Trust framework for autonomic computing systems




Agrawal, Priyanka

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Present-day IT environments are complex, heterogeneous tangles of hardware, middleware and software from multiple venders that are becoming increasingly difficult to integrate, install, configure, tune and maintain. In order to combat this increasing level of complexity, automating many of the functions associated with computing today seems to be a reasonable solution. IBM, inspired by the autonomic nervous system of the human body which regulates without any conscious intervention, chose to call this paradigm Autonomic Computing-computing using adaptive and self-managing systems with minimal human intervention. Autonomic computing poses several research challenges. In an endeavor to hide complexity, autonomic systems give up, to a certain extent, accountability to the user. Consequently, autonomic systems exhibit fewer cause and effect relationships and therefore engender trust and adoption issues. In other words, the system itself takes over control whereby it may or may not operate as per user expectations during its operation. Our goal is to develop a framework of trust that will be useful for developers of autonomic computing applications or self-managed systems dealing with trust issues. Our approach gathers key trust topics, issues, nomenclature, taxonomies, and user task models from the literature which are then distilled and pruned to form our own trust framework which is intended to aid developers in the design of self-managed systems. We then use IBM`s Tivoli provisioning system, which is one of the most successful autonomic systems, to consolidate our framework. Finally, we evaluate our framework by trying to identify the strengths and weaknesses with respect to trust of self-managed systems by performing a case study on a non-deployed autonomic e-Commerce prototype.



autonomic computing, computer architecture