Autonomic computing is a new computing paradigm which combines multiple disciplines of computer science with the sole aim of developing self-managing computer systems. Dating from early 2001, it is one of the most recent paradigm shifts, and as such it is still in a research-only phase, however, attracting a lot of business investors in the process.
The following survey presents in a clear and appropriately detailed manner the problem of computer science which autonomic computing tries to solve, the details of the proposed solution, together with the some of the immediate and long-term benefits it will provide. Moreover, the survey outlines the basic principles which define a system as an autonomic one, and presents a novel method of designing autonomic systems. Closing the survey are two sections which briefly outline the most prominent research projects on autonomic computing, together with a distiled summary of the major challenges which will be faced by businesses in the process of adopting autonomic systems.