IBM, Cisco Promote "Self-Healing" Network Standards

IBM and Cisco offered a new standard to detect, record and resolve network problems.

IBM and Cisco Systems Inc. Friday said the companies are working together to develop a common technology for detecting, recording and resolving networking and computing problems.

The ever-growing complexity of enterprise data systems, usually built on a wide diversity of technologies, makes problem analysis difficult. Standardization of problem detection across the infrastructure is slated to make it faster and easier to detect potential errors and fix them.

Underlying the joint effort is IBMs Common Base Event format, a standard for exchanging problem determination through Web services, which the Armonk, N.Y., company has submitted to a standards body for review.

Part of the difficulty of determining network problems lies in the myriad ways in which different system components log errors, according to IBM and Cisco. Files from the various logging systems — often from various vendors — use different formats. IBMs standardization effort includes a way to automatically recognize the log file format, making it faster to process an interface to the new logging data.

IBM said it will begin incorporating the standard into its software, storage and servers right away. Cisco announced that it will integrate the technology into its products during a second phase of the initiative. However, a spokesman with the San Jose, Calif.-based company said he did not know when that integration would begin.

Manufacturers are increasingly touting "self-healing" or autonomic technologies as they introduce more and more elements into the enterprise infrastructure.