The Availability Management process ensures that IT services consistently deliver the required level of availability.
Availability Management is a process that ensures the availability of systems and services matches evolving agreedneeds of the business. Availability Management also ensures IT delivers the right levels of service availability.
The purpose of Availability Management is to optimize the capability of the IT infrastructure and to support the organization by delivering a cost-effective and sustained level of availability that enables the business to satisfy its objectives.
The objectives of Availability Management are to:
• Produce and maintain an appropriate and updated Availability Plan.
• Provide advice and guidance to all other areas of the business.
• Ensure serviceavailability achievements meet or exceed agreed targets.
• Assist with diagnosis and resolution of availability–related incidents and problems.
• Assess the impact of all changeswithin the Availability Plan.
• Ensure proactive measures are taken to improve the availability of services implemented.
Activities performed by Av
ailability Management involves planning availability before, during and after a service is provided.
The two key elements of Availability Management are:
• Reactive activities: Involves the monitoring, measuring analysis and management of all events, incidents and problem-solving unavailability.
• Proactive activities: Involve the proactive planning, design and improvement of availability.
The two inter-connectedlevels to complete Availability Management are:
• Service availability: Involves all aspects and impacts of service availability and unavailability.
• Component availability: Involves all aspects of component availability and unavailability.
Component Availability is aiming at the proper functioning of a single component (e.g. system or hardware)where Service Availability is aiming at the properfunctioning of a service end-to-end including all the needed components.
The following are important concepts of Availability Management:
• Availability: The ability of a service, component or CI to perform its agreed function when required.
• Reliability: A measureof how long a service, component or CI can perform its agreed function withoutinterruption.
• Maintainability: A measure of how quickly and effectively a service, component or CI can be restored to normal working after a failure.
• Resilience (Redundancy): The ability of a component or serviceto keep running where one or more components failed.
• Serviceability: Theability of a third
party supplier to meet the terms of their contract.
party supplier to meet the terms of their contract.
• Security: information Security Management determines the security requirements of a service, while Availability Management implements the measures.
• Vital Business Function (VBF): VBF reflects the business critical elements of the business process supported by an IT service.
Vital Business Function
The term vital business function (VBF) is used to reflect the part of a business process that is critical to the success of the business.
An IT service may support a number of business functions that are less critical.
For example, an automated teller machine (ATM)or cash dispenser service, VBF would be the dispensing of cash. However, the abilityto obtain a statement from an ATM may not be considered as vital. This distinction is important and should influence availability design and associated costs.
The more vital the business function generally, the greater the level of resilience and availability that needs to be incorporated into the design required in the supporting IT services.
For all services, whether VBFs or not, the availability requirements should be determined by the businessand not by IT.
Certain VBFs may need special designs, which are now being used as a matter of coursewithin service design plans, incorporating:
High availability: A characteristic of the IT service that minimizes or masks the effects of IT component failure to the users of a service.
Fault tolerance: The ability of an IT service, component or CI to continue to operate correctly after failure of a component part.
Continuous operation:An approach or design to eliminat< /span>e planned downtime of an IT service.Note that individual components or CIs may be down even though the IT service remainsavailable.
Continuous availability: An approach or design to achieve 100% availability. A
continuously available IT service has no planned or unplanned downtime
The responsibilities of an Availability Managerinclude:
• Ensure all existing services deliver the levels of availability that has been agreed.
• Ensure all new services are designed to deliver the levels of availability required.
• Assist with investigation and diagnosis of all incidentsand problems caused by unavailability of services or components.
• Participate in the IT infrastructure design.
• Monitor and report actual IT availability achieved against SLA targets.
• Proactively improve service availability.
• Create, maintain and regularly review AMIS.
• Ensure techniques and methods associated to the Availability Management process are regularly reviewed and audited.
• Ensure the levels of IT availability required are cost-justified.
• Assess management of risk.
• Assess changes for impact.
• Attend CAB meetings.
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