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Monitoring and event management (ITIL 4)

Parent Process Reference Framework: ITIL 4

Service Value Stream Activities

Highly impacted Service Value System(SVS) Activities:

  • Deliver and support

Description

The purpose of the monitoring and event management practice is to systematically observe services and service components, and record and report selected changes of state identified as events. This practice identifies and prioritizes infrastructure, services, business processes, and information security events, and establishes the appropriate response to those events, including responding to conditions that could lead to potential faults or incidents.

Event is any change of state that has significance for the management of a service or other configuration item (CI). Events are typically recognized through notifications created by an IT service, CI, or monitoring tool.

The monitoring and event management practice manages events throughout their lifecycle to prevent, minimize, or eliminate their negative impact on the business.

The monitoring part of the practice focuses on the systematic observation of services and the CIs that underpin services to detect conditions of potential significance. Monitoring should be performed in a highly automated manner, and can be done actively or passively. The event management part focuses on recording and managing those monitored changes of state that are defined by the organization as an event, determining their significance, and identifying and initiating the correct control action to manage them. Frequently the correct control action will be to initiate another practice, but sometimes it will be to take no action other than to continue monitoring the situation. Monitoring is necessary for event management to take place, but not all monitoring results in the detection of an event.

Not all events have the same significance or require the same response. Events are often classified as informational, warning, and exceptions. Informational events do not require action at the time they are identified, but analysing the data gathered from them at a later date may uncover desirable, proactive steps that can be beneficial to the service. Warning events allow action to be taken before any negative impact is actually experienced by the business, whereas exception events indicate that a breach to an established norm has been identified (for example, to a service level agreement). Exception events require action, even though business impact may not yet have been experienced.

The processes and procedures needed in the monitoring and event management practice must address these key activities and more:

  • identifying what services, systems, CIs, or other service components should be monitored, and establishing the monitoring strategy
  • implementing and maintaining monitoring, leveraging both the native monitoring features of the elements being observed as well as the use of designed-for-purpose monitoring tools
  • establishing and maintaining thresholds and other criteria for determining which changes of state will be treated as events, and choosing criteria to define each type of event (informational, warning, or exception)
  • establishing and maintaining policies for how each type of detected event should be handled to ensure proper management

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