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Three important tech trends for infrastructure and operations teams

Regardless of industry, customer, or product, nearly all businesses today rely on digital networks to function in some capacity. This usually means better service to customers and smoother operations internally, but it can also mean bigger headaches for the infrastructure and operations teams who fix systems when they don’t work the way they’re supposed to.

The speed with which technology is advancing our ability to identify and respond to security issues means that a passive, reactionary approach to network monitoring is no longer acceptable. Network issues can quickly escalate from small, low-priority bugs to system-crashing catastrophes – within a matter of hours, not days. This means that network monitoring needs to be more comprehensive than ever, with the capacity to quickly collect information, run algorithms, and notify users as soon as possible.

Automation, predictive analytics, and orchestration technologies are three key trends that are revolutionizing proactive monitoring as we know it. Here’s why these technologies are going to play a major role in systems operations in the both the near and not-so-near future:

1. Automation

Automation is particularly important to backend operations because it allows systems to react when something goes wrong and either fix it automatically, notify a systems professional, or create and assign a service ticket – with as little time and effort as possible.

Replacing previously manual processes frees up valuable time and resources for businesses that want to focus more on serving their customer bases and less on having to maintain server health or scrambling to critical issues. Systems engineers and other operators can devote their attention to higher value initiatives, while IT leaders get peace of mind knowing that their systems are working for them, not against them. Click here to see how automation from Indeni helps healthcare companies.

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2. Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning

In the Digital Age, data is the lifeblood of business. As the volume and scope of available data continues to grow at eye-popping rates, it becomes increasingly difficult to actually do anything with it. Fortunately, the development of new predictive analytics platforms is also picking up the pace. Network operators have long struggled to gain visibility into the furthest reaches of their infrastructure–there are seemingly infinitely more endpoints to monitor and vulnerabilities to uncover, but less time and fewer resources to do it.

For network monitoring activities, predictive analytics tools help dramatically expand the visibility an IT team has into its network and the ability to take action without requiring additional man hours or headcount. When combined with automated workflows, predictive analytics allows IT teams to scour the entire infrastructure for signs of pending issues faster, more efficiently, and more accurately than with human efforts alone. Importantly, it enables organizations to be proactive in managing the health of their infrastructure by analyzing massive amounts of data to making predictions about unknown future events, and prepare accordingly with systematic checks and responses.

Machine learning takes this one step further by enabling systems to not only predict based on specific data sets and rules, but also to learn and adapt without needing to be programmed to do so. With network threats becoming more subtle and discrete, organizations need potent monitoring solutions that identify and mitigate even the tiniest disturbances and apply solutions without manual input.

3. Orchestration

While automation and predictive technologies are fundamental to IT operations, they’re no good without proper coordination, or “orchestration.” Orchestration programs automate behaviors in an IT environment to coordinate the required networking hardware and software elements for application support and services.

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Orchestration details how and under what circumstances various tools and solutions are applied, and when human operators need to intervene. Effectively coordinating both automation and predictive platforms moves infrastructure management ever closer toward fully automated, zero-touch provisioning, mapping, and systems management. Add in real-time performance monitoring and reporting, and it’s a combination that will keep businesses operating at peak efficiency, while also reducing costs and protecting against potential profit-killing outages.

In Conclusion

The benefits to continuous, proactive monitoring are enormous for businesses that depend on the reliability of their systems and networks. Productivity increases when problems are caught before they become critical issues, as heading off potential issues with appropriate fixes minimize any impact they might have on operations.

The result is improved infrastructure reliability, increased long-term productivity, and reduced costs associated with catastrophe-level disasters that can debilitate any business’s operations.
As organizations continue to look for new, inventive ways to gain a competitive edge, these three trends will prove to be key technologies for realizing success.

To learn more about how these three trends are battling the hidden impact of network downtime read our white paper.

BlueCat acquires Indeni to boost its industry-leading DNS, DHCP and IP address management platform to help customers proactively assess network health and prevent outages.

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