Autonomic Computing

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Date Submitted: 09/04/2011 06:43 AM

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2.0 What is Autonomic Computing?

Autonomic the name suggests, is a metaphor based on biology. The aim of using this metaphor is to express the vision to enable something similar to be achieved in computing, in other words, to create the self-management of a substantial amount of computing function to relieve users of low level management activities allowing them to place emphasizes on the higher level concerns of running their business, their experiments or their entertainment. That is to say, its ultimate aim is to create self-managing computer systems to overcome their rapidly growing complexity and to enable their further growth.

The need and justification for Autonomic Computing is based on the ever increasing complexity in today’s systems. It has been expressed that the IT industry’s single focus has been on improving hardware performance with software burgeoning with additional features to maximize on this additional capacity, at the neglect of other vital criteria. This has created a trillion dollar industry with consumers’ consenting to the hardware-software upgrade cycle. Its legacy though is a mass of complexity within ‘systems of systems’ resulting in an increasing financial burden per computer (often measured as the TCO: total cost of ownership). In addition to the TCO implications of complexity, complexity is a blocking force to achieving Dependability. Dependability, a long-standing desirable property of all computer-based systems, integrates such attributes as reliability, availability, safety, security, survivability and maintainability. The autonomic initiatives offer a means to achieve dependability while coping with complexity.

Autonomic Computing has as its vision the creation of self managing systems to address today’s concerns of complexity and total cost of ownership while meeting tomorrow’s needs for pervasive and ubiquitous computation and communication.

The multi-disciplinary nature of autonomic computing is the automation of...