Minority Report, a 2002 American science fiction, is a film directed by Steven Spielberg. Why am I talking about movies all of sudden? The movie had a very interesting theme where a special police unit can arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, for me system failures or any failure for that matter in IT is a crime. Even though we can’t predict future in real life, we can at least analyse real-time data and stats to reach out to a conclusion and avoid or stop crime before it affects your system.
IT industry is all about innovation and evolution since the start. We have seen drastic changes in the way we process, analyse and store. These changes have impacted IT infrastructure requirements, legacy infrastructure to cloud and container-centric environments is one of the outcomes. The increased size of IT infrastructure has resulted in increased computing performance and processing speeds. But, this is at the expense of increased infrastructure complexity. So, to make sure your IT infrastructure relentlessly delivers the expected performance without fail you need systems which can monitor, alert and diagnose; Server monitoring, physical or virtual, SLA monitoring, Application monitoring, Capacity planning, Cloud infrastructure monitoring to name a few. This all gave rise to a term called “IT Operations” or “ITOA”, which is nothing but a system with a set of people which operates on a simple principle - monitor IT infrastructure and operations, look for an IT failure, act on the IT failure, analyse and process static data and avoid future failures with the analysed historic and static data. The operating principle itself points to the frailty of the system, it uses historic and static data. This was all good till operations teams could cope with the continuously increasing rate of change. But recent advancements have caused the rate of change to accelerate exponentially, which is going to go up. If you keep on sticking with the same approach, IT operation team will soon be surrounded by a pool with sharks of Red Alerts of the system or IT failures, which eventually will hamper overall system performance and ultimately your business.
IT admins need a system which would cope with the ever-changing IT requirements, and AIOps is just the thing. AIOps, as the Gartner calls it, separates itself from ITOA in the aspect that it uses real-time data in addition to historic data. AIOps refers to solutions that use artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate tasks and processes which eventually reduce the required human intervention part to a minimum.
The principle used by AIOps is simple, take inputs from existing monitoring tools, apply algorithmic techniques, analyse them, and produce an output that is insight action item for the operations team. AIOps analyse historic and real-time data, issues an early warning for probable problems, bring it up to the right department or person, apply a fix automatically if possible and raise a ticket in advance, instead of letting that problem turn into some disaster and then document in your catalogue. You can also have this ticketing system loop in with a predefined set of measures for a set of problems which themselves can be solved with the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
How to AIOps?
A typical AIOps platform will have:
• Monitoring system: comprised of the necessary monitoring tools, providing visibility across the infrastructure
• Data pool: with all the historic and real-time records which will be analysed with the help of algorithms, all tickets raised, all solutions suggested and all the actions are taken along with results
• Intelligent Analytics and Engagement System: with predictive algorithms, automated solution and alert mechanisms which will run automated scripts for solutions and alert concerned personnel or system with the help from machine learning and artificial intelligence
What can you get out of AIOps?
It is evident that AIOps is going to help us make sure all functions are up running and in the case of failure AIOps make sure it is ironed out, even before we notice it was there. Apart from conspicuous benefits, you can have better visibility into infrastructure, real-time analysis, automated behaviour prediction and recommended actions, scheduled maintenance and performance assessment cycles and all the analysis reports. As a result of this, you can trim down resolution time, operational and maintenance cost, time to detect and restore and scale up on productivity, agility, quality, user experience, availability which will give you an edge over your competition.
As per Gartner’s study, about half of global enterprises will be using AIOps, although only 5% of them use it as of 2017, truth is even with all the monitoring tools and systems, the human brain has its own limitations. So, instead of wait, detect, analyse and solve we can have a new approach with AIOps where, we can analyse, predict, and avoid or solve as soon as or even before the problem arises.
Most of the organisation are good at ‘Dev’ part, but very few excel when it comes to the ‘Ops’ part which is the core of AIOps platform. Opcito’s Devops and Machine Learning expertise are the key factors while moving ahead in to the AIOps world. In our next blog we will be discussing the possibilities to make your DevOps intelligent using AIOps.