ITIL And Cloud Computing

Cloud computing grew out of the concept of utility computing. It was believed that computing resources and hardware would become a commodity to the point that companies would purchase them from a central pool and pay only for the amount of CPU cycles, RAM, storage and bandwidth that they used, much like the way you buy electricity from the electric company. This is how it became known as utility computing. The fundamental concept of cloud computing is that the processing (and the related data) is not in a specified, known or static place, but the server location, place and controls are still known to someone in the service delivery chain. It is no wonder then that cloud computing is considered a complex and dynamic IT services production and distribution system in which different layers of service producing infrastructure are controlled and managed by different entities. On the other hand, ITIL books document best practices for managing the complex and dynamic business of delivering IT services. They are not a theory, a standard, nor a detailed how-to, but a collection of what actually works.


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In other words, the core guidance and concept of ITIL can be tailored to design the service management processes for the IT service management environment of the cloud. What processes need to be used to fix them? Is it any different from incident management or problem management? Will there be changes made in the cloud? Will it then be called change management? The argument that ITIL does not apply to the cloud is in fact a cop out on behalf of cloud solution developers and application management service providers to basically get rid of controls because this is a new technology. They do not realize that ITIL is a technology independent framework. The cloud will of course demand strong “built-in controls” around event management, and that is prominently defined in the operation part of ITIL V3.

ITIL for the cloud can vary in scale and complexity as one logical process spans across one or more systems. In order to transform the service management processes that were designed for legacy IT infrastructure based service, two basic techniques are used: Process Engineering and Process Integration. The process engineering technique breaks the core of processes into multiple sets of tasks surrounded by the key characteristics of input, output, rules and roles. Process Integration is one of the key techniques for implementing multi-vendor ITIL. It is a technique of attaining close and seamless coordination and interaction of processes. Therefore ITIL, when applied correctly by managed network services, can provide the best incident management solutions, such as providing symptom data and diagnosis, and can also provide observations about the incident.

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