Server, heal thyself

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Server, heal thyself

Dell Computer CEO Michael Dell says his company is developing “self-healing” PC’s servers that can automatically notify technicians of a failure.

Joined at an Austin, Texas, conference by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, Dell said both companies are working on ways to improve the problem of controlling and managing high-end PC systems.

If the effort succeeds, he said, PCs and servers will not only become easier to use, they will also get cheaper. “Support is certainly one area where we can cut down costs” and hence the price of PCs, he said.

To demonstrate the technology, Dell unplugged a server. The remote help desk was notified automatically via the web that the power supply had shut down, prompting the help desk to dispatch an e-mail to the hypothetical customer.

For consumers, Dell will be launching a similiar service allowing a user to send an e-mail to a remote support desk with a general description of the problem. The remote support desk receives the e-mail but also data from the computer that will help diagnose the problem.

In an example, a consumer received a potentially virus-infected e-mail attachment. The remote support desk updated the PC’s virus program and then detected the virus.

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