Dummy Co. is a commercial IT service provider. Dummy Co. has implemented ITIL and allocated many of the service management roles to members of the technical teams, as Figure 12-4 illustrates.
An account manager has found a new customer. The account manager is Henry, and one of his roles is to act as the business relationship manager. The customer requires an invoicing service and doesn’t want to acquire and run the system itself. It wants to utilise it as part of a cloud (see the earlier section ‘Considering system architecture’ for an explanation of a cloud) from a software as a service (SaaS) provider. This means that the users will access the invoicing service from their Internet browsers over a private Internet connection, and use Dummy Co’s software application and hardware.
Henry has established the customer’s business requirements. These have been reviewed using the service portfolio management process (see Chapter 4). Dummy Co. has an existing application that can be used to deliver the service, and this will fulfil most of the utility requirements. However, the warranty requirements are quite demanding and exceed any service levels offered to existing customers. A business case has been established and approved via service portfolio management with a little help from the financial management and demand management processes (see Chapter 4). There is a considerable return on investment (ROI) to be gained from the venture. The design project is initiated. Charlie is the service delivery manager, and she has been allocated the role of design coordination manager, so she takes charge of the project.
Henry has invited Charlie, who also acts as the service level manager, to a meeting with the customer to identify the service level requirements. The service level requirements are as follows:
- The service will be used at several locations worldwide, so it must be available 24/7, five days a week. Any single failure leading to loss of service at a site must be fixed within 30 minutes, and it will not break more than twice in any one week.
- The maximum number of people using the service at any one time is likely to be around 3,000. Because the users are spread across various sites, demand will not fluctuate much throughout the day. The response time of the system must be less than two seconds.
- As the service provider, you need to have appropriate disaster recovery facilities in place in the event that you have a disaster. As the customer, in the event that we have a disaster and want to relocate our staff, we require the ability for the service to be accessible at alternative locations in less than one hour.
- The data protection act requires us to protect our client’s information. All invoice data must be protected and must be restorable in the event of a cyber-attack. Our data must be backed up and recoverable in the event that you suffer a security breach.
Charlie takes these requirements and documents them as the SLRs(Service Level Requirements). She follows a process flow like the one in Figure 12-2. Charlie reviews the new requirements and compares them with the targets in the existing OLA(Operational Level Agreement) and UC(Underpinning Contract) to see whether there are other services that are delivered to these service levels. If it turns out that these service levels have not been offered before, or there is doubt as to whether they can be achieved, then the technical designers must be consulted.
Well, Dummy Co.’s IT department has just one technical architect, and he is called Fred. Fred does what he always does when he has a new design project to get to grips with: he looks at the architecture of the infrastructure. He looks to see whether there is enough network equipment to cope with the additional load that the new service will need. He looks at the servers in the data centre to see whether there are enough of the right type. He looks at the data storage to see how much is in use. Pretty much what any technical architect would do.
However, Fred has many roles. For the projects that he undertakes, he performs the roles of availability manager, capacity manager, security manager and IT service continuity manager. So when he is reviewing the infrastructure, he takes the SLRs and looks at the requirements from the four warranty points of view. In fact, Fred takes the SLRs and converts them into detailed requirements for availability, capacity, continuity and security, and then considers the requirements in his musings. The work that Fred is doing is sometimes called a capability review. The results of this are that Fred produces an outline design and proposal of how the new requirements will be met. This of course comes at a cost, so Fred will obtain costs and quotes for any additional resources that are needed.
The main content of Fred’s proposal is as follows:
- To fulfil the 24/7 availability requirement, additional server equipment will be required to provide the necessary resilience. The network currently operates at this level, and no additional resilience is required.
- To meet the capacity and performance requirement, additional data storage will be added to the existing storage area network. This will also contribute towards the security requirement.
- In addition, to meet the security requirement, additional data backups are required, and an additional off-site storage facility is needed.
- The continuity requirement can be met with the existing recovery facility, but the recovery plans must be updated to ensure that the new serv- ice is recovered within the target time.
Fred sends the proposal back to Charlie. The next step is for Dummy Co. to decide whether it wants to spend the money required by Fred’s proposal in order to upgrade the infrastructure, agree to the customer’s requirements and win the business. This involves Charlie, Henry and Dummy Co. senior management. The decision is made to go ahead. Hurrah!
Henry and Charlie arrange to see the customer, and get into negotiation about the finer points of the SLA and, of course, the commercial stuff. Once the SLA is agreed, the detailed design work is started and Charlie liaises with Fred and others in the technical management team to help with any issues as they arise. When the design work is complete, Fred creates an SDP(Service Design Package). This marks the end of the design project. Of course the next step is to build, test and implement the solution – but that’s another story that comes under service transition, which I cover in Chapters 7 and 13.
Figure 12-5 provides an overview of the example in this section. It is not complete as I need a much bigger piece of paper than a page of this book to show it all, but hopefully it gives you an idea.
A swimlane flow diagram like the one in Figure 12-5 is a really good way to visualise how the processes will work in your organisation.
PS: This article is from book <ITIL For Dummies, 2011 Edition>.