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Autonomic Computing. An Introduction Guenter Kickinger. Outline. Autonomic Computing in General – IBM’s perspective Technologies & Tools Autonomic Computing and the Grid What can AC do for us?. The Problem – Increasing Complexity of IT Systems.

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Autonomic Computing

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Autonomic Computing

An Introduction

Guenter Kickinger


  • Autonomic Computing in General – IBM’s perspective

  • Technologies & Tools

  • Autonomic Computing and the Grid

  • What can AC do for us?

The Problem – Increasing Complexity of IT Systems

  • Complex systems require more and more skilled IT professionals to install, configure, operate, tune and maintain.

  • Difficulty of managing today’s computing systems goes well beyond the administration of individual software environments. New levels of complexity:

    • Integration of several heterogeneous environments into corporate-wide computing systems

    • Extension beyond company boundaries into the Internet

    • Architects are less able to anticipate and design interactions among components

    • Systems will become too massive and complex for even most system integrators to install

An Example

Progress in Telephony

Autonomic Computing – The Solution (???)

  • Autonomic computing helps address these complexity issues by using technology to manage technology.

  • Term “autonomic” is derived from human biology – autonomic nervous system.

    • adjusts to many situations automatically without external help.

    • ANS monitors your heartbeat, checks your blood sugar level and keeps your body temperature close to 37, without any conscious effort on your part.

  • The vision: computing systems that can manage themselves given high-level objectives from administrators.

    • Manage complexity

    • “Know” themselves

    • Continuously tune themselves

    • Adapt to unpredictable conditions

    • Prevent and recover from failures

    • Provide a secure environment

Components of Self-Management

  • self-configuring

    • components adapt dynamically to changes in the IT system, using policies provided by IT professionals.

    • e.g. deployment of new components, removal of existing components

  • self-healing

    • environments can detect problematic operations and then initiate corrective action

    • system identifies and isolates a failed component. Comp. is taken offline, repaired or replaced.

  • self-optimizing

    • to make the best use of available resources even though these resources and requirements are constantly changing.

  • self-protecting

    • to allow authorized people to access the right data at the right time

    • to detect hostile or intrusive behaviour

    • to take autonomous actions to make the system less vulnerable.





autonomic manager






the autonomic element


autonomic manager collaboration

customer order solution

vendor relationship solution

database resource

database management

server management

Technologies & Tools (1)

  • IBM Emerging Technologies Toolkit (ETTK)

    • software development kit for designing, developing, and executing emerging autonomic, web service, and grid-related technologies.

    • evolved from the Web Services Toolkit (WSTK)

    • includes a fully-functioning SOAP engine and embedded application server

    • provides

      • basic software components to experiment with and create Web services and autonomic programs

      • architectural overview of autonomic technologies, Web services, sample programs, utility services and tools for developing and deploying autonomic programs and Web services.

    • Technologies: WSDL, SOAP, WS-ResourceFramework

Technologies & Tools (2)

  • IBM Autonomic Computing Toolkit 2.0

    • The IBM autonomic computing toolkit is a collection of

      • technologies,

      • tools,

      • examples,

      • scenarios, and

      • documentation

        that is designed for users wanting to learn about, adapt, and develop autonomic behaviour in their products and systems.

Technologies & Tools (3)

  • IBM Autonomic Computing Toolkit 2.0

    • Technologies

      • Autonomic Management Engine

      • Generic Log Adapter (to translate product log messages into a Common Base Event data format)

      • Log and Trace Analyzer

      • Integrated Solutions Console

      • Solution Install

    • Tools

      • Integrated Solutions Console Toolkit

      • Resource Model Builder

      • Adapter Rule Editor

AC and the Grid

  • Grid as an enabling technology

    • The Grid provides the open protocols needed for AC, like OGSA, WS-RF

  • Autonomic Grid Applications

    • context-aware self-managing applications in widely distributed, heterogeneous Grid environments

    • Extending the Grid middleware by autonomic capabilities

What Can AC Do For Us?

Help to make the interactive data analysis stable, in a heterogeneous Grid environment

Making Interactive Data Analysis Robust – Improving PROOF

  • Applying autonomic computing concepts, but dynamically at runtime rather than for system administration purposes

  • self-configuration

    • dynamic slaves

      • PROOF slaves leave (e.g. resources are not longer available)

      • PROOF slaves join (e.g. new resources become free)

    • if user aborts execution, all processes should be aborted too (Ctrl-C feature)

Making Interactive Data Analysis Robust – Improving PROOF

  • self-healing

    • analyse why processes are dying

      • e.g. error in selector script (DIV by 0)

    • find the best strategy to recover from the error

      • restart the process on another CPU?

      • what about intermediate results?

  • self-optimization

    • Learn from previous analysis sessions how to improve performance

  • self-protection

    • Analysis of possible threats has to be done

    • Security issues (authentication, encryption,…)

    • Protected environments for selector scripts


  • autonomic computing is a concept of self-managing IT systems, analogous to the autonomic nervous system of the human (animal) body

  • the principles of the autonomic computing can be used to make the interactive data analysis framework more robust (i.e. PROOF)

  • To do so, the IBM focus of AC – the self-management of an IT system infrastructure to reduce IT costs – has to be shifted to the self-management of the distributed interactive data analysis process

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