Managing outsourcing contracts for systems administration

Paper: 292
Session: F (talk)
Speaker: Hemmer, Frederic, CERN, Geneva
Keywords: system management

Managing outsourcing contracts
for systems administration

Frederic Hemmer - CERN



Over the past years, Physics Data Processing moved from the mainframe
paradigm to the distributed computing one. While this move has permitted
much more capacity and storage to be available to end users, it also
increased the management costs associated with the infrastructure,
networking and system administration. At the same time, CERN has seen its
available manpower to steadily decrease, while the number of customers
and therefore the number of machines and disks has increased. One of the
solutions to these conflicting requirements (increase in services vs.
decrease in manpower) is possibly the use of outsourcing services for
systems administration. We started to use such a contract at the
beginning of 1996, which is now gradually expanding to cover more and
more services as well as providing a 24 hours per day coverage. We will
share our experience in setting up and managing such a contract,
underlining successes and difficulties, from human, organisational and
perspectives. We will also show how we try to measure the efficiency of
such contracts with the view to taking corrective actions in case of
problems, and define quantitative standards for use in competitive