Making AIOps a Practical Reality
July 14, 2022

Daniel Lakier

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The goal for every infrastructure team, indeed every IT team, is being able to move from set up automation towards a successful operational automation deployment. Until recently this was almost unattainable. The tools associated with the AIOps tool set provide the catalyst to make this goal a reality.

The consolidated toolchains that AIOps provides give us means to create continuous improvement/continuous delivery cycles that include infrastructure management and application performance management.

AIOps tools bring big data concepts to technology operations. They enable the aggregating, processing, and patterning of data from multiple sources, culminating in data-driven decisions made across millions of data points. AIOps tools are bringing a massive accelerator to the market — a single platform with a hub and spoke design can aggregate and automate development and business outcomes across hybrid IT environments based on live streams of data.

Because IT environments have become increasingly complex with software as a service, platforms as a service, traditional infrastructures, multiple public clouds, micro-services, and IoT all playing a role, technology teams cannot keep up with the pace of managing, documenting, and ensuring compliance in a manual or semi-automated work effort. In a digital world, digital platforms are king and the lifeblood of the business. With AIOps, traditional IT operations can become DevOps-ready focusing on service and site reliability and not constant system-level changes or remediations to maintain green check marks on a dashboard.

The Short List of AIOps benefits are:

■ Reduce event volumes and false positives.

■ Detect anomalous events.

■ Perform root cause analysis using distributed tracing data along with graph analysis for application performance management.

■ Provide real-time data analyses and automation.

■ Increase IT and developer productivity with consolidated DevOps toolchain.

■ Increase operational efficiency by tying allocation triggers to infrastructure outcomes ( operational automation).

There can be no shortcuts on the journey to AIOps. While a company can make their own AIOps toolchain creating data streams, data lakes, big data analytics, and low-code robotic process automation, it might be favorable to find vendors that have developed AIOps domain-centric frameworks and out-of-the-box integrations to alleviate the burden.

Once a vendor is selected, I recommend reviewing the existing toolset and developing a strategy to integrate or consolidate where possible. Focus on business outcomes, faster delivery through automation and how the end state needs to take shape. Underneath the core objectives, focus on areas of pain in the environment today, an inability to scale an application or frequent outages in an application stack.

By focusing on specific issues in defined sprints, your teams will focus on training the AIOps tools with the relevant datasets. It is tempting to pipe every piece of accessible data into a system and expect magical time to value. Success is still a factor of work, knowledge, and time.

The transition to AIOps is extremely difficult. To successfully implement a DevOps mentality and technical capability requires massive culture shifts, change champions, and significant amounts of custom integration and automation between different toolchains. It is not an easy task and frequently fails or is fractionally implemented.

AIOps is an extension or level of increased maturity of DevOps. Companies that have successfully embraced DevOps as an operational paradigm will benefit and have an easier transition to AIOps maturity. Those that have not, will undoubtedly struggle with the traditional DevOps adoption challenges.

In order to have success with an initiative that changes how the entire IT department operates, one needs senior leadership buy in. DevOps is not just a mind set and does require a serious commitment, but the agility it offers is well worth the effort. Building consensus and tying in success milestones to each department can be key. AIOps is a tool for helping a DevOps mind set succeed and should help transform IT departments but only if security and operational stability continue to be a guiding factor.

Companies can sometimes benefit from outside help. Leveraging structured assessments and consulting programs can help mature IT operations models if an organization wants to build them internally. Or they can embrace DevOps and AIOps maturity using a managed services/security managed services provider with mature toolsets and processes.

Daniel Lakier is Network and Security Solution Lead at Anexinet
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