Is Your IT Orchestration Intelligent Enough for the Digital Future?
by Ravi Rao
April 14, 2021
Enterprises have embarked upon the digital transformation journey for the last decade. We have learned that it’s not just a technological shift, but an organizational change in people, process and technology. The transformation itself is a multi-faceted change of the organization that renders the enterprise nimble, agile and efficient enabling the business to flourish.
Figure 1 : Stages Of IT Orchestration
Most CIOs are experiencing Digital Transformation Fatigue. Issues with the long-drawn process with consultants creating a slower than expected digital transformation or internal IT groups dabbling with the wrong type of technology that do not fit the need.
As seen in Figure 1, the digitization journey itself can be broken into 3 phases based on the technology being used:
Crawl: Independent silo-ed domain specific automation being performed, and manual processes bridging these tasks across domains. This approach is wrought with manual delays and errors in data transfer between domains, leading to distrust within operator groups and a disgruntled customer.
Walk: Silos are broken. Process workflow automation takes over the manual process of bridging tasks and their corresponding data together. The decision-making capability is still manual to initiate and execute the process workflows as and when needed. The lack of real time decision making inhibits the progress of digitization.
Run: AI/ML driven AIOps tools drive intelligent platforms replacing some of the manual decision making to provide an intelligent orchestration platform. For the run phase to be delivered effectively, the AIOps tools need a trusted remediation workflow engine to execute the decisions made.
The need of the hour to advance the digitization journey, is to combine the Walk and the Run phase technologies into one holistic platform utilizing multiple symbiotic technologies. The solution should deliver an Event-Driven workflow automation engine, the brawn of the platform guided intelligently with the AIOps engine, the brain of the platform. The brawn, in addition to being the worker for executing the orders of the brain, should be the eyes, ears and nose providing accurate real time data of the infrastructure. The brain provides intelligent decisions based on the infrastructure’s state utilizing real time and historical data, AIOps. When the two are combined, it yields results greater than the sum of the parts; Autonomous Infrastructure.
Brawn: Event driven process workflow automation, the salient features of a workflow automation tool to advance digitization are:
Vendor agnostic: Most critical feature to allow business agility and competitive pricing.
Enterprise Flexible Installation: Flexible and adaptable toolkit that suits the needs of the enterprise in terms of security (airgap installation), highly available VM or container-based deployments and operations.
Existing Automation Reuse: Ability to consume the existing siloed domain specific automation tools/scripts to deliver process workflow automation. No Need to rip-and-replace existing well-tested tools.
Multi-domain integrations: ability to integrate easily with multiple domains to provide cross domain automation that includes IT Infrastructure, ITSM Systems and Business Support Software.
Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Management: ability to ensure that hybrid and multi-cloud environments are fully orchestrated from one tool regardless of vendor changes.
Sensors: Ability to provide hooks to the infrastructure to provide real time state information.
Brain: Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations, AIOps.
The salient features of a custom designed AIOps Platform for IT are:
Persona based vendor agnostic dashboard: Single pane of glass to provide accurate infrastructure state. Different views for different personas. For e.g. The CIO dashboard shows security vulnerability count increased, whereas SECOPs dashboard shows out-of-compliance servers.
Stateful Observability: Maintain a real time state of the infrastructure. Provides intelligent decisions by executing several what-if scenarios.
Predictive Behavioral Anomaly: Ability to detect and flag anomalies utilizing predictive algorithms with patterns and events.
Real time impact analysis: ability to provide the blast radius of a failure or an event in the infrastructure.
Resource optimization: provide insights as to how, when and where to optimize resource utilization within the infrastructure.
It is imperative that the orchestration solution is delivered in a single, holistic platform. The “brawn” is Event-Driven automation. The “brain” is the AI based decision logic. Together the brawn being adequately controlled by the brain enables the ability to provide Autonomous Infrastructure.
We hope everyone’s digital transformations are shaping up to be amazing, if you would like to talk about how Orchestral.ai views the future of intelligent autonomous infrastructures and the merging of Orchestration with AIOps then please make sure to visit us atOrchestral.ai and see us at our digital booth at ONUG Spring 2021.
Founder and CEO, Orchestral.ai Ravindra (Ravi) Rao has been in the IT industry for over 30 years. During this time, he has worked extensively on application development and architectures, and data center architectures, as well as on the operational side of applications and data centers. He has spent the last 8-10 years in data center automation and has been working on integrating AIOps platforms and automation tools into a simplified common user experience. He holds several patents on service provider and data center automation.