In increasingly hybrid environments, monitoring requires a high level of interconnection to ensure the highest visibility on the performance of IT services supporting the business. This is why IT automation has become an essential part of monitoring on three levels: deployment of monitoring thanks to auto-discovery tools, interfacing with IT automation tools and resolution and/or prevention of incidents. This post covers the multifaceted role automation plays to enable connected monitoring.

Automation, the new essential component of IT monitoring

The principle of IT automation is centered around automating the creation of instructions and processes in IT systems in order to reduce and/or replace non-value-added and time-consuming tasks.

Automation is a key aspect of upgrading an IT system. Applied to IT monitoring, it’s about ensuring elements are found or deployed, configured, and checked faster, with minimal human intervention. It is all the more critical since there are constantly new elements to monitor, with continuous innovation to make the IT system more agile. 

Organizations are well aware of how critical automation is. Automating IT monitoring is the 2nd highest priority for I&Os worldwide in terms of IT monitoring for the next two years. Source: State of IT Monitoring 2021-2023.

Connecting your monitoring platform therefore requires connectors to quickly extend your monitoring capacity, automation features to monitor dynamic technology environments (Cloud, containers, SD-WAN, SaaS applications, WiFi hotspots, etc.), integration capabilities with the main IT automation tools or with other IT tools, and AIOps features to build an observability platform.

This monitoring automation approach results in:

  • Eliminating repetitive tasks, allowing teams to focus on activities with real added value for the Lines of Business.
  • Eliminating manual processes or unnecessary delays to deliver services faster and more reliably.
  • Improving the overall quality of services delivered with adapted practices and higher anticipation.
  • Improving security of your monitoring system.
  • Cost optimization through fewer errors and less time wasted.

Connectors and Auto-Discovery engine: the winning combo 

Monitoring automation starts with the ability to organize complex hybrid environments by automating the discovery of new systems to be monitored. Ensuring your monitoring system is always up-to-date is the keystone of IT monitoring performance.

Centreon's Auto-Discovery engine helps by automatically assigning groups of Hosts, Categories and Severity. It pairs with a library of over 500 connectors to let you automatically query, explore, detect, configure, categorize, and monitor multiple infrastructure domains. You can therefore monitor Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Compute services, Kubernetes and VmWare clusters, Nutanix servers, SD-WAN Versa Director, Cisco Meraki and VmWare VeloCloud networks, WiFi networks such as Aruba for example.

I&O is evolving towards Agile and DevOps practices to increase responsiveness, reduce delivery times and increase flexibility. We need monitoring to quickly integrate all types of Agile and DevOps tools and to develop synergies with these tools. "

Nirina Razafimandimby – Ministry of Justice – Read the full story

Connecting with automation tools

Naturally, IT automation is not just about discovering new hardware or environments faster. The other key aspect of automation is to rely on the interoperability of a monitoring system to connect with the rest of the ITOps stack, therefore connecting with IT automation tools. 

59% of businesses admit they are not entirely satisfied with their current monitoring tools, the main reason for dissatisfaction being that their tools do not integrate well with other IT tools. Source: State of IT Monitoring 2021-2023.

By using APIs, Centreon integrates monitoring with the IT automation platform, such as Ansible. The aim is to improve IT service orchestration with low-code APIs that work like "Lego blocks" that can be assembled to collect and deliver data. Automation and integration with automation tools is what provides the holistic view to understand and manage the IT system.

"We are integrating more and more databases (such as Oracle for example) and we are also interfacing Centreon with tools such as IBM's PowerSystem for corebanking solutions under AS400. We have also created a portal to consolidate all Centreon's information feedback to customers. "

François Philippo – Econocom – Read the full story

Automating incident prevention, detection and resolution with AI: a new step into the future... 

Most ITOps are connecting or are considering connecting their monitoring system with their ITSM tools to make incident handling smoother, but with AI, they can go further.

This is what Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are all about. These technologies lead to automation, increasing efficiency and resilience. It is indispensable in modern IT environments. 

The Centreon Anomaly Detection feature relies on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to identify malfunctions and unusual behaviors. This is a great tool to go beyond thresholds, and their much decried shortcomings.

“We set up the necessary monitoring, thresholds and alerts, and we forward Centreon’s alerts into a hypervisor which can be accessed by our management teams, who are in charge of level 1 support. They receive the alerts, characterize incidents following the defined procedures and then transmit the information to the relevant teams who take action to resolve the incident. "

Morgan Berton - HubOne - Read the full story

Centreon's Cloud-Augmented architecture also incorporates an Auto-Suggestion feature that assists ITOps by suggesting a list of relevant metrics for which to use Anomaly Detection. Such an approach opens up great prospects in terms of monitoring system automation and performance in a world where agility and connectivity are more and more required...

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