IBM Z and Watson AIOps: The Future is Bright

5 min read

Looking ahead to Watson AIOps 2.1, integrated with IBM System Z.

The other day, here in the high country, I was out for a hike and wearing sunglasses. Just a few days prior to my hike, my sunglasses had gotten a bad scratch on one of the lenses. So, my vision was pretty clear, except for this one area. I could see in front of me, to the left of me, but the right was blocked out. Now, I could still see, but not the entire picture, and not well. If I wanted to see what was to the right of me clearly, I’d have to take the sunglasses off.

My spouse took pity on me and bought me new sunglasses with intact lenses, and voila! Clear vision all the way. And, being the ever-diligent IBM Offering Manager that I am, this experience got me thinking about AIOps! Specifically, how clarity of vision can improve one’s life. For me, I was able to experience the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains unencumbered. For IT Operators using AIOps, it means so much more.

Refreshing is the elixir of AI

A brief refresher on AIOps (or AI for IT) from the blog post “Revolutionize IT Operations with Watson AIOps”: AI is quickly becoming an essential component of today’s IT departments because it can be used to automate how enterprises detect, identify, and respond to potentially costly or catastrophic IT anomalies during an event or even before they occur. AI solutions can address the vast volumes of data, structured and unstructured, that traditional system monitoring tools were not designed to oversee with a singular view.

AIOps solutions:

  • Detect patterns from multiple and complex data sources using machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) — bonus points for real time.
  • Clearly articulate the signal from noise within this data and enable humans to do something about it — bonus points for accuracy and ease of use by humans.

Alright, we know what we’re talking about (AIOps) and we have some broken sunglasses. Let’s tie them together.

Limited field of vision and AIOps

Like the missing vision because of the broken part of the sunglasses, you’re grateful that there’s some coverage for your eyes, and you’d really like to see the full picture. I know you IT people out there are reading this and nodding.

Enter, Watson AIOps.

To quote my good friend Jessica Rockwood, VP of Development for Watson AIOps: “Watson AIOps is trained to connect the dots across data sources and common IT industry tools in real time, helping to quickly detect and identify issues. It extends beyond traditional structured sources of operational data, like metrics and alerts, to semi- and unstructured data like logs, tickets, and combines them using machine learning and natural language understanding to create a synthesized holistic problem report to identify and address the situation.”

Doesn’t she write well? Back to the story.

The future’s so bright, gotta wear shades

Ta da! Enter Watson AIOps 2.1 – the future is so bright, I had to get new sunglasses.

Watson AIOps 2.1 tackles the issue of data ingestion and visibility for applications and infrastructure across hybrid environments and is now integrated with IBM System Z to seamlessly track events and logs from the Z mainframe as data sources are consumed by Watson AIOps. Extending mainframe visibility into an application’s environment means your picture is even clearer.

Watson AIOps is the solution for proactive incident management. It ingests your IT data, analyzes it, learns from you and your systems, and is able to see patterns in that data that not only speed up MTTR, but can flag incidents before they even occur, potentially giving you time to remedy the issue before your users see anything is wrong with the application.

Why should you care? Good question. Because more data = better insights into the problem = less time searching for the cause = faster time to resolution = less money and/or more free time to go innovate.

In a hybrid environment, that means data is coming from a mainframe (the actual amazing IBM Z system), a private cloud, a public cloud, or even multiples of each. No company today purely runs one or the other environment, and the applications utilize both types of environments.

With this unified Watson AIOps 2.1 for IBM Z solution, IBM hybrid cloud clients may be able to reduce costs of incidents in the following ways:

  • Determining a holistic view of application incident management problem determination by breaking down silos across various data source inclusive of IBM Z logs, alerts, and events.
  • Delivering insights leveraging predictive modeling and anomaly detection within a team’s preferred ChatOps experience.
  • Correlating events, anomalies, and analytics across hybrid platforms with relevant context to accelerate incident remediation via ChatOps.

Watson AIOps 2.1: Mainframe power-up

According to a recent report by Intellyx, “The mainframe must be central to an AIOps adoption effort not because it is somehow more important than the rest of the stack, but simply because it is an essential element of most business-critical workflows.”

Given the importance of the mainframe, the data it produces is a critical part of the entire picture of the application.

Watson AIOps 2.1 will now have the ability to ingest IBM Z logs and events and add them to the entire set of data sources available in order to understand what the application profile looks like when there’s not an incident. When real-time streaming data hits the AI Model, Watson AIOPs now has a better understanding of what and where the potential issue might be inclusive of Z. Before, Watson AIOps had visibility into the distributed environment and data, but that left a blind spot for those applications that also utilized IBM Z systems. Now, that blind spot is removed.

In summary

To the CXO’s, leaders, and casual learners out there reading this, here’s the summary scoop — your IT teams work very, very hard for you to keep the business up and running. To do that, they have to understand where the problem within an application is, as quickly as possible, and fix that problem as quickly as possible. Before Watson AIOPs 2.1, visibility into the IBM Z system was missing. Now, with Watson AIOps, the visibility is there, meaning that your teams can understand identify the problem (mean time to detection/MTTD) and resolve the problem (mean time to resolution/MTTR) even faster than before.

To the IT Operators, SRE’s, and those team members who are pitching in during these crazy times: Watson AIOps 2.1 ingests more data from more sources, including IBM Z. This means that the incident summary surfaced is now more robust to include visibility into the IBM Z systems via log and event data, meaning you can tackle and resolve that issue even more quickly and get on to the things you like doing best —innovation and long term fixes for a beautifully running system.

Now the usual stuff, where do I go to find out more? What’s the timing of this? How do I talk to an IBMer in more detail about this because I am SO DARN EXCITED, I can’t wait to see a live demo?

Join our webcast on November 2, 2020, (or on demand after that) to learn more about this exciting development.

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