Planning availability properly enables you to establish levels of availability that match the real needs of the business and the capabilities of the IT organisation.
The document in which all the present and future availability objectives and measures needed to fulfil them should be set out is the Availability Plan.
This plan must include:
- The current availability status of the IT services. Obviously this information needs to be updated periodically.
- Tools for monitoring availability.
- Analysis methods and techniques to use.
- Relevant and precise definitions of the metrics to use.
- Availability improvement plans.
- Expectations about future availability.
It is essential that this plan propose any changes necessary in order to meet the envisaged standards and that Change Management and Release Management cooperate in their implementation (if the changes are approved, obviously).
In order for this plan to be realistic the cooperation of the IT processes involved is required.
Design for Availability
It is crucial for correct Availability Management to participate from the outset in the development of the new IT services such that they meet the standards set out in the Availability Plan.
A different level of availability may require drastic changes in the resources used or in the activities needed to supply a given IT service. If this is designed without taking future availability needs into account, a complete redesign may be necessary in a very short space of time, thus incurring unnecessary extra costs.