EXECUTIVE Summary: Description of the availability management process according to ITIL. This document contains the following terms: Reliability, serviceability, security, and exception report.

1. Objective

The objective of the process Availability Management is to guarantee with the customer agreed availability of ICT services, by means of proper deployment of equipment, methods and techniques.

2. Relations with other processes

In the Input column is filled in the information that the process receives from availability management.

In the Output column, is filled in the information that the process delivers to availability management.

Input Process Output
Reports Service level management Requirements
Possible problems Problem management Cause analyses report
Policy regarding handling incidents Incident management Reports regarding incidents
RFC for improving availability. Change management RFC’s that need to be assessed for their impact on the availability.

Feedback on RFC’s from availability management.

2.1 Start

At least once a year there has to be a review of the required availability. The service level manager determines the requirements of the customers on a regular basis. So it might be possible that this procedure will be used several times a year. The service level manager will give the requirements to the availability manager.

2.2 Activities and decisions

Description Who
015.1.1 Start of the procedure  
015.1.2 In consultation with service level manager and the customers, performance indicators are set up. The indicators reflect the quality of the services that are important for our customers. Availability manager
015.1.3 On basis of the requirements of the customers availability determines the necessary reliability, maintainability and serviceability of the service or CI. Availability manager
015.1.4 An indication of the costs and technical consequences is made. Availability manager
015.1.5 An availability proposal is being made. The service level manager uses this proposal in his end proposal to the customer. Availability manager
015.1.6 Is the proposal accepted? Availability manager
015.1.7 The availability plan has to be updated with the new requirements. Availability manager

2.3 End

The result of this procedure is input for reviewing the current design. The output of this procedure may result in new requirements, but it is also possible that there are no new requirements. In both cases the design has to be compared with the actual ICT infrastructure in order to determine if the availability policy is carried out in a proper way.

3. Procedure Data collect and report

Collecting data in order to measure the availability of the ICT infrastructure and make reports for internal (ICT department) and external (customers) use.

3.1 Start

If you look at availability management through the perspective of the plan do check act cycle from Demming. This procedure would be a part of the CHECK part of the Demming cycle.

This activity can be started because of a new service that Assembléon wants to deliver to her customers or for checking the availability of existing services. The availability manager starts this procedure to manage the availability of the ICT services. The service level manager can be the initiator of this procedure in order to find out information for determining service levels.

3.2 Activities and decisions

Description Who
015.2.1 Start  
015.2.2 Based on KPI’s will be determined from which component, what data has to be collected and from what source. The source can be infrastructure management software or service management software. Availability manager
015.2.3 Data will be collected, at this moment this is done by reports from the current service management tool. In the future this will be done by combining information from the infrastructure management tool (to be implemented) and the service management tool (will also be a new tool in the future). Availability manager
015.2.4 Data storage will probably be done using the CMDB. Availability manager
015.2.5 Currently standard reports are created using tools which are generally available. No real reporting tool is used for reporting availability information. Availability manager

3.3 End

The result of this procedure will be reports that are available for the availability manager in order to analyze this data. The service level manager will get reports in order to report about service levels.

4. Procedure Monitor compliance to requirements

This procedure describes the activities that are carried out in order to determine necessary actions if the actual availability differs from the expected availability. If the cause of the deviation is clear, the availability manager will take actions to improve.  These actions can be internal by checking and/or improving the design or they can be external in managing the contract. If there is no clear reason for the deviation, the availability manager will invoke problem management for analyses of the cause.

4.1 Start

The availability manager checks the reports that are produced in the procedure “Data collection and report”. After each reporting period the data must be analyzed. The frequency is determined by the availability manager, however the minimum frequency will depend on what is agreed upon by the customers in the service level agreement.

4.2 Activities and decisions

Description Who
015.3.1 Start  
015.3.2 Compare availability requirements with the actual results. Availability manager
015.3.3 With difference a significant difference is meant. This means a deviation bigger then 1%. Availability manager
015.3.4 If there is a significant difference between the service levels and the actual availability an exception report is created. This report goes to the service level manager, the CIO, the incident and the problem manager. Availability manager
015.3.5 Does Assembléon want to improve the service or appear the demands as not feasible? Availability manager
015.3.6 It might be possible that the deviation was expected, for instance a priority 1 incident was registered and the organization already is aware of the cause. If the cause is not clear a possible problem will be handed over to problem management. Availability manager
015.3.7 If it is known what the cause is, the responsible party will also be known. With internal Assembléon itself is meant. External parties are parties, which are responsible for the delivered service as a whole. Availability manager in consultancy with the service level manager
015.3.8 The contract is checked to see if there are financial consequences for the deviation in the service level. Availability manager
015.3.9 Are there financial consequences? Availability manager
015.3.10 Depending on the cause different actions might be taken, the contract may have to change, the design will have to be adapted, other process managers will have to change their way of working, escalate, contract penalty, etc. Availability manager

ICT manager

015.3.11 The ICT manager is informed about financial consequences so he can decide if action is desirable. Availability manager
019.2.2. Identify possible problem & known error as described in

[DC-000007650] This might eventually lead to a finished change.

Availability manager
015.3.12 Has the cause of the deviation been removed? Availability manager

4.3 End

The results of this procedure can be:

  • Exception report
  • Possible problem
  • Revised contract
  • A proposal to review the design
  • Input for determining requirements.

 5. Procedure producing availability plan

This procedure gives guidelines for producing an availability plan. The following subjects need to be part of this plan:

  • Comparison between the realized and predicted availability
  • Required availability for the long term
  • Describe scenarios with changes in required availability and consequences of new services
  • Propose improvements of resilience
  • Predict on all levels of availability based on planned changes
  • Consequences of omitting the recommendations
  • Predict the availability with Component Failure Impact Analysis
  • Guidelines for purchasing
  • Standards for hardware and software

5.1 Start

Every year an availability plan is created/adjusted. The plan is filled with information from the other availability management procedures, such as requirements from customers and guidelines for using and purchasing Hardware and Software. The plan needs to be ready before the planning of the year-budgets, since the plan might result in more or less investments in the ICT infrastructure.

5.2 Activities and decisions

Description Who
015.4.1 Start  
015.4.2 The data that will be collected comes from different sources:

  • Service management tool
  • Infrastructure management tool
  • Market information
  • Information from other similar companies
Availability manager
015.4.3 The plan should give a guideline for infrastructure management for at least one year. The plan is also to render an account of the availability of the last period (normally one year) and to predict the availability for the next period. Availability manager
015.4.4 This plan has to be approved by the ICT manager and business representatives through means of the service level manager. Availability manager
015.4.5 Does everybody agree with the plan? (ICT manager and business representatives through means of the service level manager.) Availability manager
015.4.6 The reasons for disapproval are reviewed in order to make a more suitable plan or to adjust the plan. Availability manager

5.3 End

The end result is an approved availability plan that is valid for at least one year.

6. Procedure Designing for availability

Basically designing for availability covers three subjects:

The creation/adjustment of the actual ICT infrastructure design (resilience, security, maintainability, etc.), the creation/adjustment of the guidelines of procurement (which supplier, what kind of contracts) and standards for what hardware and software might be used.

6.1 Start

At least once per year the design has to be reviewed in order to keep an optimal fit between the ICT infrastructure and the business processes. There might be reasons to review this design more frequently, for instance if the procedure “Monitor compliance to requirements” results in a deviation of the service levels and the cause is a design or policy issue.

6.2 Activities and decisions

Description Who
015.5.1 Start  
015.5.2 The analysis of the ICT infrastructure can be done by several methods, we will start using the following methods:

  1. Component Failure Impact Analysis (CFIA)
  2. Failure Tree Analysis

Both methods are described in the book Availability management by CCTA. (ISBN 0 11 330551 6)

Availability manager and ICT infrastructure team
015.5.3 Based on the result of the previous step we can define the critical components. Making a connection between the components and the services that are delivered does this. The relations make clear if a component is used in a critical service or services. Availability manager and ICT infrastructure team
015.5.4 Based on the analysis several kinds of improvements can be determined. Availability manager and ICT infrastructure team
015.5.5 Is the improvement on the field of deployment of configuration items? Availability manager
015.5.6 Is the improvement on the field of supplier related matters? Availability manager
015.5.7 These guidelines are related to supplier issues, this can be a standard supplier, a standard way of setting up contracts, etc. Availability manager
015.5.8 These guidelines describe which software and hardware might be used in the ICT infrastructure. For instance everything of the same brand, or demands regarding certain components (MTBF, etc.) Availability manager
015.5.9 The change manager has to be informed of the new policy guidelines in order to review RFC’s accordingly.

The ICT infrastructure management team has to be informed so that they can adapt their way of working to these guidelines.

Availability manager
015.5.10 The design might be created or adjusted at critical points in the ICT infrastructure this might be done for instance by creating more resilient solutions, start using better brands, etc. Availability manager and ICT infrastructure team
015.5.11 If an adjustment to the design is made this will eventually lead to an adjustment to the ICT infrastructure. The change manager reviews the design adaptations in the form of an RFC.  
015.5.12 Change management gives feedback if the RFC is approved and carried out. Info from change manager to availability manager

6.3 End

The end result can be different things:

  • Adjusted ICT infrastructure design
  • Adjusted ICT infrastructure (through means of change management)
  • (Updated) guidelines for purchasing
  • (Updated) standards for the use of configuration items.

7. Procedure Data maintenance

This procedure describes the handling of data related to availability management. At this moment there is no such database available. In the future the configuration management database will probably be chosen as a medium to store availability data. Therefor a number of activities are already described in the configuration management process.

7.1 Start

The different procedures in this document retrieve and store data in a database. This procedure bundles these activities. The lines in the process dataflow (chapter 4) symbolize the flow of data between the different activities.

7.2 Activities and decisions

Description Who
014.2 Identification, as described in the configuration management process [DC-000007653] Configuration manager
014.6 Supply information, as described in the configuration management process [DC-000007653] Configuration manager
015.6.4 At this point it is not yet clear if and how data has to be removed. Availability manager
015.6.5 At this point it is not yet clear if and how data has to be archived. Availability manager
014.3 Control, as described in the configuration management process [DC-000007653] Configuration manager

7.3 End

  • The end result can be different things:
  • Updated availability data
  • Availability reports

8. Quality management


Key performance indicator Norm Method of measurement Frequency Service involved
Up time LAN 99.5 Perform ping commands at a regular interval during office hours Once per month Network services
Up time Processes 98 Perform ping commands at a regular interval for servers. Per process you can define servers it depends on Once per month Infrastructure

9. Reports

How to create reports still has to be described in a work instruction.

Report Source To Reason Frequency
Availability report Availability data Availability manager/Service level manager See below monthly

  • Monitor and report on compliance to SLA’s, suggest improvements where SLA’s are not met.
  • Assess the effects of cumulative changes of supplied products and services on availability
  • Verify availability projections, investigate reasons for deviations
Exception report Availability data Availability manager/Service level manager/ problem manager Unavailability Ad hoc
Availability plan Availability report; Exception report; Availability manager/ICT manager/service level manager/management team Assembléon   annually

10. Improvements

Currently we are using ad hoc functions of the OS itself. This gives as enough information at this moment to create the necessary information.

Create workinstructions to support the procedures.

 11.        Records

This document will be archived in the Quality department part of IMS, endlessly, the Quality manager being the responsible person in this aspect


 12.          Attachments



13           Related Quality documents



14          Abbreviations