What is AIOps (Autonomous Networking)?

Artificial intelligence for IT operations or AIOps is any technology that automates and optimizes an organization’s IT operations. The value of AIOps to an IT organization is its ability to automatically identify—often faster than humanly possible—and react to issues in real time 24/7. Masergy built AIOps directly into our global software-defined network so that it comes standard with our Managed SD-WAN Secure solutions. Customers should think of Masergy AIOps as their company’s dedicated virtual network engineer; acting as a trusted advisor working 24/7 to proactively optimize their global network.

How does AIOps work?

AIOps technologies typically combine analytics with machine learning algorithms to analyze large datasets collected from an organization’s networking endpoints (i.e. devices such as servers, routers, laptops, smartphones, and even IoT). For example, Masergy AIOps uses sophisticated machine-learning algorithms to recognize network usage patterns specific to a corporate network and its users. By leveraging twenty years’ worth of real-world enterprise customer usage data on our global software-defined network, Masergy AIOps helps customers not only optimize network performance but detect anomalies that can slow a network down.

Is AIOps the Same as Autonomous Networking?

No, but Masergy AIOps is the first step toward truly autonomous intent-based networking. An intent-based network leverages specialized software and hardware components to monitor real-time network status then dynamically configure the appropriate network changes across existing network infrastructure—ideally without the need for any human intervention. An often-used example of autonomous intent-based networking is the setup of a branch office where no onsite IT staff are required to connect and configure the users, devices, and appropriate security needed for employees at the branch location. While Masergy AIOps already monitors the real-time status of a customer’s global network through a combination of this large dataset and machine learning algorithms, Masergy AIOps suggests actions corporate IT can take to optimize their network via our orchestration tools available in the Masergy customer portal. As of this writing, there are no truly 100% autonomous networks in operation.

What is a self-healing network?

A self-healing network architecture can monitor IP traffic and automatically reroute that traffic if there is a failure. Unlike home networks where a single broadband link from an internet service provider (ISP) is used by families to connect their personal devices, most corporate networks are designed with multiple links into each location. Whether the business chooses to procure these links directly from an ISP or contract them through a managed network service provider such as Masergy, at least two diverse links into an office location enables a “high availability” configuration—if one link goes down, the other will still (likely) be available. High availability configurations are crucial in delivering a self-healing network. For example, Masergy global software-defined network is built with self-healing capabilities that will automatically reroute IP traffic from a downed link at a customer location in less than one second.

What are the requirements for an AIOps solution?

According to industry analyst Gartner,  an AIOps solution must be able to ingest, monitor, and analyze large amounts of data then respond when any anomalies or issues arise. Masergy AIOps fits this definition perfectly by leveraging the unique combination of Masergy’s twenty-years worth of customer usage data analyzed by our proprietary machine learning algorithms with superhuman speed to deliver actionable optimization responses. Unlike our competitors, Masergy AIOps not only provides IT managers with the best suggestions for optimization, but it goes beyond the standard Gartner definition by delivering predictive information about the network in real time from our customer portal and via push notifications to an authorized email address or SMS text to a mobile phone.

How can I get started with AIOps?

Adopting an AIOps solution on a corporate network can help comb through the voluminous data generated by modern IT infrastructure that must be captured, analyzed, and acted on by IT departments. However, knowing where to start and how to deploy AIOps can be complex. IT leaders must:

  • Align AI to your top business objectives by identifying the specific use cases and troubleshooting issues you want AI to handle
  • Know which data streams coincide with those use cases — after all, AIOps is only as smart as the data it is fed
  • Ensure AIOps is deployed broadly, throughout key systems, without compounding complexing — too many vendors, integrations, and dashboards mean insights must be correlated, reconciled, and even corrected across multiple tools
  • Coach systems according to your playbooks of best practices until you can trust AIOps tools to perform unaided
  • Plan a pilot program or proof of concept and find the budget

Ideally, executives need AI and AIOps tools to encompass everything IT, so it’s wrapped around the network and security and the cloud like icing on a cake. When AIOps is embedded and built-in, insights don’t have to be correlated and corrected across multiple tools. This is where Masergy AIOps succeeds. It’s built into our secure edge networking plaform and customer portal, so it comes standard with our SD-WAN and SASE solutions. There’s nothing for Masergy customers to install or configure as Masergy AIOps works the moment you turn it on. Plus it comes at no additional cost.

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