Information Technology (IT), like many other industries, is tapping into the latest advancements in Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to solve a decades-old problem in the IT management world. History can teach us many things, and by diving into years of accumulated IT data, we can find meaningful insights and use them to guide the future.
However, in modern IT, the sheer number of devices and services that a typical organization needs to monitor, the complexity of computing paradigms; and, the amount of data generated, is way more than what mere human beings would be able to grasp.
In the current global pandemic, having a reliable IT environment has become of paramount importance to almost all organizations. And if the content in the previous paragraphs is of relevance to you, you may well have heard of the term AI for IT Operations or “AIOps”.
As the industry leader in the IT infrastructure monitoring space, Netreo believes there is a systematic way to design and implement AIOps. The following diagram illustrates Netreo’s vision of AIOps, from the perspective of our data scientists:
The overall theme of AIOps is to establish order out of chaos – and the methodology that Netreo is taking to do so is called DAPA: Distill, Analyze, Predict and Act.
Distill signals from noise
IT alerts can come from anywhere in the infrastructure, and rarely will an incident emit only one alert. Devices, services, and applications are symbiotic and one small change can trigger a data tsunami. To minimize the ripple effect and look through the data thoroughly while still being able to identify import singles out of noise, algorithms like classification, clustering, and time series analysis can be leveraged to gain a deeper understanding of each piece of data and the relationships among them.
Based on this deeper understanding, Noise Reduction can isolate principal signals from expanded waves, and surface only important information. ML or AI models can also be trained to understand maintenance patterns and seasonal changes of monitored resources so that false alarms can be suppressed.
Signal Weighting is another analytical skill that can be applied. By associating each signal with a weight, the system can rank the information by level of importance and concentration attention to the more severe issues.
Analyze the mess to gain structure
Model IT infrastructure is convoluted. There can be multiple abstractions over physical infrastructure such as virtualization and containerization. The commission and decommission of a set of computing capability can be achieved in minutes, if not seconds, and the virtual mobility of the computing capability can easily go beyond the boundaries of a cluster of servers or data centers.
Resource Clustering can learn from the metadata of the resources monitored and make a heuristic classification of the resource. Topology Discovery will further connect the related resources and outline the holistic structure of physical resources, virtualization, or business-use cases. By applying a time series analysis, Event Correlation can stitch events together based on their logical relationship and present them in a more structured way.
Predict the future by learning from the past
When the pattern of a certain type of incident has been discovered, Causality Analysis can bypass many unwieldy step-by-step triage and point out most likely root causes of the problem. Trending Prediction can then provide predictions with confidence and proactively suggest preventive measures.
Act with thoughtful planning
Playbook automation is the ultimate dream of IT operations. However, a thoughtful solution can not be achieved until the problem is fully understood and the relevance of various fixes have been carefully evaluated. Without scrambling around, Solution Assembling is designed to learn from past incidents and solutions, summon relevant solutions and evaluate the effectiveness of each solution or a combination of some. Finally, machine intelligence and human intelligence will converge in Playbook Automation and the suggested solution is executed in a timely manner.
At Netreo, we firmly believe that AIOps can be a game changer in the IT industry. It has a direct impact on how quickly an organization can respond to the new market needs, how efficiently an organization can utilize its IT resources, and how proactively an organization can manage the IT budget. We will continue to innovate and help customers achieve a premium digital experience.