Solve the Challenges of IT Operations

By Hubert Yoshida posted 08-12-2020 18:36

Last year the Digital Enterprise Journal published a research study that showed that The amount of change in IT environments has been increasing by an average annual rate of 86% since 2016, while also reported that the effectiveness of solutions for managing IT Operations has declined by 29% in the same time period.

The Key challenges that were reported were:
  • Inability to prevent performance issues before users are impacted was reported as the #1 challenge (64% of organizations) and the challenge that has the strongest impact on overall performance (81% impact).
  •  Average Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) per incident is 3 hours and 7 minutes. 72% of that time is spent on identifying the root cause of the problem.
  • 71% of organizations reported that the performance metrics that IT Operations are using do not reflect true user experience.

Hitachi has recognized that the increasing growth and complexity of IT infrastructure has necessitated the automation of operations management. The volume of data that must be handled has increased. DevOps and DataOps have increased the rate of change and increased the impact of outages and slow-downs.   Virtualization, containerization and other technologies have also made systems more complicated. Thus, operations management work is becoming more and more difficult. Still, such systems must be maintained around the clock and throughout the year. Practically, it is no longer possible for humans alone to conduct operations management. Against this backdrop, endeavors are now actively being made to "automate operations management of IT infrastructures.

Automation of routine tasks has already been well established. However, as the IT infrastructure becomes more complex, automation has to be expanded to such non-routine tasks as trouble shooting and addressing the key challenges that are noted above.

To automate tasks such as trouble shooting, Hitachi has implemented a cycle called a MAPE loop. MAPE is an abbreviation of Monitoring, Analysis, Planning and Execution. The flow is comprised of always monitoring if there is any problem, analyzing the cause if a problem occurs, planning how the problem should be solved and executing the solution at the appropriate time. A MAPE loop, which goes through this process repeatedly, is aimed at finding system problems as early as possible and addressing them efficiently. This MAPE Cycle is being implemented in the Hitachi Infrastructure Analytics Advisor. Currently the Hitachi Infrastructure Analytics Advisor provides automation of the Monitor and Analyze cycle of MAPE.  

For the "Monitor" part, the Hitachi Infrastructure Analytics Advisor visualizes the huge volume of performance information collected from the equipment to be administered, in a manner that is easy to see. The product allows the entire information, such as changes in the system configuration and what is being conducted by the equipment to be administered, to be viewed on a single screen. Because of this, it is possible to identify whether there is any performance problem at a glance.

Hitachi Infrastructure Analytics Advisor: End-to-End view provides new insights across heterogeneous data center resources from Virtual Machine or server to storage

For the "Analyze" part, the product supports identifying the root cause of the ongoing performance problem. When a trouble occurs, its root cause does not always exist in the equipment where the trouble is found. Very often, the behavior of other equipment has an effect on unexpected sections.

Maintaining optimal performance and use of IT infrastructure is often hindered by time consuming efforts to identify and troubleshoot performance bottlenecks. Hitachi Infrastructure Analytics Advisor automatically tracks IT configuration changes so they can be correlated in time with any recent degradation in performance.  Information about all related and dependent resources that may affect a problem is correlated so that these dependent resources can be further investigated. An intelligent root cause analysis engine provides prescriptive analytics that enable you to rapidly diagnose performance bottlenecks to determine their root cause and suggest remediation actions.

The automation of the ”Execution”  is achieved by the Hitachi Automation Director, a product that is specialized in automatic execution through the use of templates.

Learn how Hitachi Vantara can help you to improve AI operations analytics and automate the optimization and efficiency of IT operations whether on premise or in the cloud.
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