itilOne of the main objectives of IT organizations today is to maintain certain levels of service availability, as defined in the contracts between the IT organization and their customers. To do this, IT organizations aspire to reduce the Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR), as well as increasing the Mean Time between Failures (MTBF).

The implementation of proactive and predictive service operation solutions can assist in fulfilling this objective, as well as other objectives by which the IT organization is measured.

ITIL Service Operation processes aim to provide best practice for achieving the delivery of agreed levels of services both to end-users and customers. Service operation, as described in the ITIL Service Operation volume, is that part of the lifecycle where the services and value are actually directly delivered. Also, the monitoring of problems and balance between service reliability and cost are considered. The functions include technical management, application management, operations management and service desk as well as responsibilities for staff engaging in Service Operation. Two important ITIL Service Operation processes are the Event Management and the Incident Management process.

ITIL Event Management Process

An event may indicate that something is not functioning correctly, leading to an incident being logged. Events may also indicate normal activity or a need for routine intervention, such as changing a tape. Event management depends on monitoring, but it is different. Event management generates and detects notifications, whilst monitoring checks the status of components even when no events are occurring. Events may be detected by a CI sending a message, or by a management tool polling the CI. After an event has been detected it may lead to an Incident, Problem or Change, or it may simply be logged in case the information is needed. Response to an event may be automated or may require manual intervention. If actions are needed then a trigger, such as an SMS message or an incident being automatically logged, can alert support staff.

ITIL Incident Management Process

Incident management aims to restore normal service operation as quickly as possible and minimise the adverse effect on business operations, thus ensuring that the best possible levels of service quality and availability are maintained. 'Normal service operation' is defined here as service operation within service-level agreement (SLA) limits. An incident is defined as an event which is not part of the standard operation of a service and which causes or may cause disruption to or a reduction in the quality of services and customer productivity.

AppLink's CLIP solution

CLIP is a solution that implements two linked ITIL processes – Event Management and Incident Management. CLIP stands for “Closed Loop Incident Process”.


CLIP Architecture

CLIP is a Web-based Java application that runs on any of the supported Management Systems or a dedicated system. CLIP connects to your event and incident management solution via web based or proprietary interfaces. CLIP does not require any software to be installed on the Event and Incident Management Systems. It provides a tight integration between an Event and Incident management solution besides serving multiple integrations at the same time.



CLIP Model of Operation

CLIP Initialization and Connection Management

Once CLIP is started, CLIP connects to all configured Event and Incident management systems - called "Targets" in CLIP terminoloigy - and maintains the Target Status. The Target Status is checked in configurable intervals and once a connection is lost, or network problems or target unavailability occurs, CLIP attempts to reconnect. After reconnecting, CLIP attempts to create incidents in a destination target that were set to "Pending".

Event Submission and Incident Creation


When a CLIP module receives an event, it transforms it to a CLIP Incident with all its attribute names and values and passes it to the CLIP Processing Engine that

  • checks the event for resubmission so that the creation of multiple incidents at the same destination target is prevented
  • determines the destination target for this event, which can also cause incident creation in multiple destination targets
  • causes incident creation in the destination target(s). Configurable Fields in a destination target's incident are filled with attribute values of the event or static values. Conditional setting of fields allows the configuration of different values depending on the attribute values of the event
  • modifies, after incident creation, the original event to display incident values, like the Incident ID, assigned user/group etc.
  • sets the incident to "Pending" or "Failed" should the incident creation fail, depending on whether a later retry is successful or not
  • stores the event/incident pair in the CLIP DB for later lookup or display in the CLIP Web UI

Bidirectional Update Processing

  • when CLIP receives an update for an event, it determines the event attributes that have changed and updates the corresponding incident
  • when CLIP receives an update for an incident, it determines the incident attributes that have changed and updates the corresponding event

Event and Incident Closure

When CLIP is informed that an event or incident is closed, it can update the corresponding event / incident so that it is also closed. From then on, further modifications of the event / incident are ignored and do not lead to an update of the corresponding event / incident. Database entries for closed events and incidents remain in the CLIP DB for a configurable duration for lookup purposes in the CLIP Web UI until they are automatically removed.


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