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Event Management Process

Within the ITIL® Service Lifecycle, an Event is defined as a measurable or identifiable occurrence that is relevant to the management of the IT infrastructure and the overall provision of IT services.  These Events are usually messages or displays that are activated by the service, Configuration Items or monitoring tools.  Event Management is the Service Operation process responsible for managing Events throughout their Lifecycle.  The main purpose of Event Management is to detect Events, make sense of them, and estimate the adequate control action required. It is the basis for Operational Monitoring and Control.

An efficient service environment is one in which the status of the IT infrastructure is constantly monitored and any variation from normal operation is quickly identified. Once there is a good monitoring system in place, this efficient environment will be very easy to achieve. The tools that can be used to carry out the monitoring process can be divided into two categories: active monitoring tools and passive monitoring tools.

Active monitoring tools continuously monitor and interrogate the Configurations Items to determine their ability. Passive monitoring tools detect and decide what to do with alarm signals that are generated from the Configuration Items.

There is also a distinction that is made between the different types of Events within the Service Operation phase.  One type of Event shows that the processing has been properly executed. This could be a status report on a processed batch or the notification that a process has been successfully completed.  Another Event that can occur is the flagging of errors or variances which will trigger a warning. An example of this occurrence can be when a user inputs an incorrect password or if the CPU is overloaded and generates an error message.  There is also an Event that generates an unknown system response. This exception would need to be closely monitored as the results of it will be unpredictable. An example of this type of Event would be the longer than average processing time during operation.

In each organization, there should be a clear definition of what is considered a normal event and what is considered a critical event. This can help to determine which Events require an automated response versus a manual response.

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