Zenoss Chief Product Officer Trent Fitz was recently featured on the "Tech Talks Daily" podcast, hosted by Neil Hughes. Trent is a pioneer in the realm of AIOps with over two decades of experience in artificial intelligence, cloud computing and cybersecurity. His expertise in cloud computing has significantly influenced his work with AIOps, especially in managing the increasing complexity of cloud-based infrastructure.
The Evolution of Infrastructure Management
During the conversation, Trent shared his insights on the significant changes he has witnessed in infrastructure management over the years. The emergence of mobile, cloud computing, and now artificial intelligence have revolutionized the way we live and do business. And the level and rate of innovation have accelerated, making every company a technology company.
To help listeners better understand AIOps, Trent drew an analogy with the emergence of security information and event management (SIEM) solutions in the early 2000s. Just as the centralization and consolidation of log and event data helped with cybersecurity, AIOps aims to centralize and correlate events to identify health and performance issues in infrastructure and applications.
The first generation of AIOps focused on dealing with the complexity of multiple monitoring tools and using machine learning to derive insights. However, the second generation of AIOps tools, which emerged around 2018-2019, saw monitoring vendors leveraging machine learning and algorithms to provide more context and reliably identify issues.
Navigating the AIOps Tool Landscape
Trent also discussed the challenges customers face when trying to navigate the AIOps tool landscape. He compared it to going to a grocery store to buy apples — there are many different types of apples to choose from, but they are all apples. However, when searching for AIOps tools, it's difficult for customers to discern one type from another as vendors may claim to be apples but could actually be oranges, bananas, broccoli or even Spam.
To avoid pitfalls, Trent advises customers to examine their own use cases and match them to the vendor's capabilities. He emphasizes the importance of doing thorough research, creating a shortlist of vendors, and conducting proofs of concept to ensure the right fit.
AIOps and Data Security
Trent also touched on how AIOps intersects with data security and compliance. He explained that AIOps, born out of the security realm, has now been refined and applied to other areas of the business. AIOps is now used in sales, marketing, risk management and more, as well as in security and compliance use cases. He highlighted that AIOps is not just about technology insights but will also deliver business insights in the future, acting as a powerful human brain.
Advice for Aspiring Tech Professionals
When asked about advice for those considering a career in tech, Trent suggested getting a data science degree for those early in their journey. However, for those already beyond that stage, he recommended working for smaller companies to gain exposure to a variety of roles and responsibilities.
To learn more, listen to the full episode, "From Cloud to AI: The Evolution of IT Infrastructure."