Dell building AIOps capability so IT infrastructure can look after itself

Dell has announced CloudIQ support for its PowerEdge servers and PowerSwitch networking gear, meaning that CloudIQ predictive analytics covers Dell’s IT infrastructure product range, providing level-3 conditional automation AIOps.

CloudIQ is an AI and machine learning-based cloud service monitoring and predictive analytics application, available as a SaaS offering for Dell’s IT infrastructure. Servers, storage, networking, etc. products in Dell’s product range are fitted with sensors which send state and activity information to CloudIQ. The software then analyses the patterns in the trillions of data points to check if a customer’s infrastructure components are working optimally and whether they are running out of any resource.

A blog by Jeff Boudreau, Dell’s President and General Manager for the Infrastructure Solutions Group, says Dell is delivering the path to autonomous operations with CloudIQ. It has: “intelligent AIOps capabilities and now covers the breadth of the Dell Technologies infrastructure portfolio, setting the stage for new levels of automation for autonomous operations and delivering up to 10x faster time to resolution.“

AIOps — or Artificial Intelligence for Operations — is a way of using AI software to analyse collected data points from an IT system and recognise if it is operating within or outside optimal limits for such things as performance, SLA matching, resource capacity and other things. The software can predict, based on past trends, what might happen and suggests that, for example, a virtual machine’s protection status needs uprating or a network switch needs more bandwidth.

A fully autonomous system would use AIOps to look after itself but that desired end state will be reached via steps on a pathway. Dell defines five such steps: 

Boudreau says: “With AIOps-driven autonomous operations as part of your IT strategy, you get deeper access to operational data and the ability to act on it through automation at the infrastructure level.” This enables existing technical staff to be deployed elsewhere

As Dell has added its servers and network switches to CloudIQ, “This means that IT ops teams now have one UI and a single source of health notifications and recommended actions, real-time reports, and AI/ML-driven analytics for their entire fleet of Dell systems across all locations. CloudIQ also monitors data protection in public clouds and storage-as-a-Service as a key component of the Dell Technologies APEX Console and with APEX Data Storage Services.”

Boudreau says: “The combined intelligence of CloudIQ and the Dell EMC infrastructure portfolio supports up to Level 3 of the autonomous operations model for a sizeable and growing number of IT administration use cases.”

CloudIQ can integrate with third-party tools such as with tools like ServiceNow, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Ansible and vRealize, and provide them with its data and recommended resolutions to problems. This parallels what Infinidat has been doing with its InfiniBox-focussed AIOps and third-party integrations.

There is, as yet, no information about how Dell could move up to level-4 autonomous operations, and that would be a heck of a large step to make.

You can find out more about Dell’s ideas around autonomous operations by watching and listening to young Luke Skywalker, sorry, actor and voice-over man Mark Hamill moderate a panel in a Dell event entitled “Autonomous Operations: The Path to Your Digital Future” being held on September 22 and 23.

And remember, the AIOps force is strong in that one.