Optimization of resources using AIOps

AIOps and its impact

The term artificial intelligence for IT operations, commonly known as AIOps was first coined and defined by Gartner as a process of managing data and information efficiently through a team of IT professionals. As per Wall Street Journal, with each passing year, application and service environment is becoming more complex, since organizations varying from medium to large sizes are implementing (on an average) eight different cloud providers. AIOps can enhance the capacity of IT infrastructure management by integrating insights, information and capabilities of existing tools and processes with the horizon of new opportunities and use cases. Hence, the optimum utilization of AI and ML, in the sphere of IT environment, prove befitting and worthy.

Components of AIOps

Broadly speaking, AIOps include the following components in the digital revolution.

  •          Machine learning
  •          Base lining of performance
  •          Anomaly detection
  •          Root cause analysis automation
  •          Predictive insights and information

Utility of AIOps platform in resource utilization

Let’s try to analyze the use and importance of AIOps platform in resource optimization.

·         Storage management: First of all, AIOps improves the ability to store historical data. It can capture and analyze real-time data as well as data from log files. Computation of metrics and any form of data flow can be captured and analyzed. AIOps also increases the ability to identify any structured pattern and automate data correlation. AIOps can take storage management to a different level where storage network can be monitored and reconfigured using automation. This storage network helps in resource optimization.

·         Capacity planning: AIOps is used in capacity planning to correctly map the workload to the appropriate server and virtual machine, reducing human intervention hence, cost.

·         Responsive and predictive scaling: AIOps improves resource utilization through, both, responsive and predictive scaling, where resources are either utilized, based on parameters or based on historical data through projected application.

·         Anomaly detection: Detecting anomalies is one of the areas where usage of AIOps tops. It can not only prevent potential outages but can also perform a root-cause analysis to detect the source of anomaly. Data sources like DNS, NetFlow and application event log can be combined with malicious IPs and domains to identify potential threat.

·         Cloud: Empowering cloud with capabilities to deliver without access to remote components is definitely a cost-effective solution through resource optimization.

Problems AIOps can resolve:

Performance issues in IT operations can be overcome through implementation of AIOps. Gartner rightfully predicted that by end of 2019, 25% of global enterprises will implement AIOps to support at least two major IT operations which can optimize enterprise performance.

·    Usage of AIOps reduces application complexity, especially in the field of virtual infrastructure where raw data can be correlated and analyzed to gain meaningful insights.

·     AIOps offers flexibility to automate complex and repetitive tasks. Routine requests and non-critical IT system alerts can be automated using AIOps platform.

·         AIOps can help access data faster through data visualization solution which in turn can improve decision making.

·      GAVel – the flagship product of GAVS Technologies, is a platform of predictive analytics which uses intelligent and insightful data to cater to proactive and predictive risk management. This predictive algorithm correlates with events to detect potential downtime alerts thus, reducing outage issues and costs associated with it. Also, it can correlate large volumes of both, structured and unstructured data with precision. Hence, it optimizes resource utilization with accuracy. 

Competency of AIOps in a nutshell

AIOps is a technology that improved the process of identification and detection of the best possible solution and this created a huge impact in both, data enterprise and cloud infrastructure management. AIOps platform can simulate human intelligence and continuously update, as more data is added to the data pool. For example, if an application under virtual machine needs alteration, AIOps can facilitate the same through automation. Hence, it can be concluded that, in order to optimize resource utilization, AIOps can boost the performance of both analysts and tools, garnering desirable outputs.



Cost effective solutions on AIOps platforms

Digital transformation in IT operations

The global market value of AIOps is predicted to increase from $2.24 billion in 2017 to $9.90 billion by 2023, as per industry reports. IT organizations, globally, are focusing on digital transformation aggressively. Technologies like AI, Big Data, ML are compelling IT operations’ platforms to modify and adapt to multi-cloud infrastructure. With a vision to explore new arena of opportunities, AIOps can monitor, analyze, correlate and automate, easing IT operations. The focus areas where AIOps plays a key role in enabling digital transformation includes:

  1. Open data access, where data can be recorded from various authentic sources and can be freed from organizational silos for repetitive analysis
  2. Big data was initially thought to increase efficiency and decision-making capabilities of enterprises. However, with the expansion of data, things became complex. Here the intervention of AIOps improved the ability to handle huge data thus, expanding the scope of data analysis
  3. ML can access data from various sources and can modify or create new algorithms without human intervention. AIOps enhances ML’s ability to handle enormous data and at the same time stay aligned to organizational goals
  4. Data analytics can solve major data related problems in IT domain and on top of that, AIOps could leverage competitive advantage by promising richer business context, short response time and ability to predict potential risk

Scope of AI in IT Ops – are they cost effective?

  • With an intent to study time and labor management, any organization will end up spending massively on both, time and money. For that matter, an application programming interface (API), can help a company complete, its reports in no time. This can ramp up the pace of report creation, thus opening a scope for real-time analysis of compliance. Now, that is definitely cost-effective.
  • A global recruitment firm increased its hiring ratio by about 8%, through implementation of AI. It helped the firm to identify and match the right skill set along with the prediction for attrition per resource. This proved cost effective since attrition costed the organization up to $25,000 per resource.
  • From the operational perspective, in a 24/7 environment, if there is an outage, it will result in a series of logged complaints, which then will become difficult for an individual to manually transcribe. This is where AI plays an important part in identifying the main issues through log analytics.
  • Technology like cognitive insight, creates a data pool of wide range of solutions on critical issues. AI bridges the gap between big data and humans through operational intelligence, accuracy and speed, thus making it cost-effective to a great extent.
  • Enterprises like Dyn and British Airways suffered Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks post which they implemented cognitive insight which secured their operations.

Cost effective solution of AIOps

Analyzing and managing cost is essential. Doing a cost analysis of cloud with components like IOPs, VMs, storage capacity, bandwidth, API can be tricky and complex. AI implementation can help here to segregate the cost of securing a more accurate IT budget.

• AI and root-cause analysis

AI is very effective in the area of root-cause analysis. It is efficient in locating an issue and creating a remediation for the same, thus solving complex problems in a short span. AIOps helped a US Bank to automate root cause correlation to gather data on customer dissatisfaction and thus, enhancing customer experience.

• Threat detection is now a cakewalk
Through machine learning algorithms, AIOps can learn to detect anomalies and critical issues. GAVS’ security division designed a remedial platform combining ML algorithms and AI’s self-learning capabilities to reduce risk and predict future anomalies on an IT platform, ensuring a secured environment for GAVS’ customers.

• AIOps and its outage forecasting competences
AIOps can forecast outages through data prediction and also increase resource utilization through identifying areas of cross training. The market of forecasting outages through AIOps, is expected to grow from $493.7 million in 2016 to $1.14 billion by 2021, as per industry reports.

• Combining tools for an innovative future
Automation and collaboration of tools can enhance productivity and accuracy. AIOps powered with big data and ML helps in process automation and is used more as a strategic than operational tool. With this merger, data could be analyzed, optimized, and transformed efficiently. In GAVS, the focus is on a “Zero Incident” platform where GAVS can help enterprises to reach Zero Incident state through the above-mentioned collaboration of tools. This will definitely prove cost-effective and enhance the end-user experience.

Solutions built with innovation and cost-efficiency is the key
In their zeal to enter the digitized innovation area, organizations are aggressively trying to locate cost-effective and reliable solutions. GAVS’ zDesk is a DaaS solution that brings down the desktop IT cost, highlighting improved security and increased control. Its improved deployment speed and minimal energy consumption are the few innovative attributes in line with the industry requirements. Although many companies still rely on age old machines and processes which require constant monitoring and human intervention, however, automation of IT operations is a boon, ensuring cost-efficiency across levels.

Zero, from India to the world

Sumit Ganguli

CEO, GAVS Technologies

Zero is the ‘New Normal’ at GAVS Technologies. At GAVS, we are obsessing on building an Artificial Intelligence based Technology Operations that will trend towards a Zero Incident Framework i.e. zero down time for the Computer Infrastructure and we are focusing on Digital Transformations for our key clients. We use Predictive Analytics, Automation and Cloud create a disruptive digital initiative.

Historians have recorded that Zero was invented and conceived in India, around A.D. 458. Brahmagupta, an Indian Astronomer and Mathematician defined the first operations of Zero. Zero is one of  the key components of the digital world and its creation was in India.  Zero then travelled from India to the Middle East and it was promoted by a Persian Mathematician and he named it “sifr”. The words Algorithms (computer logic) and Cipher (code) was named after the Mathematician and “sifr”. Zero reached Europe through Italian Mathematician, Fibonacci, and was used for double entry ledgers.  Zero is integral to Calculus developed by Sir Isaac Newton which defined modern day computer technologies, engineering, physics and economic models.

We at GAVS, in keeping with our Indian history, have created a Zero Incident Framework, an Artificial Intelligence based tool for Enterprises in the world. We are committed to build a leading-edge company in Chennai using AI and Automation and make this a disruptive phenomenon around the world.

Our design elements, the three dissimilar circles, represent the Zero, and the Rising Circles, celebrating the Zero Incident philosophy from GAVS. The circles represent the germination of a thought that could evolve into a big disruptive and transformational idea. We at GAVS like to celebrate non-conformity and out of the box thinking; key ingredients to promote innovation. The GAVS motif is an expression of our aspirations and a commitment to be a Company with a Purpose, committed to delight our clients through innovative and enabling technologies.

Zero is the New Normal at GAVS because we want to espouse and engender zero hierarchy and zero bureaucracy, we want to promote a flat and egalitarian culture. At GAVS, the company’s bulwark is RITE, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Empathy and therefore we want to celebrate zero tolerance towards Disrespect, Lack of Integrity, Duplicity and Apathy in all our engagements.

Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstances.” Bruce Barton

At GAVS, we would like to create a company that is purposeful and aspirational and is committed to creating something significant. To that end, we need employee partners who believe that they are superior to the circumstances around them, and as GAVSians they would like to be always reminded of some of these chapters of History, from India to the world and create some sort of history with and within GAVS.

We believe that our employees who are Smart, HardWorking, Articulate and Technologically Curious will align themselves with this aspirational ethos of GAVS and try and serve our clients and hold our leaders responsible. We are excited about the possibilities of GAVS’ Zero Incident Framework and would love to take this once again from India to the world.

What I Look For in a Job Candidate

by Jeff Fudge

Director of Retail IT Operations

Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.

How do you find the right employees to add to your team? That is a question we often face, and even if you Google the subject a thousand times, you realize that there is no clear-cut answer or methodology. As someone who has been a hiring manager for longer than I care to admit, you’d think I would have honed my interviewing skills enough to where my interviewing process has become more science than art. But no. Not even close.

I went through a phase where I would develop a unique set of questions for each candidate. I’d start with a base set of questions for a particular position or skill set, and then customize based upon a candidate’s background, experience, or career choices. I’d probe and prod and dig deep. I was looking for the perfect set of questions to help me ascertain if this was someone I would want to work with for the next 10 years.

But at some point in my career I realized that my custom and well-constructed questions weren’t helping me gain any additional insight into the candidates sitting across from my desk or on the other end of the phone. I became aware that it wasn’t necessarily the answer that I was focusing on, it was how the answer was being delivered.

I realized that some candidates sounded like they had been in three interviews earlier in the day, and they were simply reciting well-rehearsed answers. I found myself looking at my watch and being all too aware of how slowly time is passing. Other candidates spoke from the heart, and their passion and enthusiasm made the interview a pleasant experience. When I forgot I was the interviewer and instead found myself in an engaging and deep conversation about the industry or the candidate’s prior experiences, I knew I had found someone with the qualities that I admired.

“There are two kinds of people in the world: the ones that suck the life out of every day, and the ones that let every day suck the life out of them” — Bill Purdin

I care less about what you did as a candidate, and more about how you did it and why you did it. Some people just make other people around them better. They raise everyone else’s game. Their drive and ambition become contagious, and the group becomes better as a result.

When I interview someone, I pay attention to whether that person is passionate. Are they passionate about their line of work? Passionate about helping those around them? Passionate about the success of their department and their company? Passionate about the customer? Passionate about making a difference?

I look for signs of happiness. Happiness is contagious. Unfortunately, so is unhappiness. True happiness is tough to fake and it makes everything better. Stress. Conflict. Challenges. Obstacles. Fear of the unknown. 

I look for an indication of sarcasm and wit. Does the candidate take themselves too seriously? Are they able to laugh at themselves? Like happiness, humor helps smooth out the rough spots of any job. Humor can break down the social walls we sometimes build up and can make us more relatable and approachable. Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of times when humor can be inappropriate. But I believe humor and happiness often go hand in hand. It’s tough sometimes to have one without the other.

I seek signs of curiosity. Of how they can become a better employee. A better person. Of how to make processes more efficient or improve the company’s products or services. How to write better code, design with an eye towards elegant simplicity, or improve the bottom line.

I want to hire someone that makes me desire to be better at what I do. One that makes me care about being a better boss. Becoming a better coworker. A better friend. A better person.

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel” – Carl W. Buechner

Whether you are the interviewer or the candidate, it’s often not what you say, it’s how you say it. Make sure you say it with feeling.  With the best of intentions and with complete sincerity. Say it like you realize life is short and meant to be lived. Say it like you mean it.

Your voice will rise above the din of insincerity and mediocrity, and you will be heard.

5 Straight forward use cases for Security Automation

by Hariharan Madhavan

At a time when security products are competing to take a pie of the security budget, CISOs are tasked to figure out how to do more with less. CISOs need to exercise their judgement on what to automate and what is not worth it.

Security product vendors who specializes on automation on the other hand produce material to support the fact that they could automate most of the first level incident responses and threat data collection through automation and only advanced forensics and activities requiring physical access to assets need human analysts. While the argument that automation reduces MTTR (Mean time to Respond) is true, the exorbitant cost of automation kills significant interest in the consumer community.

This article aims to achieve the best balance yet not burn the wallet.

Use case 1: Phishing email analysis

Let’s face it. Users click on the fancy button in their email client, and down comes a pour of suspected emails that the security team must now figure out whether it’s legitimate or another attempt to invade.

Use case 2: SIEM event context augmentation

SIEMs do a great job of correlating a rule and showing us that something went bad. The buck does not stop there. If it’s complaining about a host, we need intel on the host – process list, network connection (netstat), browser cache, user logged in, if there is a process that’s suspicious and without threat intelligence, we would can query our EDR to sweep other hosts for the process or submit it to a sandbox solution to see how it behaves. Mere augmentation of all this additional information and context around the SIEMs correlation will go a long way in saving the security analysts time or if every IOC turns out benign, the automation itself can mark the alert as false positive.

Use case 3: Removing malicious files locked by malware

Malware can be tricky at times not allowing antivirus software to remove infected files. This is another reason why AV companies came up with the concept of quarantine, so that they could move it to an isolated folder and not allow the user to execute the file. Still these items would show up as active alerts in the dashboard. To remediate them the files, must be manually deleted with elevated privileges after moving file locks. Having automation attempt to log into these machines and delete them will save lot of time for security analysts

Use case 4: Ransomware protection for a file server

The best countermeasure against ransomware is being able to disable the user account using which ransomware encrypts a file share. The quicker this happens, the lesser the files in the shares are going to be affected. Nothing can be quicker than automation in this case.

Use case 5: IAM (Identity and Access Management) password resets

Many organizations have brought in automated password resets for users. If you are still asking your IAM team to perform password resets, it’s time to look at an automated solution where users can request password reset through their phone number and/or other means to validate their identity.