‐critical to the operations of a customer.
Availability Management provides a strategy for detecting and responding to IT service faults. It results in a more reliable infrastructure, and can help to ensure that the services an organization depends upon are available when they are needed.
There are several activities associated with Availability Management, including:
• Define Requirements. Determine the IT service availability needs of customers; much of this information can be gathered from the agreements (e.g., SLAs) between an organization and its users.
• Availability Planning. Create plans for ensuring the availability of critical services based on the needs determined in the requirements definition activity.
• Monitor Availability. Track the availability of monitored services. Often, this activity includes generating alerts when a monitored service fails.
Monitor Obligations. Compare availability reports and trending against the obligations an IT organization has with its customers.
Table provides a review of the capabilities of each product to address the ITIL activities for Availability Management.
Microsoft System Center: Operations Manager (MOM) product also provides Availability Monitoring features. It is capable of monitoring network‐, server, and application‐level availability (e.g., whether a Domain Controller is performing correctly). This information, along with its integrated performance monitoring, allows Operations Manager to play an important role in both Capacity Management and Availability Management.
MOM also supports alerting based on thresholds, allowing systems managers to use it for automated incident reporting, e.g., if a network link fails. In addition, the use of the Availability Management Pack, which is a free add‐on to the base MOM installation from Microsoft, expands the capabilities of MOM in Availability Management scenarios. The Availability Management Pack is essential when using MOM to monitor obligations against SLAs. The Pack is designed for SQL Server, Exchange, IIS, AD, and Windows endpoints.
Availability Management Product URLs
Hyperic HQ www.hyperic.com
Microsoft System Center:
http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/o ... fault.mspx
IT Infrastructure Library V2/V3 and IT Service Management discussions
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