IBM has unveiled a multi-billion dollar project to focus research and funding towards developing self-healing servers that can monitor and fix themselves.
The program, called Project eLiza, which will involve hundreds of IBM researchers around the world, will attempt to give businesses the ability to manage systems and technology infrastructures that are hundreds of times more complex than those in existence today.
According to IBM, the new machines will configure themselves by installing new operating system software and data automatically. Project eLiza's goal is to invent new kinds of servers that can heal themselves when something goes wrong and can protect themselves against hacker attacks and other unauthorised use.
Bill Zeitler, head of IBM's eServer group, said: "The object of this project is to give users the power to manage environments that are hundreds of times more complex and broadly distributed than the ones we see today. This initiative is probably the most challenging we have undertaken."
The company will focus its self-managing, self-healing technologies on hardware systems, operating systems and micro code, Zeitler said. Then IBM plans to move to storage products and middleware applications such as MQSeries and Tivoli.
IBM will first put some of Project eLiza's innovations to work at its Project Oceano, a working prototype server farm, or cluster, at its research facility in New York.
At Project Oceano, IBM will introduce new technology that will enable the server farm to manage itself. Individual computers will turn themselves on or off in response to changes in demand, and operating systems and data will install themselves.
IBM said some existing technologies will also be incorporated, such as an error correcting memory device called Chipkill, and Intelligent Resource Director which automatically allocates resources for multiple jobs according to demand.
Although most people think "Doolittle" when hearing the name eLiza, eLiza was also the name of a program to bring artificial intelligence to a computer. According to IBM, eLiza permitted natural language conversation between a human and a computer.
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