Computing and Network Systems Administration, Operations Research, and System Dynamics Modeling: A Proposed Research Framework
Michael W. Totaro
Information and computing infrastructures (ICT) involve levels of complexity that are highly dynamic in nature. This is due in no small measure to the proliferation of technologies, such as: cloud computing and distributed systems architectures, data mining and multidimensional analysis, and large scale enterprise systems, to name a few. Effective computing and network systems administration is integral to the stability and scalability of these complex software, hardware and communication systems. Systems administration involves the design, analysis, and continuous improvement of the performance or operation of information and computing systems. Additionally, social and administrative responsibilities have become nearly as integral for the systems administrator as are the technical demands that have been imposed for decades. The areas of operations research (OR) and system dynamics (SD) modeling offer system administrators a rich array of analytical and optimization tools that have been developed from diverse disciplines, which include: industrial, scientific, engineering, economic and financial, to name a few. This paper proposes a research framework by which OR and SD modeling techniques may prove useful to computing and network systems administration, which include: linear programming, network analysis, integer programming, nonlinear optimization, Markov processes, queueing modeling, simulation, decision analysis, heuristic techniques, and system dynamics modeling.