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Walking the distance

Infrastructure management began life as a manually provided support service, with direct access to the equipment, hardware and software. It was critical in the early days of enterprise technology when the entire setup would be delicate to say the least, and any disruptions meant hard work to get the systems up and going.

With development in technology, came remote access to the various components of a technology infrastructure, so much so that almost all issues could be taken care of, with minimum downtime or outage, from a distance.

More recently, this remote management has given away to remote diagnosis, much like medical diagnosis to prevent any issues from coming up. Every piece of software and hardware needed a defined health level, so technical personnel could monitor it according to the base requirements and then if any issues are foreseen, the concerned monitoring engineers are alerted and problems can be prevented in time. This proactive monitoring can prevent much larger issues from developing and causing major disruptions.

The natural progression of this path is now proactive monitoring, self-diagnosis as well as auto healing.  The systems have been successfully programmed to do a self diagnosis at specified intervals against specified parameters of health, and then run healing activities. This will help reduce workloads on human resources, while cutting down costs. The basic premise for this auto-healing is that almost all the issues diagnosed in systems are repetitive in nature, so developing tools to take care of these problems can save a lot of resources and cost. Diagnosis, prognosis and treatment- all can be done faster and more cost effectively by the machine itself.

Today we have developed sophisticated tools that self-diagnosis issues and proactively run commands to detect early stages of infrastructure issues, as well as set them right. In fact the market is moving not just towards proactive monitoring, but also towards workload automation, making it a clear differentiator. Self healing tools are fast catching up with the market requirements, and we are reaching a point where almost no human intervention will be required. The speed of recovery recorded for infrastructure bugs is faster than ever before, especially for repetitive faults.

Infrastructure management is no more manpower centric. The path ahead is about integrating this self healing with other devices- mobile devices, security centres and all other applications that will define an efficient auto-healing integrated infrastructure management system.

Srinivas Anappindi

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