New Relic at a FutureStack 2017 conference unveiled an instance of its monitoring tools that employs machine learning technologies and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) to provide advice on how to optimize an IT environment.
Nadya Duke Boone, director of product management for New Relic, says New Relic Applied Intelligence (NRAI) will be made available as part of the company’s Digital Intelligence Platform. In addition, New Relic is making available three dedicated NRAI capabilities in the form of Radar, NRQL Baseline Alerting and New Relic APM Error Profiles services. These services are designed to help IT operations teams spot abnormal behavior across billions of pieces of data and predict where problems may arise. The services ultimately will surface prescriptive recommendations for problems before they occur.
The goal, says Duke Boone, is to leverage New Relic’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) approach to IT monitoring tools democratize access to AI technologies. That’s possible, she says, because of the massive amount of data New Relic collects. That data is then fed into machine learning algorithms to detect patterns indicative of a variety of potential issues.
Duke Boone says that intelligence is then delivered as a personalized Radar news feed that is similar to a social media news feed. That news alert might, for example, might inform an IT administrator that, based on characteristics of their IT environment, an issue is likely to arise. IT operations teams also have the option to integrate that Radar news feed with a collaboration platform such as Slack to alert the rest of the IT operations team to a potential issue.
NRQL Baseline Alerting allows IT operations team to set thresholds for specific applications that when exceeded will generate an alert. New Relic APM Error Profiles allows IT administrators to launch queries against NRAI to detect potential issues that might arise from outlier applications in the IT environment, adds Duke Boone.
New Relic doesn’t see AI replacing IT operations teams as much as augmenting them, Duke Boone notes. Most organizations can’t hire enough IT staff to manage their IT environment. As those IT environments become more complex, it’s becoming clear that IT professionals will need to leverage AI technologies to keep all the applications they deployed running optimally, she says.
New Relic has been investing extensively in AI ever since it previewed these capabilities in the form of a Project Seymour initiative it revealed last year. Now the company and its rivals are locked in an arms race to develop and implement machine learning algorithms that should enable IT operations teams to manage applications at unprecedented levels of scale.
In some quarters AI is viewed as an existential threat to the IT operations teams. In reality, AI will be used to automatically resolve low-level issues that collectively conspire to rob IT organizations of the time they need to focus on new innovative ideas that add value to the business. In fact, assuming many of those issues will be soon disappear it’s conceivable that all the drudgery associated with managing IT today made soon just fade away.