AIOps Exchange 2019: Reflections on the Event

I attended the inaugural AIOps Exchange event last week in San Francisco. It was a great start for an organization dedicated to shaping the future of the use of artificial intelligence in IT operations. Here is how they describe themselves in an excerpt from the AIOps Exchange website:

“AIOps Exchange is a private forum where IT industry thought leaders, influencers and C-level executives come together to share their insights on the best use of artificial intelligence in enterprise IT Operations. Our invitation-only events are committed to the private exchange of ideas on trending topics such as digital transformation, service assurance and business agility. No product pitches. No sales people. No press. AIOps Exchange participants are defining the future of AIOps while helping each other to scale and accelerate business growth.”

The organization was founded by Moogsoft CEO Phil Tee, who has excellent taste in shoes. The day-long meeting was a collaboration among AIOps practitioners, vendors, and anyone with a genuine interest in supporting the mission of the group. (No salespeople and no media, which was greatly appreciated by everyone else.) It was a lot of frank discussion not only about the great possibilities for AIOps but also about the real challenges of AIOps.

One of the refreshing aspects for me was the honest, non-markety dialogue that acknowledged you can’t just throw a bunch of events at artificial intelligence tools and expect them to magically repair your IT environment. It’s exactly those expectations, often set by vendors, that lead to the disappointment experienced in so many AIOps deployments. Conversely, at the AIOps Exchange conference, the discussions were about setting realistic expectations, starting with small projects to increase the chances of success, and winning support for AIOps within your organization.

The featured keynote speaker was Nancy Gohring of 451 Research, who was probably the smartest person in the room (no offense to anyone else), and who was the highlight of the day. She is a great speaker and provided insightful enterprise survey data on the ambitions and realities of artificial intelligence in IT operations.

Why was I at the AIOps Exchange conference? First, because AIOps is no doubt becoming a key ingredient in modern IT Ops and DevOps recipes. Second, because Zenoss recently announced a new set of capabilities, introducing the powerful combination of full-stack monitoring and AIOps. This release was the continuation of strategic capabilities Zenoss has been developing since the launch of Zenoss Cloud in mid-2018.

Stand-alone AIOps tools also rely solely on processed event data. The strength of most AIOps tools is in the analytics, while the shortcomings are usually associated with the blind spots that come from having no visibility into other types of machine data. Evaluating only event data has proven to be of limited use for accelerating problem resolution in all but the simplest environments.

Zenoss Cloud now delivers robust AIOps analytics capabilities for all data types, including metrics, dependency data, events and streaming data. This means eliminating the number one problem AIOps tools have experienced thus far — limited context due to the lack of cardinality in the data they’re analyzing. Zenoss Cloud provides unprecedented context and unprecedented acceleration of problem resolution.

Zenoss was named a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Intelligent Application and Service Monitoring, Q2 2019. Zenoss has extended that leadership with this addition of AIOps to its full-stack monitoring platform.