IBM J. Res. Dev

ERMIS: Designing, developing, and delivering a remote managed infrastructure services solution

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Remote management of IT (information technology) infrastructures, as a service, has received significant attention due to the numerous benefits it offers. In this paper, we discuss our work on taking a previously India-only remote IT infrastructure management service offering to a global audience. We first provide an overview of this IBM offering, called Express™ Remote Managed Infrastructure Services (ERMIS), and then focus on two specific aspects, service catalog and problem determination and resolution (PDR). In service catalog-based remote management, customers browse the catalog and place orders as they would using an online store. Our service catalog entries contain workflows to automate the deployment of requested applications or the configuration change of customer resources. High-level customer requirements are translated into capacity sizing and configuration parameters, which are then used to provision the final solution by making use of ITIL® (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) release and configuration management processes. PDR involves detecting, locating, and fixing anomalies. Probe-based techniques are used for targeting the problem location, while knowledge management assists with problem analysis, diagnosis, and classification. ERMIS architectural decisions have been driven by emerging-business requirements related to small and mediumsized businesses. © 2009 IBM.