Devising an account management plan, defining success, and mutually agreeing to the definition via a service level agreement does not in and of itself guarantee success. The services identified in earlier chapters must be executed in an appropriate sequence and level of intensity. Much like the need for the account plan and service level agreement from a general standpoint, there is a need to "get in front of the curve" from a micro or individual application standpoint.
Sun Microsystems has created a process that ensures that operational services required to support and enable new applications during development, testing, and production are identified. This process is called the Client Server Production Acceptance (CSPA) process. A more detailed explanation of the CSPA process can be found in two books, Managing the New Enterprise and Building the New Enterprise. The process parallels and supports the application systems development methodology.
The CSPA consists of four phases:
Phase 1 Notification/Information Gathering
This phase provides a "heads up" to all parties that are impacted by the application and utilizes a comprehensive questionnaire to gather all the data necessary to define the skills, processes, and technology services required to support the development and operation of the new application.
A checklist is derived from this questionnaire that will be used to allocate tasks to the various roles that will be assigned responsibility for completion.
Examples of information to be gathered are:
Server Strategy (Hardware)
Server strategy ”Where will the servers be located? Who will manage them?
Server Strategy (Database)
Database server strategy ”How will the database, its backups , and its administration be accomplished?
Client strategy ”Where will the clients be located? Is there local support for these clients ?
Backup and Recovery
What are the backup and recovery requirements? How will they be handled? Who will provide the service?
Disaster Recovery Considerations
How will recovery of the software application and its data be accomplished? Refer to a Disaster Recovery Architecture for guidelines.
How many hours a day must the system be operational?
In what countries and during what time periods must the system operate ?
Define the licensing mechanisms(s) to be used (for licensed software).
Phase 2 Resource Planning /Communication
During this phase the necessary hardware, software, and other resources that will be required to generate the services are secured. Support of the application development and preparation for the production environment is the focus.
Phase 3 Implementation
During this phase all services that will be required to support the application are tested with the new application. The CSPA checklist is utilized as a tool to determine if the application and services supporting warrant a move to a production decision.
Phase 4 Maintenance and Support
The maintenance and support phase is an ongoing phase and is geared to insuring that the CSPA is kept current. Each time a change is required, the appropriate elements of the CSPA should be completed.