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Recent developments in the field of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) have led to a large scale installation of computing devices connected to each other via different networking technologies. But the scale, complexity, dynamism and heterogeneity of these devices have rendered networks, systems & applications insecure, unmanageable & brittle. Soon the number of these devices will outnumber the humans using them, which makes managing them a cumbersome task. The level of expertise needed to handle these complex systems will also raise. Hence there is a need of alternate system and application design paradigm based on strategies used by biological systems, especially Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). Based on ANS, self-managing computer systems and software tools are being realized. Various subsystems of ANS such as immune system may also motivate growth in developing self-protecting systems. This paper presents a study on autonomic computing along with its architecture, metrics, design issues and some applications.