Trident Blog

AI and automation are the new MVPs in your networking team

Gavin May - Thursday, April 30, 2020
AI and automation are the new MVPs in your networking team 

Every technology team is constantly being asked to do more with less. As the economic effects of Covid-19 continue throughout 2020 and beyond, this trend for efficiency is likely to continue.

At the same time, our networks have never been asked to do more. We are constantly being tasked with connecting new devices and applications. The sheer complexity of today’s management is troubling to even the most experienced of network administrators. 

Luckily, we’re now seeing an increase in automation, AI and machine learning (ML) capabilities being introduced into our network management solutions. With the ability to automate a portion of our daily network operations, can these technologies enable us to focus more on driving business outcomes? 

The newest and most valuable member of your team 

The average networking team can get flooded with network issues every day that need their attention. Between calls, emails and tickets about devices that won’t connect and applications that can’t perform basic tasks, today’s network admins are under the pump. 

Often the problem starts with a simple RF problem which quickly spirals into a situation that takes up half of another day. The next thing we know, we’re having to make visits to remote sites to conduct analysis while spending hours on the phone with a vendor’s technical support. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a dedicated member of your team who worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week to spot problems, make decisions, and resolve network issues - all without pay, sleep or food? Would they be your network team’s most valuable player (MVP)? 

This is essentially what we now see from some of today’s more mature networking tools. With AI and intelligent automation tools that are specifically designed for busy IT teams, they can now offer fast and proactive solutions for their end users. 

This trend is part of a growing group of solutions that Gartner has called AIOps - the application of machine learning and data science to IT operations problems. These solutions are proving so popular that the use of AIOps and digital experience monitoring tools to monitor applications, infrastructure and networks is on track to rise from 5% back in 2018 to 30% in 2023. 

Machine learning seems tailor made for network management because networks deal with large amounts of big data. Where other forms of AI would only deal with sample sets of data, ML tools actually feed on data - the more complex your network is, the faster the application learns. 

So, what are some the common scenarios these AIOps tools could help us with in our networks? 

Poor user connectivity – With AI-enabled dashboards, IT admins can immediately see the connectivity health of every user, including the device they are using and which software the device is running for troubleshooting. 

Poor overall network performance – AI and ML-powered tools can identify the precise source of performance issues and recommend actions for network administrators to optimise performance and restore normal operation as quickly as possible. 

Lack of local connectivity – Access points are can often be the cause of the connectivity problems in different locations within a network. Rather than trying to guess whether the AP is the problem, AI allows you to quickly move into problem solving mode. 

Getting your hands on a network MVP doesn’t require you to undertake a rigorous recruitment program or talent search. With Aruba Central you can leverage the network platform itself to do heavy lifting, saving yourself valuable time. 

This cloud-managed, networking-operations platform relies on AI to analyse log and telemetry data about infrastructure devices, traffic, performance and problems. The platform improves its understanding of your network through continuous learning and generates recommended actions that network admins can use to proactively fix problems and optimise experiences. 

At Trident, we have extensive experience in designing and deploying high performing networks for organisations of every size. As an Aruba Gold partner, we bring a consultative approach to creating the ideal network solution for reducing complexity and improving performance. If you would like to discuss the network challenges your organisation faces, please feel free to get in touch with us today.


 

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