IT Operations Analytics Solutions for Your Enterprise: Part 2

By: Sandipan Dutta | Co-written by: Redha Bournas

We discussed the significance and benefits of IT operations analytics (ITOA) solutions in the first blog in this series. In part two, we’ll take a deeper look at different types and their functionalities.

Although there are various flavors and many use cases for ITOA applications, solutions primarily cover three main functional areas.

1. Log Analytics

This solution provides the ability to search and index systems or application logs from servers or devices within the enterprise. A robust solution integrates and correlates data from multiple sources, including log files, events, metrics, incident tickets and support documents, and provides a unified dashboard view. By rapidly searching, indexing and visualizing the result, the solution reduces the time required for root-cause analysis and incident mean time to repair (MTTR) significantly. In addition, advanced analytical capabilities like search and pattern discovery, text analytics and anomaly detection make the solution a perfect vehicle for quicker problem resolution and maintaining the overall health of your IT environment.

2. Predictive Analytics and Predictive Insights

This IT operations solution can predict IT environment problems and system performance degradation before those issues lead to service outages. The solution derives a data model of normal environment behavior by analyzing individual system metrics and learning from relationships between interconnected systems, including servers, storage, network and middleware. When an anomaly deviating from normal behavior is detected, the application generates alerts so corrective actions can be undertaken before any service impact occurs.

A predictive analytics solution can also proactively identify problematic servers in the environment that can eventually cause service degradation or service outages. The analytical function combines server configuration information with utilization metrics and relevant incident data and identifies the servers which need to be upgraded or refreshed in order to avoid potential outages or major performance effects to the environment.

There are prevalent cognitive IT operations analytics solutions, which can predict the risk profile of a scheduled change. Through analysis of past change tickets, related incident tickets, asset inventory and business application linkages, the solution can predict the probability of a change failure — the likelihood of incident tickets being generated due to change implementation. This is a great enabler for service managers for assessing change impact since it helps them plan for necessary review, test steps, alternative ways of execution and effective backout measures to minimize or negate risk.

3. Deep Insights About IT Operations Environment

The life cycle of incident tickets, problem tickets, change tickets and work requests are managed through the service desk ticketing tool, which contains a wealth of information about historical events and the health of the IT systems. There are efficient semantic analytics solutions available that can analyze not only the structured or categorical fields of the tickets but also the unstructured texts logged by service desk agents. By analyzing and correlating data from thousands of tickets, these solutions can generate valuable insights about common trends, pervasive issues and root causes, service agent efficiency and other insights. Service desk managers can use this information to take steps to streamline IT operations environments and customer service. Visualization through interactive dashboards, exploration and search are key features that enable discovery of valuable insights.

There are other ITOA solutions available for SLA risk analysis, insights for backup operations, insights for hardware/software currency and many other functionalities.

IBM has an extensive portfolio of ITOA applications for the above mentioned functional areas and many other use cases, including autonomics functionalities. For further information about IBM’s ITOA portfolio of products, please contact and Sandipan Dutta and Dr. Redha Bournas or talk to another IBM expert.

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About The Author

Sandipan Dutta

Enterprise Architect, Global Technology Services

Sandipan Dutta is an Enterprise Architect for IBM Global Technology Services (GTS). He has worked in th IT Infrastructure Services for over 19 years. His area of expertise spans across a diverse set of IT Infrastructure portfolios including server, storage, networking, security etc. He has contributed to design and architecture of several large scale projects.... Read More