Modes of Computingveryard projects > service orientation > computing
|where is computing going?||modes||more|
|During 2002, there were several attempts by the major vendors to mark out their position on what happens next. Popular themes have included Services On-Demand, Trustworthy Computing, Utility Computing, Pervasive Computing, Grid Computing, Autonomic Computing. But while there may be some tension between the marketing messages associated with different vendors, we can detect an underlying unity in vision and direction.||Autonomic Computing
|Full article by Richard Veryard and David Sprott (CBDi December 2002)|
Autonomic Computingveryard projects > service orientation > computing > autonomic
IBMs work on autonomic computing has come out of the eLiza research project, and is starting to be trickled into the IBM product range via Tivoli. Other vendors with products in this space include Sychron Software and Opalis. Microsoft's more recent Dynamic Systems Initiative is also addressing some similar requirements.
Most of the autonomic functions of the human body are outside conscious control. Your body protects itself against minor infections without consulting the brain. However, there are various levels of system management at which conscious intervention is possible for example, allowing you to respond to the early signs of a cold by taking vitamin pills or visiting the doctor. An autonomic computer network may generate signals (sometimes known as algedonic signals) which indicate the need for human intervention.
Of course, there are already lots of products with fault-tolerant and fail-safe features and not just in computing hardware. Safety features based on these ideas can also be found in motor cars from anti-lock brakes to run-flat tyres.
In simple systems management, things either work or they dont. Security checks are binary things either pass or fail. In contrast to this, autonomic systems allow for partial working, provisional checks, with ongoing monitoring and adjustment. This means they can respond positively to a much greater range of environmental conditions.
The notion of self-managing systems is both an ambitious one, and one that can be seen as a natural progression from notions of resilience and fault-tolerance that have been common in both computer hardware and telecommunications networks for many years.
Autonomic computing involves making the individual components and services more manageable which has implications for their design and implementation as well as providing a separate management layer. For example, IBM envisages a self-managing wrapper around each component and these wrappers may communicate peer-to-peer, as well as with a central or decentralized management function. The manageability interfaces will (of course) be rendered as web services.
Other IBM products have self-optimization and self-healing functionality. For example, the latest version of Websphere includes distributed workload, with failover and hot deployment.
HP offers some automatic resource allocation functionality in its UDC (Utility Data Centre) product range so that resources can be allocated dynamically as required, with appropriate billing function. A hardware vendor such as HP can ship boxes with dormant processing power, which can be activated (and automatically billed) only when the extra processing power is actually used.
More advanced functionality is currently in development. For example,
HP is working on a framework for the development of configuration-driven
systems called "SmartFrog" (Smart Framework for Object Groups), which will
include a configuration description language to describe the precise, desired
configuration of applications composed of sets of components running across
a distributed system, and a distributed deployment system to realize application
descriptions, and to monitor and manage the resulting applications through
webpage on autonomic computing
|CBDi material, January
Veryard Projects material: IBM, Model-Based Management
|Complex Adaptive Systems|
|veryard projects > service orientation > computing||
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