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Autonomic Computing: Freeing Up People to Focus no Innovation

By Dick Weisinger

Software is getting smart. Software algorithms are promoted to become managers of systems. This kind of self-managing, self-healing software is called autonomic computing.

The term autonomic computing may have come from a 2001 IBM paper that predicted that systems and software would become increasingly complex and the only way to effectively manage them would be to make the systems themselves more flexible and self-managing. The idea is that the software controlling systems could be made smart enough so that it would be able to optimize, configure and heal itself without the need for humans to be involved.

Dr. Kumar at IBM said that “higher order benefits will include allowing companies to better manage their business through IT systems that are able to adopt and implement directives based on business policy, and are able to make modifications based on changing environments.”

Increasingly software is being created that can automate lower-level time-consuming tasks and decisions that would otherwise need to be done by humans.

Charles Crouchman, CTO at Turbonomic, said that “the idea of an autonomic data center has always made sense to us, but the underlying and fundamental technology enablement for it was not in place until recently… Automation can lessen the burden of that lower-level, repeated work so people can focus on innovation.”

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