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Technologies for Business-Driven IT Management

Machiraju, Vijay; Bartolini, Claudio; Casati, Fabio


Keyword(s): Business-driven IT Management; Service Oriented Architectures; Web-Services; Agent Technology; Utility Data Centers; business processes

Abstract: This article describes a vision for an adaptive IT infrastructure driven by business goals. We show the requirements for such an infrastructure, and then discuss the technologies and the architecture that enable this vision. We structure the problem into layers at different levels of abstractions, from the business process level down to the hardware level, and we show how management technologies can statically and dynamically improve business operations within each layer and across layers, with the ultimate goal of having all the layers of a company's IT infrastructure synchronized and work together to meet high-level business goals, adapting to ever-changing conditions. We believe that Web services and Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs) will be a key part of both the IT infrastructure and of its management system. There are two ways in which Web services contribute to making business-driven management possible: First, they abstract the heterogeneity in IT infrastructure through a set of well-defined interfaces. In fact, as shown later in this document, the main benefit of Web services is that of standardizing the way functionality of various IT elements is exposed (e.g., through the use of common protocols and data models), thereby removing much of the heterogeneity present in current IT infrastructures. This makes it easier to develop generic management components that can interoperate with a number of IT elements. Notes: Copyright Kluwer Academic 2004. To be published as a chapter in the book Extending Web Services Technologies: the Use of Multi-Agent Approaches edited by L. Cavedon, Z. Maamar, D. Martin and B. Benatallah

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