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Observability and AIOps for MSPs

May 20. 2022
Observability and AIOps for MSPs - ZIF

MSPs (Managed Service Providers) are responsible for boosting the uptime of the IT infrastructures of different organizations. However, MSPs need to boost the uptime of their IT infrastructure first to maintain service availability. The biggest concern for MSPs in 2022 is poor observability. Due to poor observability, MSPs are overwhelmed with data but have no insights. Without any rich insights, data is of no use to MSPs. The traditional monitoring solutions used by MSPs are of no use in boosting the observability level. That is why MSPs are shifting their focus towards automation technologies to boost observability. Read on to know how MSPs can boost observability and service availability in 2022.

What is observability for MSPs?

Many people confuse observability with data availability. An MSP may have abundant data but still lack observability. Even monitoring isn’t the same as observability for MSPs. Monitoring can be counted as a subset of observability. An MSP cannot monitor an infrastructure or software system that isn’t observable. When a system or infrastructure is observable, you can learn about its internal states. By knowing the internal states of a system or infrastructure, you can predict its performance. Performance degradation can be predicted easily for an observable system or infrastructure. When MSPs can easily benchmark the internal states of a software system or infrastructure, they can quickly identify the key problems.

One may think, what stops MSPs from making observable IT infrastructures. Well, several challenges prevent MSPs from ensuring high observability. Some challenges for MSPs in ensuring high observability are as follows:

  • Log data is the first pillar of observabilityfor an MSP. An MSP needs to collect data when users interact with websites, applications, or software systems. For example, consider a company that has outsourced its monitoring process to an MSP. The MSP is responsible for collecting data when customers interact with the websites and applications of the company. Also, the company’s employees interact with systems to perform day-to-day activities. All this results in log data, which helps in understanding the normal behaviour of the IT infrastructure. However, MSPs find it hard to collect log data from different sources, which results in poor observability.
  • Metrics are another pillar of observability for MSPs. Metrics can be considered as numbers that depict the performance status of a software system or IT infrastructure. For example, the number of user requests handled per second by a software system can be called a metric. MSPs have abundant data but no metrics. Metrics are real insights that make the data meaningful. Also, metrics can help find the performance issues and reach the bottleneck of a service issue. However, monitoring solutions used by MSPs offer ample data but no metrics, which results in poor observability.
  • How can we ignore traces, which are the third pillar of observability? Within an IT infrastructure, a request passes through multiple nodes and software systems. The path taken by a request from initiation to approval is called a trace. If you know the normal traces of requests within the IT infrastructure, you can boost observability. It means you know the exact path that is to be taken by a request. If any request shows an abnormal path, you can quickly get to know. However, traditional monitoring solutions used by MSPs do not offer ample trace data to work with.
  • In recent years, there has been a vast increase in logs, metrics, and tracesgenerated by companies. Companies rely on MSPs to manage this increase in their IT infrastructure. MSPs find it hard to manage this increase in the data produced within the IT infrastructure of their customers. MSPs don’t have the workforce to manage the increase in data. Manual monitoring of the IT infrastructure isn’t working out for MSPs.

As you can see, there are several challenges to ensuring high observability for MSPs. For the same reason, MSPs are now shifting towards AIOps (Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations) to learn more about their IT infrastructure and software systems. Many MSPs have already boosted their observability levels after using AIOps-led monitoring solutions.

Role of AIOps to boost observability

AIOps is a proven solution to enhance the observability level of any software system or the entire IT infrastructure. An AIOps-based analytics platform can help MSPs to collect data and know more about the IT infrastructure of their clients/customers. How an AIOps-based monitoring solution boost observability is as follows:

  • Collect data rigorously

Be it log data or telemetry data; everything will be collected by an AIOps-based analytics platform. The best part of using an AIOps-led monitoring solution is that MSPs can collect data from all sources. When you have data from all sources, you can know more about the performance of crucial software systems. One may think about how AIOps collects data from all sources at all times.

An AIOps-led monitoring solution will automatically collect data from different sources at all times. Even if no IT professional is present at the premises, an AIOps-based will still collect data from different sources. It happens because an AIOps-based analytics platform runs on predictive analytics models that are trained to perform tasks without any human support.

  • Real-time insights

AIOps does not only collect data from different sources. It also finds relationships and patterns between the data sets to generate rich insights. When MSPs get access to insights, they can achieve high observability in the true sense. From metrics to performance insights, you will have everything to work with. Any unusual activity shown by any software system can be reported in real-time with an AIOps-based analytics platform.

  • Proactive anomaly detection

When you achieve high observability, you can detect threats and incidents even before they happen. AIOps finds unusual patterns within software systems and IT infrastructure and predicts threats. If the software isn’t working up to its standards, you can know something is fishy.

Gone are the days when MSPs could boost observability with manual monitoring of the IT infrastructure. Since manual monitoring is no longer feasible, MSPs have to shift their focus toward AIOps. Start using AIOps-led solutions to boost the observability level!

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