AIOps: Autopilot

The Autopilot module of OmniCenter’s AIOps feature automates and monitors administrative configuration tasks within the OmniCenter virtual appliance. Many operational and administrative issues that arise from suboptimal or broken configuration settings can be automatically fixed or avoided altogether through the use of this module.

(Only users with SuperAdmin permissions may use and configure AIOps modules.)

After installation of the module, Autopilot will begin scanning for a wide variety of configuration issues at approximately midnight every night. Any issues that can be fixed automatically by Autopilot, will be. Issues that cannot be fixed automatically will be flagged for review and displayed in the Findings tab of the dashboard.

To navigate to the Autopilot dashboard, select Administration → AIOps: Autopilot from the main menu.

Viewing the Summary

The summary tab.

The Summary tab of the Autopilot dashboard contains three circular indicators (called donuts) that visualize the results of the Autopilot scan. They are Observe, Analyze and Act. These indicators summarize the activity of the Autopilot module for the time period selected in the top right.

  • Observe – Shows how many configuration items were scanned and how many issues were discovered.
  • Analyze – Shows how many of the discovered issues were automatically fixed by Autopilot, and how many weren’t fixed and require review and manual action by an administrator.
  • Act – Shows how many of the fixed issues were fixed automatically by Autopilot, and how many were fixed manually by an administrator.

Autopilot Plugin Modules

The Autopilot plugins that detect issues and provide their remedies are grouped into modules of related plugins. Below the donut display, the number of findings for the selected time period are broken down for each module. Autopilot modules cover the following areas of configuration:

  • Baselines – This module looks for threshold checks on devices, applied by device templates, that appear to be configured poorly – potentially resulting in excessive alerts.
  • Best Practices – This module looks for issues in device organization and configuration consistency.
  • Data Collectors – This module checks to make sure that all of the correct data is being collected from each type of device.
  • Environmental Integrations – This module looks for bad credentials within the monitored environment.
  • Solution Setup – This module looks for system level problems such incorrect DNS, NTP or mail settings.

Reviewing Unfixed Issues

The Findings tab.

The Findings tab of the Autopilot dashboard shows issues that were not automatically fixed.

Each issue displays the name of the item affected (typically a device), its current host availability status, the nature of the issue, and the name of the module and plugin that discovered it.

A discovered issue.

Click on an issue to select it. This will open a side panel that displays more detail about the issue and the device involved, as well as show options for addressing the issue from within Autopilot (if available). Multiple issues may be selected and deselected simply by clicking on them. If multiple issues are selected, their details will be summarized in the side panel.

Side panel with single issue selected.
Side panel with multiple issues selected.

The findings displayed in the dashboard may be filtered in several ways.

  • Module
    To filter the findings by module use the Modules pull-down. By default, results from all modules are displayed. Click a module in the pull-down menu to deselect all other modules. This will add a filter to show only results from the selected module. Then, click on additional modules in the list, if desired, to add them to the filtered selection.
  • Issue Status
    To filter the findings by issue status, click one of the status displays below the Modules menu. By default, results from all statuses are displayed. Click a status to deselect the other statuses. This will add a filter to show only results from the selected status. Then, click on additional statuses, if desired, to add them to the filtered selection.
  • Specific Term
    To filter the findings by a specific term, enter a term in the filter box at the top right of the results display. A filter is applied to the results and updated as you type. Only a single search term (with no spaces) may be entered.

All filtering of the findings happens in realtime. Any combination of filters may be used together. The currently applied filters are shown above the issues. To remove all filtering options and display the entire list again, click clear filter.

Fixing Unfixed Issues

Once one or more issues have been selected on the Findings tab, you may then click the Fix button in the side panel (if available) to apply the plugin’s prescribed remedy to the selected item(s). Those issue(s) will then be removed from the Findings tab and the donuts on the Summary tab updated accordingly.

Autopilot’s fix options.

If the Fix button is not available, check the configuration of the associated plugin (see Configuring Autopilot, below).

If the Fix Automatically option is checked, the fixing behavior of the plugin will be set to Automatic. This is the same as changing the configuration of the plugin on the Settings tab (see Configuring Autopilot, below).

Configuring Autopilot

The Settings tab.

The Settings tab of the Autopilot dashboard is where the plugins that comprise Autopilot are configured. The individual plugins are grouped according to module. Click the + next to a module name to expand its plugin list.

To change a setting for all plugins within a module simultaneously, select the desired setting in the row of the module itself. To change a setting for an individual plugin, select the desired setting in the row of the plugin. Remember to click Save Changes when you are done.

To stop a plugin (or module) from participating in the Autopilot scan: In the ENABLED column, click the switch to select the desired state. ON to enable, OFF to disable.

To exclude devices from the Autopilot scan by functional group: Click the icon in the EXCLUSIONS column, select the desired functional group(s) and then click Save Changes.

To specify the behavior of the plugin when issues are found: In the FIXING column, select the desired behavior from the drop-down selector. The following behaviors are available:

  • Automatic – (Default behavior for all modules.) When an issue is found, the plugin will run its prescribed remedy automatically to try and fix the problem. No user action is required and the issue will not be displayed on the Findings tab.
  • Manual – When an issue is found, the plugin will not run its prescribed remedy automatically. But, will instead flag the issue for review and require the user to apply the remedy manually on the Findings tab using the Fix button. Additionally, selecting Fix Automatically when applying the remedy will reset this value to Automatic for the respective plugin.
  • Disabled – When an issue is found, the plugin will not run its prescribed remedy automatically, and will not provide the option to apply the remedy from within the Findings tab. Although, any issues resulting from this plugin will still be flagged for review. If you do not wish to see results from this plugin at all, disable the plugin in the ENABLED column.

Viewing the Autopilot Activity Log

The Autopilot activity log.

Autopilot maintains a complete log of its actions. To view the log, select the Findings tab and then click the Activity Log button (next to the Modules pull-down).

Updated on February 13, 2020

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