Aligning Infrastructure and Business Processes using Watermarks

Associating business information with information about IT resources is important for many purposes. Organizations need to understand the business relevance of resources to answer questions such as which business applications are affected in case of a server outage. Likewise, it is important to understand the resource footprint of business applications. Maintaining this relationship over the life cycle of resources and business processes and applications is difficult because data on business applications and IT configuration information is maintained very differently. Business application information is maintained by employees in the course of a management process while IT configuration information can be maintained more vigorously by scanning IT resources and storing the results in a Configuration Management Database (CMDB) where this actual configuration information can be reconciled with an authorized configuration. This paper proposes an approach to associate business application information with configuration information by “watermarking” IT resources with references to information on the business purpose they serve. This enables the establishment of a relationship between automatically detected and manually managed information in a consistent, reliable, and cost-effective way, detecting inconsistencies that may develop over time.

By: Heiko Ludwig; Kamal Bhattacharya; Rick Sheftic; Mike Nidd; Michael Moser; Andreas Kind

Published in: Proceeding on 6th International Conference on Network and Systems ManagementNiagra Falls, Canada, p.418-21 in 2010

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