Autonomic computing was conceived to lessen the spiraling demands for skilled I/T resources, reduce complexity and to drive computing
What is autonomic computing?
Autonomic computing is an approach to self-managed computing systems with a minimum of human interference. The term derives from the body's which controls key functions without conscious awareness or involvement. Autonomic computing is an emerging area of study and a for the entire I/T community to address in earnest.
What are the origins of autonomic computing?
Autonomic computing is the evolution of a long tradition of understanding and creating self-regulating systems. It's risen to the top of the I/T agenda because of the immediate need to solve the skills shortage and the rapidly increasing size and complexity of the world's computing infrastructure.
What is the goal of autonomic computing?
The goal is to realize the promise of I/T: increasing productivity while minimizing complexity for users. It's time to design and build computing systems capable of running themselves, adjusting to varying circumstances, and preparing their resources to handle most efficiently the workloads we put upon them.
What does autonomic computing promise to deliver?
Most immediately, the automated management of computing systems. But that capability will provide the basis for much more: from seamless e-sourcing and to dynamic e-business and the ability to translate business decisions that managers make to the I/T processes and policies that make those decisions a reality. Ultimately, autonomic computing is a challenge that must be met before the industry can deliver 'the next big thing.'
How does IBM plan to work with other technology companies?
IBM has thousands of partners in all areas of the industry. IBM Research is highly regarded for collaborating with leading national and university labs around the world. In addition, we'll form a consortium of experts from the I/T industry to help guide and shape the future of this effort.
What will a world based on autonomic computing look like?
In the future, human intervention in most tasks associated with systems management will seem as archaic and unnecessary as asking an operator for help making a phone call seems today. Initially, you'll see more availability of the systems that serve you — your bank, your ISP, your travel agent. You'll hear, 'sorry, our systems are down' less often. Simultaneously, autonomic features will begin to appear in client level devices so that your individual PC will complete for itself many of the tasks that currently make you a part-time administrator. If you had to stop and get out of your car every few hours to check under the hood, make a minor adjustment, or restart the car because of some unknown glitch, it would take a long-time to reach your destination.
What actually exists in autonomic computing today? More than 400 product features in 36 distinct IBM products have autonomic computing capabilities. Each of these capabilities are based in part on self-configuring, healing, optimizing or protecting technologies. They span the entire IBM product and services portfolio and we have autonomic capabilities for all sizes of businesses, including small and medium sized business.
How do you think AC will change the way business is conducted?
One of the first examples is e-sourcing, which is gaining traction now. e-sourcing is the ability to deliver I/T as a utility, when you need it, in the amount you must have to accomplish the task at hand. Autonomic computing will create huge opportunities for these emerging kinds of services.
Is autonomic computing being developed at places other than IBM? Yes, and what we're trying to do now is focus all of that great work together so the I/T community can address this Grand Challenge. There is already a terrific amount of work being done at university labs like Berkeley, MIT, University of Texas, University of Michigan and more. IBM has been doing work in this area for years in aspects of self-managing servers, self-tuning software and the like.
Isn't autonomic computing the same as creating intelligent machines?
This is partly a matter of definition. If " intelligent machine" means one that embodies human cognitive powers, the answer is no. But if that term is taken to mean systems that can adapt, learn and take over certain functions previously performed by humans then autonomic computing does involve the idea of embedding this kind of intelligence in computing systems.
Does autonomic computing replace
No. In fact, Artificial Intelligence is a critical discipline that will help bring about autonomic computing. AI-related research, some involving new ways to apply and control laws, can provide insight into how to run complex systems that optimize to their environments. But to be clear, autonomic computing does not require the duplication of conscioius human thought as an ultimate goal. In our opinion, this is not the primary issue that needs addressing now.