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Getting certified in federated IT service management

FedSM director Thomas Schaaf at the pilot FitSM foundation training session. Image courtesy Owen Appleton.

The first FitSM certification course in lightweight service management for federated IT infrastructures was held last month at the EGI Technical Forum in Madrid, Spain. FitSM, the new standard for lightweight service management in federated IT infrastructures, is backed by German certification organization TÜV SÜD and introduces the fundamentals of service management processes and methodology.

More than fifteen participants received a one-day intensive course designed to develop community knowledge and skills in IT service management (ITSM). The program is able to cope with federated environments, which may often lack structured hierarchy and formal agreements. Existing frameworks and standards, such as the international standard ISO/IEC 20000 and the ITIL best practice framework, are often too comprehensive or complex to realistically apply within a federated environment. Hence, this new approach is required.

"I found the training course very enjoyable," says Christian Søttrup, grid operations at the Niels Bohr Institute. "The trainers knowledgeably introduced the aims and methods of IT service management, as well as the benefits and limitations both in general and in the context of federated e-infrastructures. I left the course with many new ideas for organizing my work."

The FitSM standard, developed by the FedSM project, in collaboration with client partners EGI.eu (coordinator of EGI) and the Polish and Finnish national grid infrastructures, is lightweight and specifically tailored for federated environments. FitSM provides a baseline level of service management that can support 'management interoperability' in federated environments where disparate or competing organizations must cooperate to manage services.

"We were really delighted with how much interest was shown in the training: it shows the desire for ITSM knowledge in the EGI community," says Thomas Schaaf, FedSM project coordinator and FitSM trainer. "It was also great to see that all the participants passed the exam and achieved the FitSM Foundation Certificate from TÜV SÜD," continues Schaaf, who is also a certified trainer and auditor for ITIL, ISO/IEC 20000 and 27000.

In addition, publicly funded e-infrastructures are facing similar challenges in evolving from a project-based system into 24/7 professional services. This transition comes with user expectations of increasingly reliable and predictable services, which are improvements that can only be achieved through advanced technologies coupled with mature human management processes.

This complex change involves defining new management approaches that can support long-term, reliable service delivery and develop community competences in them. Implementing FitSM is the first step to better service management, more predictable service delivery, and efficient use of organizational resources, as well as increased clarity in the value researchers are receiving and funding bodies are supporting.

Visit www.fedsm.eu/training to learn more about training opportunities or contact training@fedsm.eu for more information about attending or hosting an event.

More information on the FitSM standard is available at www.fedsm.eu/fitsm.

- Sy Holsinger, EGI.eu senior strategy and policy officer

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