AIOps and Performance Monitoring: A One-Two Punch for IT Operations
Sugar Ray Robinson and Jake LaMotta. Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Tommy Hearns. Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. All were among history’s greatest boxers, but when they met in the ring, each brought out the best in the other. It’s the same in IT management. There are tools and platforms that on their own are essential to IT operations; but when paired as an infrastructure management tandem, each complements the other, ensuring maximal efficacy of both systems.
Performance monitoring and AIOps are in that category. Both are essential for getting the most out of your investments in IT, but when paired they represent a potent one-two punch for IT operations.
What is Performance Monitoring?
Performance monitoring is the tools and practice of identifying and tracking the operation of the resources – both infrastructure and applications – that make up your entire IT estate.
Types of Performance Monitoring
Application performance monitoring is typically focused on how fast a given application is running, particularly from the user perspective. Traditional application performance monitoring tools tend to be used on a single app or business unit. Infrastructure performance monitoring typically focuses on the underlying technology resources that multiple applications run on and tend to be siloed. Although application and performance monitoring are separate, they are complimentary.
Modern hybrid infrastructure performance monitoring goes well beyond merely one application or technology to provide complete visibility into every aspect of IT you rely on to run your business, serve your customers, and succeed in a competitive marketplace. Hybrid infrastructure performance monitoring platforms look at hardware, virtual systems, storage, network, databases, operating systems, cloud-based infrastructure and services, and any other infrastructure that are shared across the organization to support the operation of your business. That broad scope, when combined with application performance monitoring tools, is necessary to give ITOps a complete picture of the status of the business’s IT operations.
Performance Monitoring vs. AIOps
There can be some confusion about the differences between IT operations monitoring platforms and infrastructure performance monitoring platforms. Artificial intelligence for IT operations—AIOps— is the foundation for understanding the health, availability, and reliability of every element of your IT estate. According to Gartner, “AIOps combines big data and machine learning to automate IT operations processes, including event correlation, anomaly detection, and causality determination.”
That’s different from the role of infrastructure performance monitoring tools that collect data about individual configuration items (CI) to get a more granular view of how each is operating. That information can be used to track whether or not the elements that make up your estate are working as they should, and to inform IT operations when they aren’t—and with context that supports rapid diagnosis and repair.
It’s easy to see how the data collected by infrastructure performance monitoring tools can play a critical role in providing the insights necessary to create a contextual view of the IT estate that, in turn, can help to forecast and avoid trouble, fix issues quickly, and reduce system outages by informing preventative maintenance and speeding incident response time.
How does Performance Monitoring Work?
Performance monitoring may be affected by agent or agentless tools, or a combination of the two, that enable a deeper look into the operation of the components of the IT estate. Agent-based performance monitoring can provide more granularity by looking deeper into a specific component being monitored. That also means it can be difficult to achieve comprehensive monitoring through agents.
Agentless performance monitoring relies on the tracking of the various protocols CIs use to communicate and interact. While the data being collected is not as detailed, agentless performance monitoring provides broader coverage of the IT estate. It is possible to combine the two approaches and assign agents to the CIs that are the most vital to infrastructure operations while using agentless performance monitoring to ensure a broad scope of coverage necessary for today’s complex and changeable enterprises.
What are the Benefits of Performance Monitoring?
Data is essential to managing large, complex enterprises to maximal efficiency. The more data IT operations are able to collect, and the more detailed that data is, the better IT will be able to respond to incidents quickly, assign staff efficiently, maintain systems proactively, and deliver services reliably. Infrastructure performance monitoring provides the requisite data for the analytics needed to understand why things aren’t working as they should.
Performance monitoring also helps to support the prioritization of technical and human resource allocation to be more cost-efficient in IT operations. That means your systems are doing what they are supposed to do, and your people are as well, ensuring there is minimal wasted effort when integrating new technologies, onboarding new customers, and planning for the future.
Performance Monitoring Best Practices
While performance monitoring can help make IT operations management easier and more efficient, every tool must be used as intended to get the most out of it. Performance monitoring is no exception. Some best practices for infrastructure performance monitoring are:
- Establish parameters for identifying normal operations to ensure events and incidents are prioritized appropriately;
- Test and calibrate performance monitoring tools when launched to ensure proper integration and operation;
- Balance agent-based and agentless performance monitoring of all infrastructure components to ensure the right combination of balance and detail; and,
- Monitor your performance monitoring tool to ensure your coverage remains appropriate as changes occur across your IT landscape.
Finally, make sure to integrate your performance monitoring tools with a top AIOps platform, like ScienceLogic SL1. Integration of AIOps and performance monitoring is important in making sure your data is being put to good use. Here’s why.
Performance Monitoring and AIOps
AIOps relies on data to perform the advanced analytics necessary for IT process automation and to support decision-making. In order to have an effective operational data lake that provides the greatest benefit for IT operations, it is necessary to maximize the number of data inputs. The more reliable sources of data, the better for achieving maximum operational efficiency for functions like root cause analysis, ticket enrichment, and self-healing.
Integrating your performance monitoring tools with a platform like SL1 increases the amount of data that can be used in carrying out its mission, contributing to a more reliable understanding and visualization of the contextual relationships that drive IT operations, and a more accurate reflection of the health, availability, and reliability of your IT estate and of the conditions affecting service.
Utilizing the modern hybrid infrastructure monitoring platform SL1 unifies infrastructure monitoring across the entire enterprise, and it ties in with your application monitoring tools as well. The SL1 platform lays the core data foundation for AIOps.
A Real Knockout
Neither Hagler, nor Robinson, nor Ali went into the ring with a plan to throw only one punch during the bout. They understood the value of having combinations available to throw when needed for the situation. IT operations need a one-two punch of AIOps and modern hybrid infrastructure performance monitoring to have the information needed to meet the challenges inherent in managing today’s enterprises.
If you’re tired of sparring with IT complexity, reach out to ScienceLogic for more information—a real knockout for your organization.
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