Comprehensive AIOps for monitoring

As the world continues to embrace automation, IT teams can finally focus on growth and innovation. The goal is to pivot from manual, repetitive work to more abstract and strategic problem solving that can’t be automated. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is leading the charge.
The goal of AIOps is to combine machine learning and data analytics to transform processes and improve performance. Yet many leaders find AIOps confusing or difficult to adopt. To fully appreciate what’s possible with AIOps, it’s important to consider specific applications and use cases for IT monitoring.

In this eBook, we’ll explore:

  • The definition of AIOps and its applications
  • How to design and implement an AIOps strategy
  • How to use AIOps for monitoring
  • The future of AIOps
AIOps for Monitoring Cover


Technology innovations transform human behavior permanently. In the past
decade, we have improved as a society by embracing digital lives that drive faster collaboration and automation and save us a significant amount of time. The IT Operations landscape is not any different, and artificial intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of that. The goal is to make a step function increase in productivity by adding more automation so that IT organizations can shift focus to solving important and difficult problems that cannot be easily automated. Every year, more of that mundane work will continue to get automated by AI.

In this book, we will look past the hype, and take a closer look at what AIOps actually is —and what it can help you achieve. First, we’ll explore why AIOps is necessary. We’ll talk
about how environments, and the teams that manage them, have evolved in an increasingly multi-cloud world. We’ll explore how observability of the infrastructure is fundamental for helping IT organizations work more proactively and strategically.

Next, we’ll present a basic definition of AIOps, and its ability to apply an automated early warning system to discover potential issues and provide the context you need to take action. By knowing what is happening, where it is happening, and why it is happening, you can solve problems faster, deliver the best possible service quality, and stay focused on driving digital transformation. This is a fundamental first step toward a failure prevention system,
or automated remediation.

Finally, we will talk about the primary steps involved in creating your own AIOps initiative. We’ll take a closer look at how AIOps helps organizations bring together big data from across the technology stack, surface only the most relevant issues, and apply advanced algorithms to deliver more meaningful alerts. Our book will conclude with an overview of some key best practices you can apply to implement the most effective AIOps solution, and realize the best return on your investment.

Chapter 1: Introduction to AIOps

Now more than ever, IT organizations are playing a more strategic role in driving business outcomes (revenue growth, cost optimization, risk mitigation, and operational efficiency) and accelerating innovation. All eyes are on IT departments, which are under increasing pressure to work faster and deliver results while reducing costs. This becomes challenging as infrastructures become more complex, diverse, and dynamic.

Chances are, you’re grappling with a mix of on-premises, private cloud, different hosting providers. When you consider additional environments
like public cloud, IaaS, PaaS, new networking technologies, and infrastructure as code provision, you’ve got multiple suppliers to manage, and multiple moving parts.

In this chapter

In this chapter, we’ll take a brief look at the new challenges that today’s infrastructures, applications, and workloads present, and explore what they mean to IT teams, leaders, and executives. We’ll talk about the changing expectations for IT organizations, and how they are embracing a more strategic role in driving digital transformation. And we’ll show how an AIOps approach that builds on observability and automation enables IT to gain the insights they need to work more proactively, and perform more effectively.

In this chapter, you will learn:

  • How expectations are changing for IT organizations
  • The role IT plays in driving digital transformation
  • How AIOps and observability enable a proactive it organization

Keeping pace with evolving IT environments

Not so long ago, the IT infrastructure was an environment that could be seen, understood, and managed. However, today’s enterprises are embracing digital transformation and modernizing their infrastructures to deliver products faster, meet new customer expectations, and
stay ahead of the competition. It’s not unusual for modern hybrid infrastructures to have a mix of resources in the cloud, and others running on-premises in physical data centers. In a multi-cloud world, network environments are becoming more complicated, complex,
and opaque.

According to the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index Report, the majority
of enterprises plan to shift to hybrid cloud architectures with 86% of respondents selecting hybrid cloud as their “ideal IT operating model.”

It’s clear that new customer wants and needs are driving digital transformation, including a rapid evolution of modern applications and workloads. Traditional data center strategies can no longer support them, and it would be cost prohibitive and too time consuming for businesses to try to modernize their data centers in this way.

According to Gartner, cloud application services (SaaS) will grow to $195.2 billion in 2023, and the second-largest market segment in cloud system infrastructure services, or infrastructure as a service (IaaS), will reach $150.3 billion in 2023.

How IT is changing

As IT infrastructure environments are changing, the role of IT is evolving as well. After years of being considered a service organization, IT has to become more strategic and creative, and must play a leading role. IT Ops professionals are no longer focusing on their old mission
of “keeping the lights on” by keeping existing internal systems up
and running. Instead, they are increasingly focusing on providing the resources that line of business needs to power high-profile business outcomes.

In a recent survey, 41% of technology officers reported digital transformation as their top strategic priority.3

Today’s leading technologists drive innovation and external services such as E-commerce, mobile offerings, and new IoT-based services. Salesforce reports that customer expectations are at an all-time high. Their survey found that 67% of consumers believe that their standards for good experiences are higher than ever.

The bottom line is that today’s IT infrastructure plays a key part in driving digital business success. The stakes are high, and both the employee and customer experience (CX) are entirely dependent on the underlying infrastructure working and performing well.

Benefits for IT teams and leaders

Together, new responsibilities and evolving environments are bringing new pressures to bear on IT professionals at every level. Whether
they are working on the front lines as IT Operations professionals, developers, or members of support teams, or setting strategic priorities as executives, IT professionals need improved observability into their infrastructures, so they can make better, faster decisions.

Benefits for IT teams

For people on IT teams such as IT analysts, system engineers, and infrastructure architects, effective execution is top of mind. If you’re on an IT team, it’s likely you’re routinely building dashboards, managing alerts, and responding to issues using monitoring solutions, but are also striving
to work more strategically. Ideally, you would probably prefer to spend less time fighting fires, and more time focusing on larger-scale projects.

Today’s increasingly distributed and complex IT infrastructure and application architectures can stand in your way. Scattered across on-|prem, private, and public cloud environments, they make ensuring performance and availability increasingly difficult.

IT teams are also under pressure to get things done faster and better, as the cadence of releases and changes accelerates. Detecting a network issue after it has already impacted a business process or customer experience is simply too late. That means you can find yourself in an endless cycle of fixing urgent issues.

Workload concerns are the highest they’ve been in the history of our IT Skills and Salary Report, and most respondents agreed that automation may be one solution to reduce time-consuming tasks that are not high priority.

By freeing you up and giving you more time to operate proactively, you could gain opportunities to tackle more interesting projects, and focus on driving business outcomes. Playing a more strategic role will not only keep you more satisfied, but help move up to higher roles and raise your professional profile.

Benefits for IT leaders

If you are an IT leader like a manager or director, aligning technology with your organization’s desired business outcomes is critical. Every day you’re working closely with senior leadership to develop and refine initiatives that support the organization’s top business priorities. Caught between a rock and a hard place, you are expected to ensure maximum uptime and performance for your IT infrastructure, even as you are asked to transform CX through major initiatives.

As you manage infrastructures spread over diverse cloud and on- premises environments, finding and hiring the right IT support professionals with the right skills is not easy. You need to get out in front of these challenges by gaining as much insight into your environments as you can, so you can make better strategic decisions.

The ability to gain visibility into what is happening on enterprise networks has once again topped the agenda for network managers and buyers, according to the latest Computer Weekly/TechTarget IT Priorities survey.

If you are an IT leader, you are also looking for better ways to de-risk operations and gain control as you evolve IT. With the right monitoring solution for visibility and insight, you can accelerate mean time to resolution (MTTR) as you adopt next-generation technologies, and deliver on your organization’s corporate strategy.

IT execs are strategic and outcome-driven

If you are a member of the executive team, you are looking at the big picture. For a CIO, CTO, or other senior executive, technology is the engine that supports their company’s long-term corporate goals and priorities. You understand that the relationship between IT and business processes is becoming more connected all the time; however, although you are increasingly adopting cloud-based solutions to drive innovation, these diverse environments introduce new levels of complexity that can slow progress and drive costs up.

“By 2024, 25% of traditional large enterprise CIOs will be held accountable for digital business operational results, effectively becoming ‘COO by proxy.’”

IT executives like you are looking for deeper visibility into infrastructure health to understand how it is impacting applications, IT services and business processes directly, in order to help the entire organization become more data-driven. With the right context and insights, you can help your colleagues in the c-suite see around the corner—and prepare for what’s next.

The role of observability

It’s clear that today’s IT organizations have more to observe and more to understand in their environments. To see more, know more, and do more, you need full insight into your systems, workloads, and processes, including metrics, logs, and tracing. That level of insight must extend across your dispersed environments and infrastructure, whether

they reside on-premises, in the cloud, or within microservices. Most importantly, you need to achieve this level of observability in a timely way, using it to detect performance issues before they escalate into business issues.

Observability is a subset of AIOps (Artificial Intelligence for IT operations) and monitoring. Simply put, observability is about ensuring that system data is ‘observable’ from an availability and performance perspective by a monitoring platform. In recent years there has been the emergence of Observability platforms, or the ability to monitor metric, application and log data in a single platform approach. Recently Unified Observability has begun to be important, as it’s not only about monitoring these data sets, but ensuring that they are correlated and in context of each other. AIOps capabilities are then applied to automatically filter out the noise from

the streams of data, to enable early warning of issues before widespread business impact and to proactively avoid failures from happening.

AIOps builds on observability and automation to enable you to support increasingly complex environments. An effective AIOps approach should work seamlessly with existing data sources, and enable IT to be more proactive and strategic.

In the chapters ahead, we’ll provide a full definition of AIOps, and an overview of some of the key features and components that it utilizes. We’ll show you how it can impact your business, and enable new levels of service quality and availability, to power better business outcomes. And we’ll provide an overview of some of the steps you need to develop, deploy, and sustain your own AIOps initiative.

Observability is a subset of AIOps and monitoring. Simply put, observability is about ensuring that system data is ‘observable’ from an availability and performance perspective by a monitoring platform.

In recent years there has been the emergence of Observability platforms, or the ability to monitor metric, application and log data in a single platform approach. Recently Unified Observability has begun to be important, as it’s not only about monitoring these data sets, but ensuring that they are correlated and in context of each other. AIOps capabilities are then applied to automatically filter out the noise from the data, to enable early warning of issues before widespread business impact, which proactively prevents failures such as outages.

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