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IBM Research

Autonomic Replication Management Service (ARMS)

Computer Science


The main objective of Autonomic Replication Management Service (ARMS) is to build a web services based common management framework on top of various existing IBM (and potentially non-IBM as well) replication products & technologies for their easy deployment, configuration and management in an on demand operating environment.

Data Replication is one of the key requirements of almost every enterprise application to meet its goals of availability, scalability & performance. Managing the data replication in a large heterogeneous IT environment that supports multiple applications is a big challenge for system administrators. Typically applications deal with different types of data and even have different requirements for data availability, performance and consistency etc and hence need different replication technologies to replicate their data e.g. database replication technologies are good in terms of providing the transaction level consistency within a database where storage level replication technologies are good in terms of providing the I/O level data consistency across databases, files and even across set of applications on different platforms. So choosing the appropriate data replication technologies for various applications becomes a key requirement for many systems administrators.

Presently administrators and/or application developers need to put in considerable efforts to embed and automate the administration of data replication as part of their application logic e.g. administrators need to understand the vendor specific replication terminology, plan for various infrastructure level resources such as memory, storage, network etc. to obtain desired replication performance, write various scripts, Java/C programs using vendor specific replication commands/APIís etc. Thus it puts a significant burden on applications to embed and manage the replication technology as a part of their business logic. Even sometimes such a complexity in managing the replication technologies and embedding the technology specific artifacts in the application logic makes it difficult for applications to switch from one replication technology to another or sometimes even upgrade the existing replication technology. So segregating the replication functionality embedded in various applications and providing it as an infrastructure level service that various applications can invoke specifying their high level replication goals is a key requirement on todayís IT infrastructures.

It is important to understand how todayís customer would like to view their IT infrastructure? Today customers donít want to deal with infrastructure level issues but want to have an intelligent infrastructure that would support the goal based management of their applications which intern should significantly reduce their cost of managing IT infrastructure. Customer wants to provide the high level goals for their business processes which typically may span across one or more applications and/or business partners. High level goals specified at the business process level needs to be mapped to policies acceptable to various application components and infrastructure level services that contribute to the business processes. IBMís On Demand Infrastructure initiative defines the service oriented architecture that composes various infrastructure components and functionality into set of On Demand Infrastructure (ODI) services. ODI services abstract the functionality of the underlying infrastructure components using web services based open standards and provide policy based autonomic management to meet the policy goals specified by the service clients

Autonomic data Replication Management Service addresses these customer requirements and pain points by segregating the functionality of data replication as an infrastructure level service hiding the complexity involved in managing the data replication and serve multiple applications in a more uniform and consistent manner. ARMS adopts various web services based open standards such as WS-RF, WS-Notification, and WSDM etc.

Some of the key objectives of ARMS are the following:

  • Virtualization: Provide a consistent view of data replication to multiple applications making them agnostic to the type of data and the vendor technology being used for replication.
  • Policy based Autonomic Management: Allow clients to specify goal based policies e.g. end to end replication latency and provide autonomic management to meet the policy goals relieving applications from monitoring and tuning the data replication process for optimal performance, resource usage and recovering from error situations etc. ARM Service would reconfigure the replication process to adapt to any changes in the replication topology or policies.
  • Open standards: Use various web services based infrastructure management standards such as WS-RF, WS-Notification, and WSDM(CIM) etc. for modeling the data & storage replication infrastructure components.
  • Integration: Integrate data replication technologies with various other supporting IBM products and emerging technologies to build a robust and integrated replication service infrastructure e.g. use of Enterprise WorkLoad Manager (EWLM) to provide the goal based performance management (e2e latency) of database replication. It would allow consistent management of data replication with other application workloads

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