Blog

Collaboration-Centric AIOps

Introduction

In the last Selector AI solution blog, we discussed data-centric AIOps. In this blog we discuss collaboration-centric AIOps.

Figure 1. Next-generation AIOps shifts focus to data-centric analysis and collaboration-centric analysis

 

The Selector AI User eXperience has 5 foundational elements

  • Immersive Slack / Microsoft Teams integration
  • Observability simplification
  • Natural language based visualization
  • Resolution actions
  • Expert portal

In this blog, we discuss the first two, and in a follow-on block, we discuss the last three.

Immersive Slack / Microsoft Collaboration

Many AIOps tools are based on static dashboards targeted at large screens. Over the last decade, there has been a dramatic shift in the way people work. This shift was accelerated and emphasized by the 2020–2021 global pandemic. Talented team members need the capability to make contributions regardless of location, and regardless of screen. What SRE/NetOps teams need today is tools that are fully integrated into the way they work, not another screen to switch too.

Today, Slack and Microsoft Teams are the tools of choice for collaboration. Many SRE/NetOps tools recognize this by forwarding alerts to these environments. However, they have not embraced these environments. These tools are not designed from the ground up, to make these environments a place where queries can be executed, visualizations generated on-demand, and important analytical insights shared. Selector AI changes that.

Within the limits of what these environments allow, Selector AI fully embraces these environments as platforms SRE/NetOps teams should never have to leave in order to become aware of real anomalies, generate visualizations, share visualizations, discuss resolution, and discuss root cause.

As discussed in the previous blog, Selector AI leverages new technologies to achieve analytical breakthroughs not previously available in a simple, intuitive, easy to use solution. However, Selector AI also recognizes that NetOps teams want to bring that analytical insight together with the experience of NetOps team members, and the decision-making responsibility of those same team members. SRE/NetOps people talent remains critical in today’s networks. So solutions must integrate AIOps with people. The solution as a member of the NetOps team. That membership in the team starts with fully embracing the collaboration platforms SRE/NetOps teams use. Selector AI leads the industry in collaboration integration.

AIOps Observability — Seeing The Connections

Observability is a hot buzzword these days. It is a generic word that can be interpreted many ways, and hence claimed many ways. Observability is clearly more than creating a dashboard of alarm indicators. Its essence is being aware of many different data types, and connecting the dots across those data types to provide insight that is not available from a single stream of data. The promise of observability implies another important capability, the ability to eliminate noise, declutter reporting, and rapidly bring attention to true anomalies and their root causes.

Long before SRE/NetOps teams are alerted by Selector AI, data from multiple sources passes through the analytics engine described in the blog “AIOps: The Next Generation of Data Whisperers” By that point, data has been normalized, correlated, clustered, filtered and ranked. The hard work is done by the analytics engine to create a knowledge graph, and the Selector AI collaboration interface leverages the graph for powerful, on-demand, NetOps driven visualizations — not static visualizations that Selector AI team members have decided should be the only thing NetOps sees, but natural language query driven visualizations that are specific to the issue being investigated.

Figure 2. Next-generation AIOps Observability

 

Importantly, anyone in a company can use the collaboration interface. For example those with application layer interfaces can do queries to validate if network conditions are normal. If they are, then application layer operations teams can investigate application layer issues before engaging network teams. Mean time to innocence? Zero, if the NetOps team is never engaged. If they are engaged, they can be engaged using the same collaboration tools used across the company, so experts in many functions can collaborate together. Everyone can see, observe, and collaborate at the same time, using the same collaboration tool, from any location, and any device. AIOps observability dramatically increases the productivity of one person. Combined with collaboration, the entire cross-functional effort becomes more productive. The power of “AND” is a multiplier.

Conclusion

The paradigm change is from SRE/NetOps professionals going to the tool, to the tool going to where SRE/NetOps professionals already are — collaboration environments. An immersive and seamless integration where powerful capabilities are available, not just the reception of alerts. The tool should be another member of the team, called up, in a collaborative context, to perform specialized tasks, and provide specialized insights.

The combination of these insights, and the experience of SRE/NetOps teams, leads to rapid resolution and remediation. The power of “AND”.