Real-time operations comprise a set of key functions that must
Reactive management, used to decrease MTTR, is based on the use of triage and root-cause analysis. Triage tries to identify the responsible organization very quickly, in the hope that they will be able to use their specialized tools and knowledge to fix the situation. Root-cause analysis is a more detailed, technically
Root-cause analysis uses sophisticated
Active responses can then be used to handle routine problems or even
Chapter 7. Policy-Based Management
Managing services in compliance with a Service Level Agreement (SLA) places more demands on the management system and the staff. Stiffer penalties for
Automation is a key attribute of an effective Service Level Management (SLM) system. Stringent SLA compliance criteria reduce the time cushion that administrators might have had. One of the compliance criteria mentioned in Chapter 2, "Service Level Management," is a demand for higher availability. If management staff
Note, however, that automated tasks are also of concern to administrators because they are taking actions and making changes at a faster rate than
Policies are sets of rules that define and constrain the actions the management system takes in different situations. Table 7-1 shows the various levels of rules that might be involved in a policy-based system. The rules are defined from the business level downward. Each rule level supports the goals of the levels above and depends on lower levels to achieve those goals.
Table 7-1. Multi-Level Rules
As an example, consider that infrastructure rules might involve establishing special routes for low-latency network traffic or allocating more servers behind a load-balancing switch. Those infrastructure rules depend in
Management system rules
Many policies are activated when a potential or actual service disruption is passed along by an alert from the real-time event manager. Other policies are activated in response to changes in the SLA statistics.
Policy-based management has a learning curve. Simple policies save staff time and effort and are usually implemented first. More sophisticated policies are implemented as the management team gains experience and learns how to extend policies more deeply into business processes and to more areas in the managed environment.
Policy-based management is the systematic creation of policies that drive the management system to maintain the highest service quality.