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  7. Fujitsu Develops Support Technology for Cloud Systems that Automatically Presents Appropriate Operational Procedures

Fujitsu Develops Support Technology for Cloud Systems that Automatically Presents Appropriate Operational Procedures

Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.

Kawasaki, Japan, March 12, 2014

Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. today announced that is has developed technology that supports the operations management of cloud systems by automatically generating the necessary procedure flows.

In recent years, as an increasing number of companies have moved systems from various on-premises customer sites to the cloud, improving operations management efficiency and reliability of cloud-based systems has become an issue.

Fujitsu Laboratories has now developed the world's first technology that analyzes and employs a variety of data relating to operations management that are stored in the cloud, including system logs, structural data, and operations procedure manuals. Fujitsu Laboratories has confirmed through in-house tests that approximately 30% of the operations work could be automated.

As a result, the various operations data that are generated in the course of using cloud-based systems can be re-used, and operations management can be expected to become more efficient and reliable.

Background

In recent years, as storage and networks have become more sophisticated, an increasing number of companies have moved systems from various on-premises locations to the cloud. Operational data, including system logs, structural data, and operations procedure manuals, are increasingly being stored in the cloud. In conventional operations management, from operational policies such as periodic system maintenance, operations managers would specify each system's operations procedures based on their own experience and know-how while referencing manuals and past documents.

Issues

Operations management know-how is largely dependent on the operation manager's specialized skills and on-the-job experience, knowledge not detailed in written manuals. Previously, Fujitsu Laboratories had developed methods of predicting and detecting failures in cloud infrastructure as well as for automatically generating the parameters required to build systems. After operations had started, however, procedures were not automated. For this reason, executing different operations procedures for each business system, such as file backup, and launching or stopping services, led to conditions where problems were likely to occur, particularly with the management of multiple business systems.

The Newly Developed Technology

Fujitsu Laboratories has developed technology that can analyze operation manuals, and then extract those parts that various manuals have in common so as to infer what procedures can be standardized. It has also developed automated support technology that makes the development of automated execution flows for operational procedures more efficient (figure1).

Figure 1: Technology for analysis of operational procedure manuals and automated supportFigure 1: Technology for analysis of operational procedure manuals and automated support

The technologies developed have the following features (figure2).

1. Technology for analyzing operational procedure manuals

Using the following procedures, an analysis is performed on the operational procedure manuals that are read by operations managers.

1) Parts where the work is described are extracted and segmented so that the portioning of each procedure manual is minimized and re-use is maximized
2) Superimposing the segmentation results, the shared procedures are inferred
3) The common operational procedures are then further segmented by their complexity and the operations work involved
4) The time required to create automated operational flows and the current manual work times are then estimated to determine priority for automation

In calculating the segmentation, the computation diverges as the combination problems are solved. However, as this technology seeks partial sequences in stages, time required for computations is reduced.

As a result, analysis of operational procedure manuals, which requires over a month using conventional manual methods, could be performed in a matter of a few hours.

2. Automated support technology

If the operations manager describes in the operations design manual the bare minimum components involved in operation work such as service launches and stoppages, an automated operations flow can automatically be generated. In the operations design manual, the conditions for execution processing can also be specified, but because conditional branching and other implementation steps are automated, operation designer skills are not required. By describing the operation design manual in accordance with common procedures obtained from the analysis of the operational procedures, maintenance administration becomes easy using an automated operations flow with a high degree of re-use. The time required to create an automatically generated automated operations flow can be reduced by up to 90%.

Figure 2: Automatically generated automated operations flowFigure 2: Automatically generated automated operations flow

Results

In testing the technology developed by applying it to the operations work of one of the company's datacenters, Fujitsu Laboratories confirmed that approximately 30% of the operations work could be automated. By using this technology, customers can re-use the various operations data generated in the course of operating their cloud-based systems, and operations can expected to become more efficient and reliable.

Future Plans

Fujitsu Laboratories will advance its research and development work on technology for analyzing operational data with the aim of putting it into practical use in fiscal 2014.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.4 trillion yen (US$47 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.

About Fujitsu Laboratories

Founded in 1968 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories Limited is one of the premier research centers in the world. With a global network of laboratories in Japan, China, the United States and Europe, the organization conducts a wide range of basic and applied research in the areas of Next-generation Services, Computer Servers, Networks, Electronic Devices and Advanced Materials. For more information, please see: http://jp.fujitsu.com/labs/en.

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All company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information provided in this press release is accurate at time of publication and is subject to change without advance notice.

Date: 12 March, 2014
City: Kawasaki, Japan
Company: Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., , , , , , , , , , , , ,