VMware has announced it will acquire Blue Medora, a provider of a service for integrating data collected by IT monitoring tools, to expand its efforts to advance the adoption of artificial intelligence to automate IT operations (AIOps).
Roy Ritthaler, vice president of cloud management for VMware, said Blue Medora provides VMware with a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that is employed to inform VMware vRealize, an IT automation suite that is now being used by more than 400 customers.
The data Blue Medora collects will also be employed within Project Magna, a research and development initiative that applies machine learning algorithms and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate IT operations, he said. Project Magna is based on a reinforcement learning engine that automates the tuning of multiple sub-components of the overall IT environment, resulting in what VMware calls “self-driving data centers.”
Ritthaler said the goal is not to replace IT professionals as much as it is to eliminate rote tasks while making it easier to manage increasingly complex IT environments at scale. It then will become feasible for a smaller number of IT professionals to manage hybrid cloud computing environments, he noted.
Blue Medora’s True Visibility Suite provides VMware with visibility not just into IT infrastructure but also all the way up the application stack.
Ritthaler said it’s only a matter of time before most management frameworks are accessed as service, given all the data that needs to be collected and then analyzed to surface meaningful insights. It’s not clear how roles with IT organizations will evolve once those insights are surfaced regularly. Most enterprise IT organizations today rely on multiple specialists to optimize all the components that make up the IT environment. In theory, AIOps will make it possible for IT generalists to manage an IT environment without having to rely on so many specialists.
AIOps undoubtedly will also have a profound impact on DevOps processes. As more IT operations become automated, the amount of time and effort spent managing IT infrastructure should decline.
Interest in IT automation is on the rise in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. With many IT professionals working from home as much as possible, organizations are looking to automate rote IT processes to make them easier to manage remotely. In many cases, achieving that goal will require IT teams to rely more on tools that are accessed as a cloud service.
Regardless of the path forward, it’s apparent the management of IT is about to be utterly transformed.
It’s not that IT organizations will suddenly have a greater appreciation of IT automation. However, the pandemic has added more urgency to an IT transition that was already underway prior to the pandemic. The issue now is not so much whether to embrace IT automation as it is determining what can be automated for a consistent outcome across IT environments that frequently are made up of a diverse yet not especially well-integrated range of platforms.