Fault Management

Fault Management

The International Standards Organisation’s (ISO) Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) management framework defines five specific Systems Management Functional Areas (SMFAs) for the management of ICT systems, often referred to as FCAPS from the initial letter of each management area:

  • Fault Management (ISO)

Fault Management (ISO) is the process of Operations that is concerned with the detection of (Potential) Faults, the isolation of the fault and its correction and resolution. The core of Fault Management (ISO) is its direct relationship with the MOs and ensuring the correct operation if these MOs. A fault is a deviation from the expected operation of a MO. This does not necessarily mean that there is something wrong or broken, but can often mean that a MO or MOs could be failing to meet their operational objectives. It can also mean that there is something out of the ordinary, or the MO is behaving abnormally and therefore needs attention. The attention of the operational staff will involve the appropriate activities necessary to restore the normal operation of the MO or MOs involved.

Fault Management (ISO) does not exist within Service Management as a separate process but is an essential part of Incident Management. Incident Management relies on rapid detection identification, diagnosis, resolution, and restoration of normal operation for all incidents situations. Fault Management (ISO) facilities many of these parts of the Incidents Management process and includes the:

  • Maintenance and examination of error logs and journals
  • Acceptance and progression of fault notifications, events, warnings and alarms
  • Isolations of the affected MO(s) and identification and tracing of faults
  • Completion of diagnostic tests
  • Diagnosis, resolution, and rectification of faults

Good automated Incident Management and indeed Problem Management processes are heavily dependent upon effective and efficient Fault Management (ISO) processes and tools. The better organisations implement automated interfaces and processes between Fault Management (ISO) and processes and tools and their corresponding components within Incident Management and Problem Management. These interfaces to Service Management processes can be taken more broadly in some organisations to also include other processes such as Service Level, Availability, Capacity and even IT service continuity.

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Eddie Potts

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