Putting AIOps with SASE to Use

Elana Marom
February 28, 2021

Note: This is the second post following AIOps and SASE – A Match Made in the Cloud.

The introduction of SASE to the market is enabling enterprises to realize the potential of AIOps, bringing IT operations to a whole new level. Let’s recall the three qualities of AIOps Gartner defined: observe (gathering and monitoring data); engage (understanding and analyzing the data); act (automating actions and responding to problems). SASE improves all these qualities, creating use cases with a clear impact on the business. Here’s how:

1 – Observe Use Case: Intelligent Alerting

Technologies come and go, but data is here to stay. And the volume of data is only increasing, with alerts pouring down noisily on IT. IDC predicts that by 2025, data will grow by 61% reaching 175 zettabytes(!) of data worldwide. Now that’s a lot of data…

Even if IT uses AIOps techniques somehow, without the right network architecture, there’s no intelligent way to gather and monitor massive amounts of data. On top of the challenge of collecting and inspecting data, Computer Weekly recently discussed the struggle IT leaders have with the increasing volumes of alerts, where 99% claim that this is causing problems for their teams, and 83% admit their IT staff is suffering from alert fatigue.

Elad Menahem, our Director of Security, explains this well: “Security analysts face a daily flood of security alerts most of which are simply irrelevant. These false positives result in alert fatigue that leads security professionals to block access to legitimate business resources or simply disable their defenses, increasing the risk of infection.”

We all know the undesirable result of the boy who cried wolf. This is where AIOps with SASE can make a difference. A SASE vendor gathers and stores all data in a big data repository. With full visibility into the entire network, the SASE vendor then provides ongoing monitoring of all traffic, using AIOps to make sense of the data and alerting IT only when needed. Mostly, not alerting IT when it’s not needed. Intelligent alerting reduces alert fatigue and helps IT prioritize attention to what matters most.

2 – Engage Use Case: Root Cause Analysis

Gathering and monitoring data is just the beginning; IT also needs a way to analyze the data in order to find the root cause of a problem. In today’s complex, fragmented network environment, finding the root cause is complex accordingly. A problem can originate from a specific issue or device, or stem from several different events together, but there’s no effective way of uncovering the source within a fragmented architecture.

With SASE complexity goes away. IT can easily view past alerts in a focused context without any noise. Pinpointing problems becomes simple, quick, and accurate. In addition, real-time monitoring provides immediate visibility into the entire network, enabling IT to determine if a problem persists or not.

can also receive alerts together with an analysis, explaining why a specific conclusion was reached. This allows IT to further investigate the root cause of a problem and provide input in order to feed the AI/ML engine for optimizing detection and analysis capabilities moving forward.

3 – Act Use Case: Proactive Incident Detection

Intelligent alerting and root cause analysis facilitate accurate and effective response. AIOps with SASE delivers automated notifications to IT regarding incidents that need attention. Anomaly detection capabilities can alert IT of irregular, suspicious network behavior, so that IT is aware of any potential trouble. This accelerates remediation capabilities with a workflow process that’s already in place, calling for IT intervention only if and when needed.

AIOps with SASE enables IT to adopt a proactive approach to problem detection, adding optimization rules, fine-tuning alert thresholds, tightening security, and so on. Rather than merely reacting to incidents, IT can now predict problems even before they occur, ensuring seamless user experience and directing resources to core business initiatives.

Next Great Leap for IT

AIOps utilizes AI/ML to help IT manage networking and security effectively, in a way that truly supports the digital business. Enterprises that have already implemented SASE as their underlying network will be able to realize the full potential of AIOps, moving past the typical IT benchmarks of uptime and availability.

A SASE network supports a closed feedback loop, where IT can easily see the effectiveness of their actions, way before hearing about a problem from an annoyed end user. Guesstimating, hoping, and praying, are replaced with monitoring, understanding, and acting accordingly. AIOps with SASE empowers IT teams of the future to focus their efforts and skills around the most significant business metrics such as user satisfaction, revenue generation, and growth acceleration.

 

Elana Marom

Elana Marom is a full stack marketer with over 20 years of experience in both startups and enterprises. As Director of Product Marketing at Cato Networks, Elana is passionate about raising awareness for SASE and helping customers leverage its value to prepare their business for whatever is next.