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OpsRamp Introduces an AIOps Inference Engine

MMS Founder

Article originally posted on InfoQ. Visit InfoQ

Provider of a SaaS based IT operations management platform, OpsRamp, has announced OpsRamp 5.0, a new release featuring an artificial intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps) inference engine for alerting and event correlation. The new release also includes a multi-cloud visibility dashboard.

Three new widgets are available for managing hybrid IT, multi-cloud consumption, and cloud cost trends; the global assets widget shows a geographical distribution of IT assets across datacenter and cloud environments, the cloud cost insights widget shows public cloud spend to date, with a breakdown by cloud account, by custom attributes, and other criteria, and the cloud cost trend widget presents public cloud cost trends over time, enabling IT teams to access cost trends by resource type, custom attributes, and other criteria. Other new enhancements include a new custom reporting feature allowing IT teams to slice and dice operational data to gain operational insights and redesigned service maps that organise, visualise, and monitor an IT infrastructure footprint through line-of-sight between an IT service and its underlying workloads.

Additionally, OpsRamp now offers forty-six Microsoft Azure, twenty-eight AWS, and fifteen Google Cloud Platform integrations to manage IaaS and PaaS services. New integrations with OpsRamp 5.0 include Google Stackdriver for hybrid monitoring, ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus for enhanced service delivery, Micro Focus Operations Manager to accelerate migration from legacy ITOM suites to a modern platform.

InfoQ asked Bhanu Singh, VP engineering at OpsRamp, to share more detail on the announcement:

InfoQ: Should OpsRamp be used instead of tools like Cherwell, ServiceNow and Jira Service Desk? If so, what are the differentiating features? If not, does it integrate with tools like this and if so how?

Bhanu Singh: Most enterprises have invested in IT service management tools like ServiceNow, Cherwell, and Atlassian Jira for enhanced service delivery. While these tools deliver all that you need for incident management, the big missing piece is the ability to manage your day-to-day IT operations more effectively. OpsRamp delivers an IT operations platform for visibility and control of your business-critical IT services and underlying infrastructure workloads. 
OpsRamp has integrations with leading incident management tools to improve root cause analysis and mean time to resolution. OpsRamp offers a view of incidents all the way down to a hybrid infrastructure and connects specific events to actual business impact. OpsRamp links the operational activities performed before incident creation in an incident management system like ServiceNow or Cherwell.

InfoQ: How does the tool access the cloud spend data?

Singh: The multi-cloud visibility dashboard ingests cost data from leading cloud providers (AWS, Azure, and Google) through standard APIs. We then apply the right intelligence to extract cloud cost insights so that enterprises can understand spending trends across cloud providers, business units, IT services, and for their entire enterprise.

InfoQ: What events and alerts is the AIOps inference engine concerned with?

Singh: The OpsRamp platform collects data and metrics through native and external instrumentation across hybrid applications and infrastructure. The AIOps inference engine aggregates events and alerts from ingested metrics to drive meaning and relationships through topology and clustering correlation models. For instance, if the functioning of a network device impacts the availability of your IT service, the inference engine associates these relationships and extracts the much-needed signal for pinpointing root cause.

InfoQ: How would it work alongside existing alerting tools that the IT ops professionals may be using? Things in the cloud provider’s platform already? Solarwinds? Dynatrace, AppDynamics or New Relic?

Singh: Most enterprise IT professionals use different management tools for infrastructure and application monitoring, event correlation, and alert management. OpsRamp’s job is to help IT operations teams control the chaos of managing these tools and gain the contextual visibility they need for all the applications and services that they’re responsible for. We’ve built integrations with commonly used tools so that IT teams can view logs, metrics, alerts, events, and tickets across different tools in a single place (without logging into multiple consoles).

InfoQ: How could this solution help alleviate alert fatigue?

Singh: OpsRamp can automatically correlate alerts arising from the same issue and create an inference. Users don’t have to acknowledge, investigate, and respond to each alert individually. Multiple alerts can be managed as a single incident by correlating related alerts to an inference, for faster detection and remediation. OpsRamp’s integration framework allows IT teams to consolidate alerts from different point tools into a single source of truth, helping reduce alert noise and fatigue.

InfoQ: What can the tool tell us about the applications running on the infrastructure?

Singh: OpsRamp offers readymade monitoring templates for a range of enterprise applications. Through OpsRamp, users can monitor application health, uptime and performance, processes, files, and logs for commonly used business applications like Active Directory, Exchange, SharePoint, and Dynamics, databases like Cassandra, Redis, MongoDB, SQL Server, and MySQL, and infrastructure middleware like Apache, Docker, Kafka, RabbitMQ, and Tomcat. IT services can be linked to underlying infrastructure with service maps. Service Maps can be defined for IT services that depend on a set of transactions, apps, virtual servers, network devices, and cloud workloads. Relevant service maps can be exposed to business units so that they can monitor the services that matter to them.

InfoQ: How does the Micro Focus tool help with migration?

Singh: In April 2018, OpsRamp introduced a custom migration plan for enterprises using Micro Focus Operations Manager i (OMi) and Micro Focus Operations Bridge (OpsBridge) for event correlation. The 5.0 release introduces deeper integrations with Micro Focus OMi, allowing customers to view OMi events as alerts in OpsRamp dashboards. The Micro Focus OMi integration is for enterprises wishing to accelerate migration from legacy ITOM suites to a modern platform like OpsRamp.

InfoQ: How would you define ‘modern’ ITOM suite?

Singh: At OpsRamp, we believe that a modern ITOM suite should have the following five characteristics:

  1. Complete visibility, compliance, and transparency for hybrid, multi-cloud IT assets, with one unified view of physical, virtual, and cloud workloads.
  2. The capability to extend beyond infrastructure management to understand dependencies for your critical IT services. Drive situational awareness with a business view of IT across your enterprise.
  3. The intelligence to monitor, manage, and resolve IT incidents promptly. Drive optimal availability and performance with contextual alert information for all your events.
  4. The power of policy-based management to automate routine tasks at scale, save manual effort across repetitive tasks, and drive consistency of execution for legacy and modern workloads.
  5. The ability to seamlessly connect operations and service management processes in a single platform to drive customer experiences, staff productivity, and IT automation.

Read about OpsRamp’s May 2018 announcement around Unified Service Discovery here.

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