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How Machine Learning is Set to Revolutionize Data Centers

How Machine Learning is Set to Revolutionize Data CentersArtificial intelligence is disrupting and transforming nearly every industry, with simple tasks to complex workflows being shifted from human to machine. The IT realm is no exception, with machine learning algorithms being leveraged to help data centers improve efficiency, productivity and overall performance. Even tech powerhouse Google is using its own DeepMind technology to manage the consumption of power at its server farms, resulting in a 40 percent reduction of electricity usage.

AI and machine learning technology presents a tremendous opportunity for IT operations teams to automate and streamline critical functions, manage infrastructure and react swiftly and effectively to problems without the need for human intervention. Many well-known, global enterprises are now turning to automation to do everything from previewing incidents and working on operations parameters to overseeing the process of pinpointing and addressing root causes. Automation powered by AI is particularly valuable to the data center because it’s scalable and helps to ensure maximum operability.

One problem data centers of all sizes and in all industries face on a daily basis is the increasing number of events that are occurring. Many are experiencing millions upon millions each day. There is simply no human team that can handle that kind of volume. The answer is automation, but it goes beyond that. At this volume, relying on alerts and escalations won’t cut it. Data center leaders need intuitive machines that can make decisions about how events should be addressed.

What’s more, as data centers achieve scales and speeds well beyond what we’re accustomed to currently, it’s going to reach a point where graphs and reports of alerts aren’t going to be useful to humans. They simply won’t be capable of interpreting them with enough speed and efficiency to maintain the 100% availability they’re striving to deliver. IT leaders will need AI-based automation to be able to analyze and take the appropriate action as needed.

Lastly, automation and orchestration tools that are powered by machine learning will enable data center leaders to effectively predict when problems with the infrastructure may potentially arise. By leveraging available data, future issues can be forecast and circumvented proactively, further reducing the risk of downtime and improving service levels across the board. All of this is made possible through the use of intelligent automation.

See it in action with a live demo today and start preparing your data center for a brighter, more profitable future!

5 Ways to level up your service desk using it process automation

The Data Center Dream Team: Your Staff and Automation

The Data Center Dream Team: Your Staff and Automation

This article was originally published in Data Center Knowledge.

It is coming. We have been fully warned that a massive shortage of qualified technology professionals is going to quickly become our reality. But thanks to the increasing abundance of available data, along with innovative tools for gathering, processing, deciphering and storing that data, machine learning algorithms can now be used to produce fast, affordable results for businesses of every size and industry.

Automation and machine learning have become force multipliers and game changers for many organizations because it means that they are no longer constrained by data center staff or budget limitations. There are some basic yet unavoidable factors are driving the need for these new technologies, but fortunately technology leaders today have options to solve today’s most pressing challenges.

A Glaring Need

Today’s data center professionals are under increasing pressure to accomplish more with fewer and fewer resources. Increasing amounts of available information make manual data management a full-time endeavor. For those operations with limited staff or smaller budgets, finding extra support can be an uphill battle. Furthermore, customer demand and an increasingly competitive landscape have placed significant burdens on IT leaders.

Automation’s Role

IT automation technology facilitates a shift from human (manual) processes to machine, enabling the agentless execution of critical data center tasks and workflows, including but not limited to:

  • Monitoring – Continuously scan and track the status of data center components with automated notification and escalation in the event of a problem
  • Maintenance – Automatic performance of ongoing functions, such as updates and patches
  • Scheduling – Organize the automatic execution of routine data center processes, including backups, downloads/uploads, replication, application events and more without the need for human effort
  • Provisioning and Configuration – Development, testing and deployment of new applications, including physical, virtual and cloud servers
  • Application Service Delivery – Automatic fulfillment of user requests within just minutes
  • Optimized Workload Delivery – Automatic movement of network traffic for better load balancing and/or on-demand delivery of additional applications
  • Security – Automate the incident response process from start to finish, creating a closed loop to quickly detect and address threats, mitigating damages
  • Compliance – Audit and report on live configurations, compare current and past configurations to identify discrepancies and implement rules-based policies to adhere to regulatory standards – all without the need for human intervention

By adopting automation technology, data center professionals are no longer burdened with the challenge of performing many of their duties without disrupting end-users. Previously, things like system refreshes and updates had to be carried out after hours to avoid a potential service interruption. Now, these workflows can be scheduled and executed automatically, alleviating the need for IT staff members to work odd hours.

Automation + Intelligence

Beyond the basics of data center automation, some of today’s platforms are now incorporating intelligent technologies, like machine learning, into the mix. So, not only can IT teams streamline operations by automating manual processes, but they can now rely on the power of artificial intelligence to achieve continuous process improvement.

Automated platforms powered by sophisticated machine learning algorithms, use available data to dynamically create rule-based recommendations, insights and correlations. This enables better data-driven decision making and facilitates more optimized workflows and processes. As a result, not only does the data center itself run more efficiently, but the enhanced service that occurs as a result drives greater customer and employee satisfaction rates. In other words, everyone benefits.

Considerations for IT Leaders

Given the advantages automation can have for the data center, it can be tempting to automate everything. However, IT leaders are better served to take a more comprehensive approach to data center automation. When planning for automation, be sure to consider the following:

Automate intelligently. That is, don’t just automate processes for the sake of it. Instead, processes and workflows should be evaluated and weighed based on each one’s business value as well as the quantifiable outcomes that could be realized as a result of automation.

Practice in with the new and out with the old. Whenever possible, focus should be placed on automating newer processes and workflows first rather than trying to adapt old processes to automation – unless, of course, significant ROI could be realized by changing the existing workflows.

Start small and work from there. An incremental approach to automation is recommended, as it’s always easier to automate basic functions than it is to tackle large scale projects right off the bat. Start with smaller initiatives that can be built upon.

Test first, then deploy. It’s always advisable to experiment with automation changes in a test or QA environment before going live with them. In the absence of a test environment, look for ways to deploy automation incrementally rather than exposing the entire data center to a complete automation change.

There are many cases for which automation can and should be considered thanks to the rapidly evolving technology landscape. For example, IoT deployments are steadily on the rise and adding to the complexity of the data center, making the role of data management in business even more crucial. And increasingly IT teams need the ability to leverage the power of data to meet enterprise-wide objectives, but may lack the qualified staff and resources needed to produce what is needed.

When applied appropriately and strategically, automation technology has the potential to empower data centers – even those with limited resources – to perform at the highest level and yield greater outcomes than were ever thought possible.

5 Ways to level up your service desk using it process automation

Data Center Automation is the Key to Optimizing Performance

Data Center Automation is the Key to Optimizing PerformanceIf you’re an admin in a data center, chances are you’ve found yourself overwhelmed more often than not with the complexity and tediousness of manual management tasks. The good news is data center automation can make a huge difference in your day to day workload and ultimately improve the operations of your department and entire organization over time. Let’s take a look at how IT process automation can be leveraged specifically to enhance the task of performance monitoring.

As an admin, one of your biggest duties is ensuring that your virtual machines (VMs) are running smoothly and performing optimally. Monitoring this is no simple feat. In fact, it can take a large portion of your time and resources, both of which could be better spent on other more important tasks. Furthermore, the process typically involves writing and running manual scripts, which is incredibly labor intensive and can leave the door open for the possibility of error and subsequent downtime. Enter data center automation.

With ITPA, you can automate your virtual monitoring activities, allowing technology to do the heavy lifting for you. The right data center automation tool can handle the entire process electronically, from locating and identifying physical servers, virtual hosts, applications and VMs to ongoing monitoring, alerts and notifications, and even metrics and analytics. Previously, all or most of this would be handled manually by IT personnel, tying up skilled workers to focus on menial tasks.

With a robust and sophisticated IT process automation product, complex workflows can be developed and orchestrated to bring all the necessary tasks together and integrate them into one single platform. Users can then visualize all events and their statuses in real-time. Detailed reporting is also available to help identify and predict future alerts for a more proactive approach to performance monitoring. Over time, this can reduce incidents and their impact on the IT team and the organization as a whole.

By tying together numerous processes and automating them, IT will be able to more effectively orchestrate workflows, all of which provide the foundation for developing an internal cloud – something many enterprises are working toward. There may be challenges along the way to this point, particularly when it comes to establishing a virtual infrastructure that is capable of handling data center automation. Having the right expectations of these potential challenges and preparing to overcome them is key, as is choosing the right ITPA platform for your needs.

Ultimately, if you’ve got the right tools at your disposal, you can turn your heavily-burdened, manual-laden workload into a highly efficient, well-oiled machine. You can also effectively bridge existing gaps between various devices, systems and silos to create a more cohesive infrastructure. It all starts with data center automation.

If you’re tired of feeling overwhelmed every day, the time to switch is now. Download your free 30 day trial of the Ayehu platform and put the power of automation to work for you.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

How Automation Can Revolutionize Your Data Center

How Automation Can Revolutionize Your Data CenterData centers are absolutely critical to the continuity of daily operations for an organization. As such, the reliability and security of their equipment, technology and information is a top priority. Data center professionals are tasked with running a secure, efficient operation that effectively supports the organization’s infrastructure while maintaining an environment that is both agile and scalable. Data center automation is one tool that can facilitate this level of performance. Here’s how.

Data center automation can benefit both IT functions as well as line of business functions. By automating and orchestrating tasks and processes across all functions and teams, data center managers can dramatically increase operational efficiency. Even more importantly, they can begin to achieve quantifiable ROI quite rapidly – in many cases, just a few days following implementation. Specifically, the automation solution can be broken out into four main components, as follows.

Server Automation – With the right technology, data centers can easily standardize, consolidate and automate server operations, thereby reducing risks and boosting efficiency levels. Deploy complete lifecycle automation for servers as well as applications. This delivers a consistent scalable solution for patching, provisioning, configuration management, compliance management and script execution across all physical and virtual servers.

Database & Middleware Automation – The right platform will facilitate automation of daily administrative tasks that are necessary in order to adequately manage middleware and databases. This solution should also enable the enforcement of organizational standards and best practices across the enterprise. Customize processes and workflows and implement a self-service catalog to empower end-users and free up IT staff. This can improve efficiency by up to 90 percent.

Orchestration – Whether a traditional or hybrid cloud, data center automation and orchestration provides the ideal solution for automating IT tasks, processes and operations. In addition to run book automation, our platform is fully integratable and features out-of-the-box, plug-and-play capabilities across multiple domains, including cloud, virtualization and security ops. It’s specifically designed to increase adoption of automation.

Compliance – Data center automation can aid in ensuring IT compliance by unifying policy management across all business services. Enjoy a centralized, flexible policy management model that can be deployed across all IT silos and other resource types. Also enable automated audit and remediation to streamline the reporting process.

The ROI realized from data center automation can be quantified in both cost reduction as well as enhanced risk management and mitigation.

What could your data center accomplish with this type of advanced automated environment? Find out now by launching your free 30 day trial of eyeShare. Click here to get started.

EBOOK: HOW TO MEASURE IT PROCESS AUTOMATION RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)

How IT Process Automation is Opening Opportunities for Virtualization

How IT Process Automation is Opening Opportunities for VirtualizationAs organizations across the globe begin adopting virtualization and start expanding its use across more and more mission-critical applications, their infrastructures inevitably become much more complex. Data centers are creeping ever closer to the possibility of the private cloud, however the ease and speed with which they can move forward is beginning to diminish. What’s the key to overcoming these last big hurdles that stand in the way of full adoption of private cloud through which they can potentially achieve much greater efficiency and enhanced service? IT process automation is quickly becoming the catalyst that is enabling organizations to successfully navigate and achieve this transformation.

The virtual data center faces new challenges, despite the fact that the problems they’re tackling are nothing new (i.e. automated provisioning, asset management, change and configuration management, etc.). Couple these challenges with the increase in demand brought on by the speed of virtualization and the modern data center easily becomes susceptible to things like virtual sprawl and stall. IT process automation is the solution to these challenges, enabling virtual data centers to streamline routine and time consuming tasks, improving operational efficiency and ultimately boosting the morale of IT personnel.

If virtual data centers ever hope to make the shift to private clouds, the must first make the transition from managing infrastructure to managing service consumption. With policy-driven IT process automation, IT teams can leverage pre-defined workflows to efficiently scale their administrative capabilities, enabling them to more quickly respond to and resolve on-demand service requests. When business and IT policies are applied to the development and standardization of processes, businesses are able to ensure the delivery of consistent and predictable IT services across both the virtual data center and the private cloud.

Successful implementation of the private cloud will not only help to reduce operational costs, but will also enable organizations to leverage the advantages of faster IT delivery, improved service quality and increased responsiveness to changing business needs. One of the heftiest costs associated with the data center is attributed to administrative support. Having to manually respond to the increased demand of a cloud environment not only increases these costs, but will also result in more incidents, errors and outages.

Integrating IT process automation into the mix is best done in increments. First, focus on the areas of your organization’s private cloud or virtual environment that are an obvious fit for ITPA and would deliver the greatest overall benefit (fast and measurable ROI). These areas may or may not include (but are also not limited to):

  • Discovery and reporting
  • Capacity planning
  • Automated provisioning
  • Lifecycle management
  • Self-service automation
  • Change and configuration management
  • Resource optimization
  • Policy-based automation

Finally, when organizations begin to tap into virtualization, they inevitably begin to gain greater buy-in from key decision makers, which boost momentum in terms of the immediate and significant reduction in capital expenditure. These initial savings, however, only represent the tip of the iceberg of the potential financial benefits that virtualization can afford. The real value lies in the private cloud, an area in which long-term operational expenses can be dramatically reduced. This is all made possible by IT process automation.

Without the addition of ITPA, the cost of additional personnel, inefficient allocation of resources and unanticipated downtime can significantly impact the expected ROI of virtualization. In some cases, these issues could ultimately bring the initiative to a screeching halt. The only true way to achieve quantifiable, long-term expense reduction is by leveraging IT process automation to eliminate the day-to-day mundane and manual tasks associated with managing virtual systems. Only then will the organization realize the real and lasting benefits it’s after.

Want to experience for yourself how automation can help your data center successfully achieve virtualization? Start today by launching your free trial of the Ayehu IT process automation and orchestration platform. Try it free for 30 days and see what a difference cutting edge technology can make in your organization.





EBOOK: HOW TO MEASURE IT PROCESS AUTOMATION RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)




Using IT Process Automation to Reduce Data Center Risk

Using IT Process Automation to Reduce Data Center RiskToday’s data centers are being placed under increasing pressures to maximize agility while mitigating risk as much as possible – the weight of which can be crushing, especially given the volatility of the present environment. Under the right conditions, the data center can spearhead new services and improved product offerings, thereby maintaining a more profitable operation. The biggest driver behind these successes is, of course, advanced technologies – namely IT process automation – to achieve optimum scalability at the lowest risk possible.

According to a relatively recent report by McKinsey & Company, research has revealed that as business processes become more and more digitized, the IT infrastructure of an organization naturally becomes a greater source of risk. Despite the fact that so much progress has been made in the way of standardization and consolidation, which has led to significant improvements in reliability and efficiency, the majority of data center leaders readily admit that their existing work environments remain frustratingly inflexible, require far too much manual effort and deliver too few capabilities.

IT process automation addresses these issues within the data center, but only if the technology leveraged is up-to-date, robust and scalable. Otherwise, the organization could still be at a significant risk. The reason this is so critical is because most data centers – particularly those in the financial sector – the workflows being automated are not static, but rather they are dynamic processes that continuously change based on the current demands of the market and the pressures of stiff competition. Data centers must be able to quickly adapt as new data sources are identified.

Ideally, the agility of the right IT process automation tool should be leveraged as a risk mitigator by enabling the data center to accommodate change and embrace increasing complexity. To achieve this, a cohesive infrastructure that involves seamless integration of all systems, platforms, programs and applications is required. This type of harmonious framework makes remaining strong and agile in the face of impending change possible.

Is your data center dealing with unnecessary risk? IT process automation could provide the ideal solution. Try it today for free – click here to download your copy of eyeShare.



eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




The Future of IT Process Automation in the Data Center – Gartner’s Approach

The Future of IT Process Automation in the Data Center - Gartner’s ApproachAccording to Gartner, 75% of enterprises will have more than four diverse automation technologies within their IT management portfolio by the year 2017. That’s just around the corner! What does this mean for the data center? Well, without the right approach, it could actually spell disaster. With more tools naturally comes greater risk, not to mention increased complexity, higher TCO and a lack of adequate governance. So, what’s the best way for a data center to leverage IT process automation to achieve its full range of benefits while avoiding so-called “islands of automation?” Let’s take a look.

Why automation?

Businesses adopt automation for a wide variety of reasons. Some choose to automate because they simply don’t like to script, others adopt this technology when processes become too cumbersome and complex or when the transfer of knowledge becomes too challenging. In reality, many data center professionals admit that automation goes well beyond scripting and scaling issues, but rather helps them better manage their human capital investment. All of these things go hand in hand.

Take, for example, an IT department in which there is one dedicated employee who is tasked with writing and managing Python scripts. Now let’s assume that employee has decided to resign or retire. With budgetary restrictions in place, the IT manager doesn’t have the available resources to hire a replacement and, unfortunately, nobody else in the department knows how to handle Python scripting. It’s quite a dilemma, and it’s happens much more often than you may realize.

Data centers that rely heavily on scripting open themselves up to much greater risk, not to mention the extra expense in time, money and manpower they are wasting under such a setup. This is where IT process automation can really make a significant impact. Advanced automated tools offer plug and play options with a rich library of run book automation templates that can be modified and customized without having to write a single line of code.

But what about scripting? Isn’t it just a necessary evil for those working in a data center? According to Gartner Managing VP Ronni Colville, “scripts are one-offs and there is no place to put or manage them.” Rather than writing and managing them individually, a modern IT process automation tool can provide data center professionals with a database where they can store, protect, access and manage templated workflows in one centralized location. This facilitates greater control and visibility and eliminates the knowledge-gap issue while simultaneously improving efficiency and reducing manual errors.

What’s next?

Gartner’s Research Director, Robert Naegle, predicts that IT process automation of the future will become even more intuitive and dynamic, allowing data center professionals to focus less on processes and apply their skills to more challenging and rewarding tasks. Naegle also points to the fluid nature of the IT industry. With so many changes to regulations requiring almost constant updates to internal processes, having intelligent IT process automation tools will make it much easier to adapt to these changes and stay ahead of the game.

It’s clear to see that the future of the data center will hinge on its ability to adopt and employ the right technologies. IT process automation tools, like eyeShare, are helping to shape this not-so-distant future and paving the way for ongoing success.

Ready to bring your data center to the next level? Download your free 30 day trial of eyeShare today to get started!





IT Process Automation Survival Guide




How the Right IT Process Automation Tool Can Help You Get More of Your Data Center

How the Right IT Process Automation Tool Can Help You Get More of Your Data CenterYou may think that when it comes to running an efficient data center, the more bells and whistles you have at your disposal, the better. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Too many systems that are either independent, inconsistent, or both, can end up complicating the infrastructure and make managing even the smallest tasks more difficult than necessary. Implementing the right IT process automation tool and adopting some best practices, on the other hand, can bridge existing systems and departments and create a more efficient, effective and successful data center. Here’s how.

The major hurdle many IT professionals still face today is that of deeply rooted silos. This problem arose from what was originally thought to be a solution. Each department or team would determine its individual needs and then bring in a specific tool to meet those needs. What resulted was a huge number of standalone solutions that did not work well together. Instead of a well-integrated system, data centers were left with a complicated mess that was unconnected and ineffective.

Not only does having this type of set up cause more unnecessary work for data center professionals, but it can actually stunt the ability for the company as a whole to develop and implement an overarching automation strategy. That’s because most of these independent tools do not communicate, collaborate or integrate with one another. The ultimate goal of any data center is to achieve maximum efficiency, which is just not possible without a sophisticated IT process automation tool that can bridge these gaps and pull everything together.

Today, automation can work wonders for an organization in any industry, but only if it’s designed to work toward “big picture” goals. Rather than solving one specific problem, the right ITPA tool should be able to interface with existing systems and enhance their capabilities. For example, integrating an automation product with a network management tool like SolarWinds Orion can provide an end-to-end solution that pulls together processes and makes everything run more smoothly.

If your data center is still dealing with a more fragmented approach to IT Process Automation, you’re most certainly not alone.

Moreover, it appears to be a problem that’s growing, rather than lessening. In fact, according to a recent Gartner report, the number of large enterprises that will have at least 4 automation products in place at once is expected to rise from 20% to 75% by the year 2017. Another challenge lies in the way automation is viewed: often as merely a means to make scripting easier, rather than leverage its power to automate complex workflows and processes.

The ultimate goal, both in the present as well as the future, is to change the way IT Process Automation is being used and maximize its capabilities. Organizations will need to streamline their I&O strategies to focus on the many benefits that the right IT process automation tool can provide. A dedicated team of automation professionals should be assembled and they should conduct a thorough audit to identify areas where automation can improve operational efficiency and ultimately help achieve the strategic goals of the business. Finally, a good amount of research should be conducted to determine which IT process automation tool is the right fit for the needs of each organization.

The data center of tomorrow will be much more efficient and effective, thanks to IT Process Automation.

Could your data center use a boost?

IT Process Automation Survival Guide




IT Process Automation News Letter #4

 

Dear Reader,

First, I would like to thank those of you who visited us at the Microsoft Management Summit in Vegas last month. Many thanks for the great feedback you gave us on our new release of IT Process Automation pinpoint solutions, Now available for Free Evaluation Download eyeShare 4.1.
In this newsletter you’ll find useful information about IT automation case study, video tutorial, tips and best practices for managing Network Operation Center.

 

Enjoy!
Gabby Nizri, 
Ayehu CEO
Linked-In group

 

Enhancing SCOM 2012 with proactive IT automation 
Enhance SCOM2012
With System Center Operations Manager 2012 you can monitor IT systems, network and services and react to incidents and alerts or proactively manage IT tasks better and faster than ever before.However, if you got this far, why not take one step further and automate the resolution of problems too? Why not remediate IT incidents automatically, and proactively schedule IT maintenance tasks?eyeShare lets you do all this, with a smooth SCOM 2012 integration. See the video below or Read more about SCOM 2012 and eyeShare integration.

  

eyeShare SCOM 2012 integration
Watch the Video: eyeShare integration with SCOM 2012

  

 

Download Free eBook – 10 NOC Best Practices

Download our new best practices for network operation center management eBook:NOC best practices eBook

  • 5 Essential tools NOC must have
  • How to develop & maintain team knowledge and skills
  • Training new NOC members
  • Improving communication and collaboration within and outside the NOC
  • Escalating, prioritizing, and handling problems

 Download  Download eBook: 10 NOC Best Practices

 

 

Which IT processes should you automate?

When discussing IT Process Automation, one of the first questions you ask yourself is – which processes should be automated?
An InformationWeek survey found five areas that users thought were the most beneficial.

 

  • Backup and restoration
  • Disaster recovery
  • Service fulfillment
  • Incident management
  • Data movement

Researches, however, identified other ‘key win’ areas that provide more value. Read our latest blog post.

 

120 workflow templates are ready for you to test! 
automated workflow

 The eyeShare template library now has 120 templates with ‘pre-canned’ content so you can automate more tasks faster. New templates include:

  • Killing stuck processes
  • Anti-virus inventory reports
  • Cisco router tasks
  • Database table tasks
  • File and folder automation