According to Gartner, AIOps (artificial intelligence for IT operations) “combines big data and machine learning to automate IT operations processes”. This means that it is a next-generation solution to monitoring and maintaining the network. It is the practical application of artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance, support and automate IT operations. AIOps uses analytics and machine learning (ML) to monitor and analyse complex streaming data in real time, helping teams detect and react to potential issues more quickly.

Duxbury Networking recognises that, as IT systems continue to evolve and grow, their scale and complexity are becoming increasingly difficult to manage. “We see that, because of the huge volumes of data these systems generate, there is a critical need for intelligent monitoring and analysis tools that will help organisations avoid missed alerts, opportunities and, of course, excessive downtime,” says Paul Stuttard, CEO, Cape, at Duxbury Networking — local distributors for Extreme Networks technology.

AIOps is a highly desired capability for the newer generation of data-driven IT professionals, when it comes to managing their networks. Stuttard explains that many of its customers are in the process of moving to the cloud in various parts of their network. The goal is for everyone to leverage this move, since the cloud facilitates the easy capturing and manipulation of data by applying ML algorithms.”

With this in mind, Duxbury is holding events in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban where it will introduce customers to the features and benefits of ExtremeCloud IQ. “This comes off the back of the webinar recently hosted by Extreme Networks that explored the importance of AIOps and how it’s reshaping the way IT teams operate,” says Stuttard.

Extreme’s cloud network management platform — ExtremeCloud IQ —unifies AIOps across wired, wireless, and software-defined wide area (SD-WAN) networks. Last year, Extreme unveiled an addition to ExtremeCloud IQ called IQ Co-Pilot. As the name implies, just like a copilot helps fly an airplane, the solution is designed to assist IT admins. IQ CoPilot combines everything admins need on one screen, explains potential network issues, and makes recommendations based on the data it verifies.

The solution rolled out to customers in September 2022, with some key features like anomaly detection. This capability uses ML to monitor Extreme cloud-based wired and wireless devices for anomalies. It then alerts IT, explains why the anomaly was identified, and provides best options for resolution. IQ CoPilot also has a GTAC case creation, which allows IT to engage directly with Extreme’s support team for more difficult issues.

IQ CoPilot can be accessed via the Companion mobile app for AIOps; hence, IT admins can monitor their networks from anywhere. The free app is available for download on iOS and Android devices. It ties everything together and untethers admins from their desks.

One of the newest capabilities Extreme recently introduced in IQ CoPilot is a digital twin. It allows IT to validate devices in a sandbox environment and test out configuration changes without having to physically deploy them. In other words, admins can make any modifications to simulated devices without impacting the network.

The digital twin feature is included in IQ CoPilot and doesn’t require a separate licence. During the next release cycle, in 2024, Duxbury’s Extreme customers will be able to create a digital twin in the cloud and push its configurations down to a physical device.

When thinking about AIOps, Extreme’s panel of experts advised organisations to start in the cloud, where all the data is captured. It’s important not to overlook data governance and who can access the data. At Extreme, only a handful of engineers have access to data that is anonymised. ExtremeCloud IQ, which manages millions of network devices daily, is certified by the International Standards Organization (ISO) for information security.

Lastly, implementing ML/AI will help automate detection and resolution of network problems, saving the organisation time and resources. Most importantly, the experience will improve for both the end users and the IT team.

“We encourage our customers in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban to register to attend the ExtremeCloud IQ events by following the links below. We will unpack the benefits of ExtremeCloud IQ with respect to AIOps,” says Stuttard.

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