For every asset that supports business critical service, Visible Ops recommends the following questions be answered:
- What does it do?
- What is the hardware platform?
- What is the operating system platform?
- What applications are installed?
- Who is responsible for this asset’s uptime?
- What service(s) does it support?
- Who is authorized to make changes?
- What does this box do for the business?
- What will happen when this box stops working completely?
- What will happen when the performance of this box is severely degraded?
- What is the change success rate?
- Is this device fragile? Can we build a new one if it fails?
- What are its dependencies?
- What other infrastructure depend on this unit?
- What planned and unplanned changes have been made?
- What is the device’s name? Is it appropriate for the tasks performed?
- What is the outage cost? (In other words, the cost per minute of downtime)
- Where is it physically located?
- Is there anything odd about this box?
- Is this a generally-supported platform in our company?
- Is this box going to go away in the next few months?
- How do we get access to this box (remote or otherwise)?
- How is this unit backed up?
- How long does it take to re-provision this unit (estimate)?
- How long can the business afford to be without it?
- Are we monitoring this unit for changes?
- Are we fault-monitoring this device?
- Do the fault-monitoring assumptions match the dependency realities?
- If the unit is mission critical, then are there adequate hardware backups in place (power supply, network card, RAM, etc)?
- Why do we feel that this unit is unstable (if applicable)?
- Is there anything that needs attention on this unit?
Starting a Visible Ops-Based Change Management Program
by Tori Harris
Subject: IT Questions