Towards optimal IT availability planning: methods and tools


Zambon, Emmanuele (2011) Towards optimal IT availability planning: methods and tools. thesis.

open access
Abstract:The availability of an organisation’s IT infrastructure is of vital importance for supporting business activities. IT outages are a cause of competitive liability, chipping away at a company financial performance and reputation. To achieve the maximum possible IT availability within the available budget, organisations need to carry out a set of analysis activities to prioritise efforts and take decisions based on the business needs. This set of analysis activities is called IT availability planning. Most (large) organisations address IT availability planning from one or more of the three main angles: information risk management, business continuity and service level management. Information risk management consists of identifying, analysing, evaluating and mitigating the risks that can affect the information processed by an organisation and the information-processing (IT) systems. Business continuity consists of creating a logistic plan, called business continuity plan, which contains the procedures and all the useful information needed to recover an organisations’ critical processes after major disruption. Service level management mainly consists of organising, documenting and ensuring a certain quality level (e.g. the availability level) for the services offered by IT systems to the business units of an organisation. There exist several standard documents that provide the guidelines to set up the processes of risk, business continuity and service level management. However, to be as generally applicable as possible, these standards do not include implementation details. Consequently, to do IT availability planning each organisation needs to develop the concrete techniques that suit its needs. To be of practical use, these techniques must be accurate enough to deal with the increasing complexity of IT infrastructures, but remain feasible within the budget available to organisations. As we argue in this dissertation, basic approaches currently adopted by organisations are feasible but often lack of accuracy. In this thesis we propose a graph-based framework for modelling the availability dependencies of the components of an IT infrastructure and we develop techniques based on this framework to support availability planning.
Item Type:Thesis
Additional information:IPA dissertation series ; 2011-03
Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS)
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