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Self Healing Network System

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IBM has founded the Autonomic Computing Organization to establish the integration of technology designed to fix faults in the network automatically. In the initial stage, this project is focussing on IBM’s data storage and WebSphere products, as the company wants to lower its central data management cost. The technology introduces self-configuring, self-healing, self-optimising, and self-proactive capabilities to the whole IT system, from desktop monitors to mainframe computers, software applications and middleware as per IBM requirements. IBM’s Storage System is developing automated software which allow users to arrange and manage data across large servers as part of its Sharp Product Roadmap. A new version of Tivoli software is being released by the company, which is having 26 new automated features that are mainly related to system management capabilities, including identitification and storage resource management software, said Alan Ganek, Vice-President of IBM’s Autonomic Computing Organization.

The company has also announced that the new WebSphere 5.0 server, will be having a number of self-optimising and self-healing features for analysing and correction. In addition to the internal integration tasks that the initiative possess, analysts believe IBM is also facing strong competition from Hewlett-Packard(HP) in the development of utility computing. “HP has a lead with its utility computing model, with virtualisation and manageability,” said Brad Day, senior analyst at Giga Information Group. “But [Sun] will be much more believable if they can deliver the goods on their own Solaris captive platforms. IBM doesn’t have that luxury because they have multiple platforms and operating systems to consider.” IBM also faces the challenge of getting its ISV partners to begin piloting some of these new models, Day added. Other analysts see strength in IBM’s vision. “[IBM does] a good job of talking about where these autonomic initiatives are moving users. It will be critical, however, for them to continue to fill in the blank spaces between now and their ultimate goal with useful products,” said John Humphreys, senior analyst at IDC.

DARPA wants to develop computer systems that can repair software without having to wait for interested parties to develop patches. The benefits of self-repairing software are hard to overstate, especially for government institutions that deal with sensitive information regarding weapons and military technology. “Today, our time to patch a newly discovered security flaw is measured in days,” Mike Walker, DARPA program manager, said in a statement. “Through automatic recognition and remediation of software flaws, the term for a new cyber attack may change from zero-day to zero-second.” What’s notably absent from DARPA’s invitation is any indication of how self-repairing software might work. DARPA explains that experts in this field often compete in similar real-time programming tournaments, but does not specify how a computer might learn to isolate and obliterate threats before they infect it.

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