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Service Design - Availability Management

Availability Management is a caring process, and you can think about this as somebody who really cares about failure and how the business should address failure itself. This process also looks into designing for failure, reliability and maintainability. Typically, this would be performed by someone who has a strong skill set in technical architecture and design. They need to be able to see things across the span of technologies, and view things from an abstract high level.

Availability Management
Availability Management processes

  • Work proactively to improve availability
  • Maintain an up to date Availability Plan
  • Provide guidance on availability issues to both the business and IT
  • Ensure availability meets targets (or even exceeds them)
  • Assist in diagnosis and resolution of availability incidents

Before the Availability Management kicks off we need information from the previous service lifecycle stages, including:

  • Business impact information
  • Change Schedule and Release Schedule
  • Risk Analysis RA
  • Service Portfolio and Service Catalog
  • Information from the SLM process (SLAs, SLRs, OLAs)
  • Past performance
  • Financial Information

Availability Management is achieved via two levels

  • Service availability
  • Component availability

Using availability management we aim to address the ability of an IT component to perform at an agreed level over a certain period of time. This is broken down into:

Reliability: the component should be able to perform at an agreed level at prescribed conditions.

Maintainability: the components ability to remain in, or be restored to an operational state.

Serviceability: whether the an external supplier can maintain the availability of the component or function usually under a third-party contract.

Resilience: A measure of freedom from operational failure and a method of keeping services reliable. One popular method of resilience is redundancy.

Security: A service may have associated data. Security refers to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of that data.

The person responsible for availability management will build on the availability plan, design processes to measure service breaks and also select tools that this data will be kept in. The role both encompasses technology and process. We want to capture availability requirements early in the design phase by putting together a plan to manage availability. We look at how we are going to monitor availability with our monitoring systems. Deciding, do we need to buy monitoring tools and do we have the budget? This is also the ideal time to start thinking about the requirements for availability and capacity reporting. It's a lot better to start thinking about these requirements early in the service lifecycle. Automated tools for tracking are recommended as the costs for manual processes are a lot more noticeable and unadvisable.

Customers view of availability

Customers will view availability in 3 ways:

  • How often downtime occurs
  • Duration of the downtime
  • The scope of impact

Finance has a direct understanding of availability and downtime. Loss of customers, goodwill, and damage to the business reputation, all have a significant impact on profitability.

Once again, as with the other Service Management processes we use KPIs to measure the availability of our service(s). Common KPIs include; percentage reduction in unavailability, percentage reduction in service breaks, improvement in mean time between failures.

From the Availability Management process we provide:

  • Availability Management Information System (AMIS)
  • Availability Plan
  • Recovery design
  • Reports (both for service and component)
  • Testing schedule for availability
  • Projected Service Outage (PSO)

See also:

  • Reactive activities
  • Proactive activities
  • Service availability
  • Component availability
  • Service Failure Analysis (SFA)
  • Incident analysis
  • Probability of failure
  • Recovery time
  • Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF)

service design availability proactive failure availability plan reliability serviceability resilience management



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