Masergy AIOps Delivers on a Vision of Autonomous Networking

Avatar for Chris MacFarlandBy Chris MacFarland|Sep 10, 2019|7:30 am CDT

Imagine the day when every car on the road will be able to handle all aspects of driving without assistance. It won’t be long. Artificial intelligence (AI) is driving autonomous technologies that are helping enterprises, industries, and the human race innovate our way out of much of the work we do today.

AI is about to make everything self-driving.

Soon, all networks will be agile, self-healing, and self-optimizing, serving up the right bandwidth at the right time for perfect cloud application performance. Security strategies are already leveraging AI to automate the response to cyber threats. The result: a sense of true freedom for IT teams to focus on the next big innovation.

With a clear vision of autonomous networking, Masergy is making significant strides in being among the first companies to start delivering the self-driving networks of the future. This week, we made a giant leap forward, announcing enhancements that are pushing the boundaries of automation. Released today, Masergy AIOps is the network service industry’s first AI-based network automation solution that will transform IT management and application performance as we know it.

But to understand how Masergy is delivering the future today, it helps to first examine the next steps necessary in arriving at autonomous networking.

AIOps: The Guidepost to Autonomy

The path to complete autonomy starts with a wide sweeping digital vision. First, the network must provide complete visibility into performance characteristics, application traffic, user traffic, and the design of various components. The next step in creating autonomy is to apply AI-based technologies, where behavior analytics and machine learning algorithms can more fully automate network management and application optimization. Gartner refers to this concept as “AIOps,” defining AI for IT operations as the application of machine learning and data science to IT operations problems.

Analysts believe the long-term impact of AIOps will be transformative for IT teams. According to Gartner, “organizations that automate more than 70% of their network change activities will reduce the number of outages by at least 50% and deliver services to their business constituents 50% faster.” With payouts like that, it’s no surprise that analyst Andrew Lerner advises IT executives to prioritize network automation investments in 2019.

AIOps solutions are new in the marketplace. But before we get into the details of Masergy’s offering, we should explore how AIOps platforms work.

Applying AI to Build a Self-Driving Network

AIOps platforms have the power to act as virtual assistants, and more specifically, digital network gurus. However, these gurus work 24/7, never sleep, and can ingest and analyze big data at nearly the speed of light. Aggregating real-time network activity, historical traffic, configuration settings, and usage, AIOps platforms generate contextual intelligence and help eliminate human errors that are still the root cause of most service degradations and outages today.

Through behavioral analysis and machine learning, AIOps can identify patterns, processes, and trends, making predictions about bandwidth needs and offering recommendations to solve age-old IT problems. With feedback and maturity, these solutions are used to design rule sets, policies, and playbooks that govern in unmanaged environments that are truly autonomous.
Mature platforms can make all the difference. Advanced solutions with a library of specialization in AI practices and network optimization rulesets quickly move beyond the first steps of data aggregation and analysis with the ability to act on recommendations autonomously. This is where Masergy is headed.

It’s also important to note that not all IT infrastructures are designed for AI innovation. The underlying network must have a software-defined architectural model that supports real-time flexibility, big data collection, and secure analytics at speed and at scale. Networks that were architected for a previous era will likely never have AI-based enhancements. Meanwhile, Masergy’s software-defined network and cloud platform was built from the ground up for this type of innovation, and we’re aggressively forging the path toward autonomous networking.

Introducing Masergy AIOps

As I mentioned, Masergy AIOps is the network service industry’s first AI-based, digital assistant for network, application, and security optimization. Masergy AIOps is an intelligent assistant that actively serves customers as a network engineer, supporting administration and optimization. With our 20-year history in global software-defined networking, Masergy has incorporated decades of network management experience in designing the most sophisticated AI network application.

This initial launch marks the beginning of autonomous wide area networking for Masergy. We expect to deliver enterprise customers fully autonomous networking in the next few years, and Masergy AIOps is the first product release moving us firmly in the direction of this vision.

With autonomy in reach, we should be clear about what Masergy’s AIOps solution can and cannot do today. The solution applies machine learning and behavior analytics to the network, but it is not yet self-driving. Our next phases of development will focus on automated decision making and response. Right now, it’s a virtual analyst and advisor. Here’s what it can do today.

Capabilities and Benefits Today

With this initial release, Masergy customers receive intelligent alerts and recommendations for network changes that can increase performance and cloud application optimization–regardless of whether those apps are operating on private infrastructure or utilized across the public internet. Acting as a virtual assistant, Masergy AIOps analyzes how the network, application performance, and security are impacted by different events including various configurations and utilizations. The system then makes recommendations to enhance application performance, predict bandwidth needs and optimize network throughput based on anomaly detection and predictive analytics.

Key Features of Masergy AIOps

  • Intelligent analysis and recommendations to optimize multi-cloud environments
  • Sophisticated pattern recognition algorithms leveraging big data
  • Predictive anomaly detection with actionable insights
  • AI tools embedded in the customer portal–Masergy’s Intelligent Service Control
  • Expandable use cases for proactive network, application, and security optimization

Masergy AIOps Makes the Following Recommendations for Customers

  • Which path an application should take, based upon performance
  • When and where to add bandwidth, including cloud vendors
  • Network changes and configuration settings to optimize application performance, based on business needs and service priorities

Customer Benefits

  • Reduce noise from bandwidth usage alarms, based on static thresholds
  • Gain continuous 24/7 analysis across the network, application performance, and security
  • Get best-practice recommendations and actionable insights for performance optimization
  • Increase service quality and reduce business continuity risks with predictive algorithms
  • Quickly identify the probable cause of network service incidents
  • Decrease the number of support calls and lower IT costs

Exclusively Unique: AI Inside Your Network Management Portal

We did some competitive research and found that no other network service providers advertise AI-based network intelligence solutions as of today. Thus, Masergy is likely the first to deliver this capability to the network services market. While other AIOps solutions exist, our research found that they are largely point solutions with their own management portals. This means customers get AI analytics and recommendations in a separate portal that must be integrated into their network and IT environment.

We believe Masergy stands exclusively unique in this aspect: Today, no other network services provider offers a holistic approach that deeply embeds AI into a global software-defined network, making AI intelligence available directly within the existing management portal. In the digital age, this IT simplicity is fundamental. With Masergy AIOps, every Masergy customer now has a significant increase in the value of their network.

Autonomous networking is just around the corner, and as a 20-year pioneer in software-defined networking, Masergy can help you transform with certainty.

Interested in how SD-WAN can improve your business?

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