Over the past decade, network operations teams have had to deal with a number of issues in their networks—from increased complexity to more distributed environments. But that's changing. With AIOps, you can start optimizing your networks now and prepare for the future. AIOps lets you manage your network like never before.
According to Gartner, AIOps combines big data and machine learning to automate IT operations processes such as event correlation, anomaly detection, and causality determination to name a few. It can be defined as the application of machine learning (ML) and data science to IT operations problems. AIOps platforms can be leveraged to consume and analyze the ever-increasing volume, variety, and velocity of data generated by IT and to present it in a useful way.
AIOps is prolific in shaping modern network requirements and this can be deduced from the fact that large enterprises deploy exclusive use of digital experience monitoring tools to monitor applications and infrastructure and the use of such tools will surge from 5% in 2018 to 30% in 2023.
Modern IT environments are complex. Any network administrator who has been in the industry for a few years will tell you that managing them can be daunting. With this complexity comes certain challenges that need to be resolved. One such challenge is understanding how different components of your environment interact with each other and why they do so. In this blog post, I will discuss how AIOps help modern network administrators view the big picture by providing context around the components that make up their networks and why those components are behaving as they do today.
If you've been working in the world of IT infrastructure for a while, you know that modern networks are complex.
But what exactly is a "modern network"? And how can we improve on it?
Modern networks are highly distributed, which means they have many different points of contact between different parts of your business. The end-to-end nature of these networks results in significant complexity that impedes operations, impacts performance, and delivers less than optimized experiences.
In fact, in a 2021 Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) survey "Network Modernization in Highly Distributed Environments," the majority of respondents (54%) revealed their networks had grown either more complex or significantly more complex than what they used to be two years ago.
As a company grows, so does the amount of data it needs to process and store. But as you scale up, you need to keep up with the pace of change in your business—and that means taking advantage of automation.
AIOps are a great way to automate network operations in distributed IT environments. They can help save time and money on tasks such as network monitoring and troubleshooting, as well as improve security and availability through real-time visibility into the network performance across all devices on your network.
So what should we do about it? The answer lies in AIOps—the automation of operations processes and procedures. The following are just a few reasons why modern networks require AIOps:
Modern Network Environments are Complex
Not only modern networks are complex, they're also growing and changing, which makes them more challenging to manage than ever before. Even with the best equipment, a modern network can require constant attention if you want it to perform at its peak level. With the rise of AIOps technology, organizations have been able to take advantage of a better solution for managing their IT infrastructure without having to invest in expensive custom-built solutions or hire an expert consultant who knows how all these pieces work together—and what they need from each other when they do so.
AIOps offers the needed visibility into the complexity of modern networks. It helps you to make smart decisions, by providing a context that allows you to see all of your network’s interdependencies in one place. AIOps provides the needed context for smarter decisions. AIOps helps you understand the impact of changes in your network environment and how they affect your business. AIOps provides real-time context for making informed decisions, providing a 360-degree view into the current state of your system and what that means for operations, security and performance.
Modern Networks Generate More Information Than Ever Before
There are three main issues with modern networks: one, today, large networks generate more information than ever before. And all this data has to be decoded, correlated, and interpreted in large-scale environments. This is an impossible task that exceeds human capability, even with existing staff. Two, network technology is changing at a faster pace than ever before and even small compromises in equipment can have significant impacts on network health.
These issues are only going to get worse as we reach the level of cyberwarfare and smart devices proliferate. Three, today's highly experienced operators can't keep up with technological advancements and this causes them to slip behind. The solution of hiring new staff simply doesn't work in this situation because it requires individual acts of IT heroism that cannot be sustained long term. The compounding effects of such issues alongside modern networks though can be eloquently managed with AIOps.
AIOps Augments Existing Network Resources & Makes Them More Efficient
Network technology is a crucial component of your business infrastructure. A network can be operated more efficiently by using AI/ML to automate problem detection, identification, and - in some cases - remediation. To help get this happening, you need data collection from your network and network environments at scale so that you are able to build the algorithms and models that allow every customer to benefit from this AI/ML technology.
For problem detection and remediation, network vendors need to be able to collect all available networking data, not just from your unique network, but from all customers. To do this, network vendors need to be able to collect all available networking data, not just from your unique network, but from all customers' networks (in a secure, anonymous fashion, of course), so they can take the collective knowledge from all the network environments they support and use it to build algorithms and models that can help every customer.
AIOps uses AI/ML technology to make your network more efficient, in a way that makes it easy for any network technician or team to take advantage of it. This is the kind of technology that can be quickly deployed to solve real problems in a very automated way, which means you don't have to hire engineers for every little thing anymore. You can just let AIOps do the heavy lifting and save money on hiring people -- which will ultimately save you time and money.
AIOps Enables Repositories of Network Information by Adoption of Cloud-Based Products for Network Management
Cloud-based networks can provide context and highly accurate information. Cloud-based management provides a way for vendors to create intelligent products that can solve problems even before they arise. In today’s world of dynamic networks, it is important to monitor network performance and understand the impact on business at any point in time.
Network management products enable end users to constantly monitor their networks and analyze the data for systemic issues that may result in performance degradation. Providing context and highly accurate information is the goal of end-to-end cloud-based network management solutions. By collecting data across the entire end-to-end network environment, these intelligent products can provide context and highly accurate information, which enables a much deeper understanding of problems than before.
With AIOps, network vendors and service providers can use their customers’ existing infrastructure to create a comprehensive management platform. It provides context and highly accurate information in a flexible way that is designed specifically to meet the needs of today’s data-driven businesses. It’s also important to note that as more and more vendors deploy cloud-based service delivery options, more data is becoming available for analysis. So, it would make sense that network vendors either have or are actively creating a sizable database to work with. By collecting data across the entire end-to-end network environment, these intelligent products can provide context and highly accurate information.
AIOps products can deliver immediate value to both the IT and network teams. In some cases, it will also enhance their ability to collaborate in real-time using real-time intelligence – a capability that likely will be required to ensure network availability and performance. The AIOps technologies might also be used to reduce costs. For example, rather than having multiple hardware devices per switch flow path. Like it or not, network operations are going to become more complex and distributed in the future. As a result, it's imperative that you invest in intelligent products that can help speed up your organization's technology adoption and ensure high availability. That's where AIOps comes in.
With the intelligent AIOps products, you'll be able to ensure your environment is highly available, flexible, and capable of adapting to change. You'll also benefit from opportunities that can facilitate enhanced collaboration between different groups such as IT, business, and security teams so everyone is on the same page when it comes to the deployment of new technologies. AIOps tools will become even more important as organizations continue to move to next-generation network equipment that can be deployed with minimal downtime and provide enhanced performance.
Modern network operations teams will need tools to help them troubleshoot and optimize their networks, and AIOps solutions have been created specifically for such a purpose. By understanding what the network is telling us and working with our vendors to deploy the correct tools, we can simplify our tasks, improve service availability and further automate our operations. AIOps is changing and revolutionizing the conventional functionalities of Network operations teams, changing the way organizations do business. They're helping to automate and accelerate workflows, automate risk assessment, tackle high-impact problems and deliver business outcomes more effectively.
We’re excited to see where AIOps goes in the next few years. We think it has the potential to make network administrators around the world much more efficient, but there's indeed a lot of work left to be done by enterprises to adopt AIOps before this journey is complete.