In this era of digitization, the biggest challenge for business organizations is to handle large volumes of data. Among all the types of business data, event data is the hardest to manage. Event data or log data gets collected from software systems and connected devices within an IT organization. Event correlation is a widely used technique to find patterns that could threaten the security and performance of critical software systems. Event correlation cannot be ignored by business organizations as it is linked with boosting service availability and reliability. Event correlation, along with root cause analysis, has been an indispensable part of application performance monitoring. Read on to know more about event correlation and the correct features to look for before choosing a solution.
Event correlation in detail
An event can be defined as an action taken by any employee using a software system. All the user actions can also be called events. For example, a mouse-click to load a website can be called an event in the IT industry. Regardless not all events are analyzed in event correlation. Only the events that show abnormal behavior are analyzed under event correlation. Abnormal events are to be addressed by IT teams quickly to boost service reliability.
Application performance monitoring tools collect information about anomalous events. Event correlation finds the interdependencies between events to find incidents and predict performance issues. All the historical events are matched with the latest events to identify patterns that could threaten security or deplete the system’s performance. Many abnormal events can be caused due to same IT issue. Event correlation identifies the anomalous events that are caused by the same IT incident.
Application performance monitoring tools generate large volumes of event data. It gets hard for IT teams to make sense of the unstructured event data. To convert large volumes of event data into structured data that makes sense, event correlation is required. Event correlation usually comes under service management for an IT firm. Organizations that successfully conduct event correlation have seen growth in service availability and business continuity.
Challenges with event correlation
If event correlation could have been easy, organizations would have avoided downtime and depletion of service availability. Event correlation is getting more complex due to the dynamic nature of the IT infrastructure. It is why traditional event correlation tools are of no use in the present scenario. Some of the challenges that are hurdles for event correlation are as follows:
- Business organizations must frequently change the devices and software systems connected to the IT infrastructure. When you change devices or device connections, the interdependencies change. When the relationship between applications and software systems changes, event correlation becomes harder.
- Many business organizations are using cloud enablement services to scale their IT infrastructure. When you combine cloud-based software with on-premise software systems, event correlation becomes harder. It happens because event data on cloud platforms may be deleted within seconds. Traditional monitoring tools do not have the power to collect event data in real time.
- Organizations that use decentralized monitoring solutions face many challenges in event correlation. A decentralized monitoring solution will not show event data from different software systems on a single dashboard.
- Event correlation is a challenge for organizations that use virtual desktop infrastructure solutions. Employees usually bring their own devices for remote work and, organizations provide them with virtual machines. It is hard to collect log data from remote sources with age-old application performance monitoring tools.
- When you update software systems and applications within the IT infrastructure, event correlation becomes harder. Your event correlation tool will have to find the interdependencies between software systems again.
What are the features to look for in an event correlation tool?
Your event correlation tool should aggregate event data in real-time. If any anomalous event is detected, it should be immediately matched with past events to find patterns. Choosing the right event correlation tool will boost the service availability and reliability of your organization. Some of the features to look for before choosing an event correlation tool are as follows:
- User experience: Your event correlation tool should be easy to install and configure. Choose a solution that is compatible with business intelligence tools to enhance productivity. Your event correlation tools should be centralized and show patterns generated from event data under a single dashboard.
- Multi-faceted: An event correlation tool is not only concerned with finding patterns among the event data. Many new-age event correlation tools are also AI automated root cause analysis solutions. Choose event correlation tools that offer functions as data sources ingest, root cause analysis, de-duplication, incident timeline visualization, and data stream hosting.
- Platform architecture: Choose an event correlation tool that helps in structuring the business processes to business domain platforms. Make sure that your event correlation tools offer high observability into event data.
- Integration: Your event correlation tools should be compatible with other technologies. An integration partner is a vendor of some other technology that enhances your technology solutions and increases the overall service availability. Some common integrations with event correlation tools are monitoring tools, observability tools, and cloud computing tools.
- Vendor service: Before you choose a vendor for an event correlation solution, make sure it provides PoV (Proof of Value). The vendor should also tell you about the deployment and implementation time beforehand. Choose a vendor that offers training sessions and excellent customer support.
- Strategic alignment: The technology used by a business organization should always support the company vision. Before choosing an event correlation tool, make sure it offers something to your company objectives. The event correlation tool should directly fit in with the company culture.
Considering the must-have features in an event correlation tool, AIOps (Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations) is the perfect solution for business organizations. AIOps based analytics platforms have the power to aggregate event data from software systems and connected applications/devices. AIOps-based event correlation solutions remember event data for many years. During event correlation, an AIOps-led solution will compare new events with historical ones to identify patterns that could hamper service availability. Identify performance risks and boost service reliability with event correlation!