Is Change the Root of All Evil in the Data Center?


Sasha Gilenson will be presenting a webinar at BrightTALK’s Change, Configuration and Release Management summit which runs from August 12-14.

What the Webinar Will Focus On

Sasha Gilenson, CEO and Founder of Evolven

When it comes to IT Operations, change really is the root of all evil, responsible for causing years of chronic pains across IT environments. IT Ops face major challenges coping with increased complexity of IT environments and the breakneck speed that change must now be implemented. Now IT Operations Analytics provides the opportunity to unlock value from piles of IT big data becoming a real game changer.

Attend this webinar to learn how IT Operation Analytics is ending chronic stability, performance and efficiency challenges.

To see the full summit line-up, click here:

Is Change the Root of All Evil in the Data Center?

In IT operations, over the last 15-20 years, enterprises have made huge investments in their IT management tools. Yet we see that today’s IT Operations is overwhelmed. These tools aren’t prepared to handle large data sets. In the best case they might collect lots of raw data, but they lack sufficient capabilities for offering actionable insights. IT environment data volume, variety and velocity are growing as IT operations embrace virtualization and cloud, transition to agile development and the diversity of enterprise technologies grows. This is why industry experts are saying that IT analytics tools hold the promise for helping IT organizations better manage the infrastructure and applications that run the business.

Getting Through the Noise

IT operations needs sift through lots of operational noise. Looking at IT, at the world of IT systems in general – performance and monitoring data, configuration information, machine data, etc. – we are talking about amounts of information on a tremendous order of magnitude…and are also changing rapidly.

Changes demanded by the business for success against fierce competition may potentially have severe impact on IT environments. While maximizing operational stability of critical business systems, IT operations need to confront this high pace of change. This is at the heart of IT management challenges. Why in spite of all the automation, platform standardization and well defined ITSM processes implemented in organizations, when investigating an incident, most IT teams still ask the question – “what changed” as one of their first investigative steps.

The Massive Impact of Change

Let’s look at what we mean: An operating system has something between 1,500 to 2,500 parameters. Going into the configuration of a database, it is more. Application servers have over 10,000 configuration parameters. Now when we look at the average IT environment, this is millions and millions of configuration parameters – changing at a rapid pace. Talking about Fortune 100 and Fortune 2000 companies with hundreds of thousands of servers, we’re talking about significant amounts of data that needs to be able to be dealt with.

One of the frequent activities in IT and the development of agile methods is change transition – the release of a change into a production environment. When you have a complex environment that is affected at multiple points all the time, one of the big questions is, “How do we ensure that these transitions are implemented accurately and correctly?” When a change is introduced into a production environment via automated processes, it essentially performs as it was planned and tested.

Reaching Proactive Prevention

Currently there are pieces of activities that are automated. Essentially this automation is just another generation of scripting of those activities that are running as part of the operation.

Because of the complexity of environments and processes and the dynamics of the environment, the automation needs to be analytics driven. So that when there is an action (or change), there will be a reaction, then there needs to be an analysis of the reaction for taking corrective actions.

The Rise of IT Operations Analytics

Looking at systems that comprise millions of data points, IT needs to pick the few that would be linked to an incident under investigation, and being able to infer meaning. This concentration from different amounts of data to the few that could be a potential root cause requires analytical methods, leveraging statistical algorithms and heuristic algorithms. To help to sift through all of this IT big data, IT Operations Analytics tools are appearing as powerful solutions for IT to use in finding patterns and insights. This means applying to IT some of the same thinking that has been put to work for business intelligence.

Business Intelligence essentially means that a user slices and dices the data, a convenient way to drill down to the data. Yet they are actually responsible for the processing. When focusing on huge amounts of data, you cannot simply slice and dice. It’s too large.

Taking all that data and providing insights IT Operations Analytics allow IT teams to make inferences about the best steps to take. That is the difference. Business intelligence is about reporting and summarizing the data. IT Operations Analytics is about making automatic insights based on a significant amount of data, putting into focus by looking at environments from a the perspective of changes that are happening.

Register for Sasha’s webinar titled “Change is the Root of All Evil” here:

Photo credit: Mitie Group plc

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Regina Yulo
Regina Yulo
World traveler, food lover and former athlete, now working in tech marketing, IT Service Management and Financial Services for BrightTALK in London.
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