July 30, 2019 | Written by: James Moore
Categorized: DevOps | Hybrid | Infrastructure
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Imagine your IT applications, services and infrastructures running like a high-performing Formula 1 race car — with its engine and gears running smoothly as the driver accelerates through the straights and decelerates while its tires and suspension hug the track through the curves.
However, even when the race is running smoothly, obstacles arise, track conditions change, engine parts overheat, or tires and suspension parts give out.
So professional world class racing teams — much like teams managing and operating highly complex IT systems, applications and services — are constantly managing unexpected situations and issues that can become very expensive if not handled quickly and intelligently.
Even if your team has the most advanced engineering, conducts the most professional and experienced planning, and drives the most attentive operations management in production, you’re unlikely to avoid the unexpected.
Successful IT operations management teams, just like winning racing teams, know that the challenge is not “if” service-impacting incidents occur, but “when”.
Once you expect the unexpected, imagine what your team must do to react with agility. You can work towards operating more proactively to ultimately minimize or prevent them. How would you better anticipate, prepare for and improve responsiveness? How would you automate problem triage, investigation and resolution activity when incidents occur?
How AIOps helps teams operate more intelligently, proactively and flexibly
Whether you’re running a world-class racing team, or a world-class IT operations team, imperatives for success include the following:
1. Navigate through the noise.
Imagine if your company had a way to navigate and cut through alarm noise in an automated way, regardless of the type of workload, environment or tool generating the alarm. Instead of getting inundated with notifications for every monitoring threshold crossed, teams are notified only when specific service level parameters are met. Any and all related events are grouped together in context into an incident that is easy to consume, understand, share and take action on.
2. Investigate and take corrective action faster.
The key to making good decisions and taking action is confidence. Your team’s confidence gets a turbo boost when they are immediately and continuously empowered with critical and relevant data and contextual information to quickly assess what’s happening, what is being impacted, and receive guidance with automated steps to resolve the problem. Operating more intelligently will help get your business back on the track and running smoothly with fewer pitstops.
3. Get ahead of the curve.
It’s imperative to react to problems when they flare up, but to reduce ongoing operational expenses (OPEX) and gain efficiency, teams must operate more proactively. Imagine if you could prepare your teams ahead of time with automated steps to quickly restore service when problems occur and empower team members of any skill set to take action with confidence. This was the case for Nextel, a leading service provider in Brazil.
4. Use the past to fix the present and predict the future.
Imagine if your company had an early warning detection system that alerted teams when current conditions were actually indicators of worsening problems that are likely to occur. When a high-performance race car has low tire pressure, low fuel levels, or high engine temperature, it’s not a big leap to predict that a spin out or burn out is likely to occur if these issues are left unattended.
In highly complex, dynamically changing IT production environments it’s not so easy. But if you can see a trend line of incident activity, identify where similar smaller, less urgent indicators led to more severe problems in the past, and get a prediction of those potential problems before they impact apps and services, it can be simpler to avoid costly outages and slow-downs.
Continuous machine learning improves and fine tunes operations over time. To do so, analysis and curated information is needed that warns you when likely problems are building and what could be done to prevent or at least mitigate it.
Operating proactively is intended to keep you on the track and avoiding unnecessary pitstops altogether.
5. Deploy and operate to current needs, and easily adapt to changes later.
Even the best racing strategies and plans can change. Some obvious factors such as weather conditions, driver resilience and pole position can disrupt even the best plans.
Operations teams are challenged with stakeholder demands to run on new platforms, shift workloads to different environments or make continuous updates requiring significant adjustments to support functions and procedures. Management tools help control these disruptions, providing they are flexible enough to allow you to deploy in the manner and on the platform(s) you need them to, and easily change as you adopt more modern platforms — all without causing extra transition pain or disruption.
Operating with flexibility is like ensuring all the necessary spares for your high-performance vehicle are readily available and ready to fit without customization.
How to ensure the right AIOps tools under the hood
Like any world-class racing team, IT operations management teams rely on market-proven, time-tested and high-performance tools to keep their businesses running at the highest level.
The latest version of the industry leading IBM Netcool Operations Insight (v1.6) rises to that challenge, with new significant AIOps capabilities under the hood that help enable teams to respond intelligently and quickly when service-impacting problems inevitably happen. The solution can also help you observe what teams do to investigate, diagnose and resolve problems, plus observe performance and incident trends, to then learn what’s working and what can be improved proactively.
Learn how Netcool Operations Insight can support your high performance ITOps and DevOps teams with the latest in AIOps tools and capabilities to be more intelligent, proactive and flexible. Then check out the five concrete steps you can take in moving from ITOps to AIOps, and get ready to embrace the operations challenges of your next race.
AIOps is part of the IBM hybrid multicloud management strategy. Find out how IBM can help you build secure, automated operations with a unified end-to-end management strategy built on our IBM Cloud Pak for Multicloud Management.