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What is IT Operations Analytics (ITOA)?

August 29, 2019

In the world of information technology, data has become the fundamental currency that holds the highest value. IT Operations Analytics (ITOA) represents one of the largest and richest sources of fresh and actionable data. Many automated tools can be used to make sense of all the information that comes from day-to-day IT operations, from log to agent to wire data. Drawing from the now vital Big Data principles, ITOA has the power to provide any organization with all the much-needed agility in generating smart and useful business insights which support data-driven and proactive operations.

IT Operations Analytics is an endless source of valuable data

Data must be mined, collected, stored, and analyzed to bear its fruits – but it’s a fundamental resource that fuels the whole digital economy and drives informed actions and decisions. Much like gold that is mined from mountains and stored inside vaults, data represents an important capital that increases the practical and potential value of a business. Companies which can “move around” larger quantities of this critical asset have a definite edge over their competitors.

However, many companies do not realize that they’re just sitting on a literal goldmine of data since every IT operation that is performed on a daily basis is a source of useful information. Data can be gathered from monitoring live running infrastructures, hypervisors, and software agents running in real-time to evaluate resource usage and OS functions, as well as the ever-useful application and network logs. ITOA means making the best out of all this, and much more. Information gathered this way can be used for a broad range of applications – the simplest and most direct of which, improving the efficiency of an organization’s infrastructure by enabling more optimized management of IT resources.

ITOA as a means to improve efficiency and security, and to enhance problem-solving

Collecting and monitoring logs to prevent abnormalities is a hands-on approach that most IT Operations and DevOps teams include among their best practices today – and for obvious reasons. Integrating ITOA means staying one step ahead of problems by proactively analyzing operations data to identify troublesome patterns and potential threats. As events and service issues are detected earlier, they can be diagnosed, prioritized, and resolved more rapidly and efficiently, and with the help of a solid log management software such as Graylog, solving known or common problems can even be automated. In a nutshell, ITOA is the quickest route to obtain enhanced IT insight and maximize your operational efficiency across the board right out of the box.

ITOA can also significantly enhance security and provide a lifeline in case of breaches. Think about this – your network is attacked by a botnet that found a vulnerability in your systems. As a massive DDoS attack ensues, your first and foremost priority is to mitigate the damage by pinpointing the issue as quickly as you can. Finding the root cause can take hours or days, especially if your infrastructure is complex enough (different networks, use of highly diversified hardware, etc.). By integrating every aspect of your IT operations, ITOA and log analysis provides a holistic view of the whole picture that can help you spot any difference among past and current logs, and detect the problem. Even better, this approach can help you know about your current exposure and act accordingly. 

Graylog and the importance of the right tools for ITOA

ITOA can be made even more effective than it is with the application of the right tools to leverage big data analytics. Together with technologies and software specialized in extracting and processing massive amounts of information such as NoSQL, Hadoop, or ExtraHop, Graylog can be used to improve the time to detection of issues, enhance the performance of a system, and perform statistical analysis of data trends. Graylog is a fantastically effective weapon in your arsenal if you want to search, monitor, and analyze machine-generated data in real-time with a simple and comprehensive interface. Thanks to its ability to integrate seamlessly and naturally with third-party software, it can be used to generate a broad array of dashboards, reports, alerts, and insights. 

Compared to some of the popular alternatives available now, Graylog does not suffer from the bottleneck problems that are common to its many competitors. First thing first, Graylog’s agile technical design is able to take full advantage of any hardware potential since it supports extensive multithreading within a system and query distribution across systems.  

Rather than forcing you to fumble your way across awkwardly siloed categories to make correlations across different IT categories, Graylog pursues a much more centralized, accelerated approach. All information is merged into a single, simplified interface that reflects service performance (measured by metrics), which is also readily accessible since it doesn’t require you to conduct services via a formal query language. Instead, our software supports queries through a standard GUI, allowing your technical team to be productive without training, driving down operational costs by just another notch.

Final thoughts

ITOA is a vital solution to extract those valuable insights buried in piles of highly articulated data, and a powerful asset to sift through all the complexities of the Big Data. Solid logging tools such as Graylog can be used to move log management from retroactive analysis to real-time analysis. In a nutshell,  using Graylog to enhance your ITOA operations can help your organization take a step from the past into the future.



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