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The road towards self-healing systems, step three

You reach the highest possible level of monitoring and maintaining IT systems is when these systems regulate themselves. But the road to self-healing systems isn’t always an easy one. In our previous blog posts, we described the first steps towards self-healing. From monitoring to observability, and from observability to self-learning. This is the road towards self-healing systems, step 3: from self-learning to self-healing.

A self-healing system is capable of making its own decisions. In short, a self-healing system is capable of monitoring its state, automatically optimizing it and adapting it to changes in its environment. It’s the holy grail in systems management, a system that is never down. A self-healing system is fault-tolerant, as it is capable of producing the appropriate response to changes in its environment. Including recuperation from failure. But self-healing system isn’t available off the shelf. Its self-healing capacity is something the system needs to learn.

Solving repetitive problems

In a world that strongly depends on mission-critical IT systems, preventing systems from failing is a top priority for every IT organization. In our previous blog posts, we described how we put monitoring systems in place to keep track of what’s going on in the IT environment. But while traditional monitoring systems consider the environment they guard as a black box, modern, more sophisticated monitoring tools are able to add a lot more information to their reports.

That’s when the term ‘observability’ comes into play. Tools taking a closer look on the log files of the system’s life signs and ‘observing’ the situations that caused alerts, allowing for better, more precise action. Observability leads to self-learning, the next step on the road to self-healing. In this context, self-learning reflects the system’s ability to ‘remember’ every error that it observed and solved. As a result, based on machine learning technology, the system learns to solve repetitive problems.

The road towards self-healing systems, step 3

As we described in our previous blog post, a self-learning system is an adaptive system whose operation algorithm is worked out and improved by a learning process that is based on trial and error. As the system makes trial changes in the algorithm, it simultaneously monitors the results of these changes. This way, the system learns how to correctly interpret situations – and the actions they require. It leads to systems management that has more emphasis on prevention than on remediation.

Following that path leads us to the concept of the self-healing system. As the system continues to gather more and more log files, it also continues to train its machine learning algorithms against these files. A new type of incident may still require the attention of a human systems administrator. But as the system keeps learning from every new event, it is capable of solving more and more issues without any human intervention, ultimately leading to a fully autonomous, self-healing system.

Time and budget savings

Step by step, the IT department can apply the concept of self-healing systems throughout the entire server and storage environment. In stead of spending resources on firefighting, they can allocate the time and money they save on projects that help make the difference from a business perspective. Such as innovation!

Learn more about self-healing systems during our free seminar on April 30! Stay tuned.

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