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Virtual Instruments wants AI to manage your data center
by Max Smolaks
by Max Smolaks 4 September 2019
American software developer Virtual
Instruments has launched a major update to VirtualWisdom, its software suite
for AI-assisted data center management.
The company is a trailblazer in the emerging AIOps field, believing that server farms are best managed in partnership with algorithms that can sift through reams of logs and metrics to find ways to reduce IT infrastructure costs or identify issues that could cause downtime down the line.
“AIOps is an umbrella term and it can mean
everything from doing pattern recognition in terms of IT operations, to applying
various algorithms to the management of IT. Our approach is somewhat unique in
that there’s application of purposeful algorithmic intelligence depending on
the circumstances,” John Gentry, CTO of Virtual Instruments, told AI Business.
“At the core, the platform has a machine
learning engine, and everything is based on understanding what is the normal
behavior in the environment and being able to recognize anomalies.
“And then the application of AI in that
context relates to very specific use cases: whether that’s looking at causality
between trends that are happening in conjunction and understanding the
relationships involved, or whether that’s running simulations to balance
workloads and look for optimal placement of workloads in the environment.
“It really depends on what we’re solving
for, based on our experience, with a combination of statistical analysis,
heuristics, machine learning – all brought to bear against the problem.”
The company started out as a provider of infrastructure
monitoring, but embraced machine learning technologies in 2014, and eventually built
its own WisdomAI engine.
Among other things, the VirtualWisdom platform
can forecast future consumption of resources like memory, compute and storage;
it can help IT teams understand where specifically their applications reside
and optimize application performance by moving workloads when appropriate. All
of this functionality works across both on-premise infrastructure and public
Version 6.2 of VirtualWisdom adds brand new features like the Workload RightSizer, which can suggest the exact configuration of virtual machines based on the applications they are running, and even create a script that can be fed into change management software like ServiceNow to tweak configurations on-the-fly. Eventually, Virtual Instruments hopes to fully automate this process.
Another new addition is the Drift Analyzer,
which can warn when changes in application behavior are anomalous and deliver
real-time alerts to restore application performance.
There are updates to predictive capacity
management and proactive dashboards that support annotation,
linking, and smart naming; and finally, WorkloadWisdom
gets full integration with Dell EMC’s Isilon, the venerable family of
enterprise storage appliances that has been a data center mainstay for almost