How Automation Can Revolutionize Your Data Center

A Smarter Way to Manage System Alerts

The Smarter Way to Manage System AlertsAny IT professional knows that one of their most critical tasks is managing incoming alerts and incidents in the most efficient manner. Doing so effectively protects the organization from security threats and also helps to reduce internal issues, such as system outages. Yet, with thousands of incoming alerts pouring in on a daily basis, many of which are false positives, what’s the best way to avoid becoming overwhelmed and risking the chance of critical issues slipping through the cracks? Enter IT process automation.

Most organizations currently have at least some type of monitoring system in place, which allows technology to do much of the work in keeping an eye out for problems – both external and internal. The problem with this setup is that these monitoring systems are often not effective in streamlining the actual process of managing these incoming alerts. In other words, it’s like having only one piece of the puzzle, which is somewhat effective but missing the critical components that truly get results.

On the other hand, when IT process automation is integrated with a monitoring system, such as Solarwinds, the incident management process can rise to a whole new level. Working in collaboration together, these tools help to identify, analyze and prioritize incoming alerts and also ensure that notifications and escalations are sent to the appropriate party in the event that a serious issue is detected. What’s more, notifications can be customized based on preference, with escalations being sent via email, SMS or telephone.

Integrating automation with your existing monitoring system can also vastly improve efficiency of incident response. Automated workflows can be created and playbooks executed to open, update and close tickets in the service desk, escalating those that require human intervention and automatically handling those that can be resolved electronically.

The results of this type of collaboration is a closed-loop solution that is not only much more efficient, but also incredibly effective in reducing response and resolution time, which means less downtime and faster mean time to repair (MTTR) for your organization. Let’s take a look at a real-life example of how integrating a monitoring system with IT process automation can help streamline the incident workflow:

  1. The monitoring system detects an incident and sends out an alert.
  2. The alert is picked up by the automation software, which immediately triggers a predefined workflow.
  3. As part of this workflow, a trouble ticket is automatically created in the service desk.
  4. If possible, the automated tool will take the necessary steps to address and resolve the problem.
  5. If escalation is required, the appropriate party or parties receive notification via their preferred method (email, SMS or phone).
  6. The system waits for acknowledgement and response from the network admin.
  7. Upon response, the ITPA workflow will execute the appropriate task to address and correct the problem.
  8. The automation tool then sends notification to the network admin advising of the recovery and automatically updates and closes the service ticket.

This process essentially closes the loop on incident management, taking the entire process from start to finish with little to no need for human input. So, while utilizing a quality monitoring system is important, leveraging the power of IT process automation to complement that system can truly bring your IT operations to another level.

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