The message was clear when the U.S. National Science Foundation announced it was launching a new program to bring resilience to next-generation networks. In an increasingly interconnected world, there may be no outages or degradation of communications networks after a potential attack. You can’t even afford human error.
Before the Resilient and Intelligent Next-Generation Systems (RINGS) program was launched, the U.S. Department of Defense had invested $600 million in 5G technologies. Other industries are also relying on next-generation telecommunications systems to advance everything from telemedicine to smart device management. These include critical sectors such as healthcare and utilities.
But to create true resilience, enterprises must go beyond traditional network monitoring. Newer solutions like AIOps (Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations) and Network Observability help identify and resolve network outages in less time. They thus strengthen network resilience and performance.
What is AIOps?
AIOps refers to the method of applying artificial intelligence and its components (such as predictive analytics or machine learning) to IT operations. AIOps collects data from various sources and transforms it into actionable information. With these, organizations can proactively address or even anticipate certain situations – such as signs of an attack on the network or service disruption.
How does AIOps differ from traditional network monitoring?
AIOps goes beyond traditional network monitoring. Not only does it provide organizations with predictive information that allows systems to identify a potential problem in advance, but it can also respond to it automatically.
If intervention is needed, after all, AIOps provides data from connected resources (such as sensors, cameras, other devices, and network elements), separating important from unimportant information. This allows IT managers to see directly which information is a high priority, and the team can focus on urgent cases. AIOps thus provide a high level of observability for all operations in a next-generation network.
What is Network Observability and why is it so important?
Being able to observe the entire network gives IT managers a critical advantage when it comes to achieving true resilience. Observability is not just about seeing what’s happening on the network: It’s about being able to leverage multiple data sets. That way, problems can be identified and fixed quickly, before they become disruptive. Instead of trying to figure out difficulties using only log data, organizations can use a combination of log data, application data, and other metrics.
Think of observability as the ability to look straight ahead, to the left, and to the right:
- On the left is the past: what happened recently on the network?
- In the middle is the present: what is happening in the network right now?
- To the right is the future: what is likely to happen in the future given what has happened before and is happening now?
What we see about the future is fed by a large amount of data about the past and present.
How is Observability different from traditional network monitoring?
Network monitoring is a reactive measure: IT managers are only alerted to problems when they have already occurred. AIOps-based Observability is a predictive measure. It is more likely to prevent problems and build resilience.
In addition, today’s networks are highly complex. They consist of internal, on-premises, and hybrid clouds and are constantly changing. To manage them effectively and ensure smooth operation, you need to be able to keep an unfiltered eye on them.
How does all this relate to performance?
With the advent of 5G, the proliferation of smart devices, and the prospect that remote work environments will remain common in the long term, our world is more connected than ever before. A single loss of connectivity can lead to minor inconveniences (like a social media platform outage). But it can also lead to serious major disruptions, such as following an attack on a utility.
AIOps and Observability provide effective protection against these disruptions. AIOps help predict downtime and proactively address threats. And even when a problem does occur, Observability helps teams quickly identify and trace it back to the source, so networks maintain high performance and resilience.