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FAQs

FixStream is a startup founded in 2013. Its product, Meridian, is a correlation, analytics and visualization platform for datacenters deployed on-premises, in a public cloud or in hybrid configurations.

FixStream does not differentiate on “How it collects the data” from various physical and logical entities but differentiates on “What it does with the data”. FixStream applies analytics, correlation and visualization like no one in the industry today.

Meridian produces unmatched visibility from a converged view of the overall health and performance of the entire application stack in multi-vendor data center and cloud environments, correlating end-user transactions to services, all the way to infrastructure entities, so that anyone in IT Ops, applications, infrastructure, storage, database admin or networking will benefit from the end-to-end visibility Meridian provides. Meridian is unique to integrate and correlate data from 3 layers (Transactions, Applications and Infrastructure) in “time-series” data that allows us to go back in time to better understand past behavior and what may have led to a service issue.

FixStream complements the IT Operational Analytics (ITOA) domain of IT Operations Management (ITOM), IT Service Management (ITSM), Application Performance Management (APM) and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) by providing global visualization, correlation and analytics across these four domains. For that purpose, Gartner has created a new domain called Algorithmic IT Operations (AIOps) that spans across these four domains and best corresponds to FixStream’s value proposition.

FixStream Meridian was first released in June 2016. FixStream has been named Gartner Cool Vendor of 2017.

Meridian 5.0 was released on May 26, 2017 and brings new capabilities:

1. UI enhancements

    1.  Dashboard widgets
      1. Network/Compute Health History
      2.  Top N (CPU/Disk/Memory Utilization, Reachability)
      3. Customizable layout by user
    2. Topology Overlays
      1. Ticket Overlay – Added to faults, alerts and logs overlays, a new overlay allows viewing if an entity has tickets open against it.
      2. Overlay by group, application and business service In addition to viewing overlays by platform, vendor or entity type, new overlays were added to view them by device group and application to further assist in troubleshooting.
    3. Topology Layout options
      1. Default, mirrored – The mirrored layout allows viewing larger infrastructure than using the default layout.

2. New Features

    1. Transaction Monitoring
      1. Tomcat, WebLogic, WebSphere, JBoss – A FixStream Business Transaction Correlator installed on the above application servers can detect business transactions and associate them with applications and infrastructure.
    2. Time-Series Event Correlation
      1. DVR-like playback of fault/alerts – Collected time-series data allows Meridian to play back alert sequences back in time to better understand how an alert or a series of alerts evolved over time.
    3. Dynamic Device Grouping
      1. Based on user-defined rules – Discovered entities are automatically assigned to a device group matching one of these rules. This is very useful when viewing fault and performance overlays by device group.
    4. Customer-defined fields
      1. Data model extensions to enrich device inventory data – Meridian’s data model for devices can be extended with additional attributes which may be populated either manually or via Meridian’s REST API.
    5. Customer Logo Setting
      1. Allows logo setting by the user

3. New device support

    1. Compute
      1. vCenter Capacity Utilization Monitoring (global resources)
      2. Docker Containers
    2. Network
      1. Firewalls: Fortinet Fortigate
      2. Load Balancer: Citrix NetScaler
      3. Switches: HP Procurve, HP 3Com, Dell Powerconnect
    3. Storage
      1. Cisco MDS, HPE 3PAR
    4. Application Services
      1. Microsoft IIS, Active Directory
    5. Applications
      1. Oracle ERP
    6. Databases
      1. MS SQLServer, MongoDB, PostgreSQL
    7. Notifications
      1. Slack support using Chatbot technology

4. ITSM integration

    1. ServiceNow Auto-Ticketing (bi-directional) and Auto-CMDB-Update
      1. Meridian detects an alert and creates a ticket in ServiceNow
      2. Meridian detects and displays tickets created in ServiceNow
      3. Close a ticket in Meridian or read closure from ServiceNow
    2. ServiceNow CMDB Update
      1. Meridian updates ServiceNow CMDB
    3. OTRS Ticketing System Integration (bi-directional)
      1. Similar to ServiceNow Auto-Ticketing

5. Hybrid cloud support

    1. Discovery of AWS instances
    2. Monitoring of AWS resources using AWS CloudWatch
    3. Hybrid application map

6. Internal enhancements

    1. RHEL/CentOS 7.x Support (Validated on 7.3)
    2. Platform Hardening
    3. Diagnostic and Troubleshooting Data Collection for Enhanced Support

FixStream users are IT business, application and operations leaders looking for a solution to simplify their IT operations above and beyond the 30 or more IT tools they are currently using to reduce the time to isolate a problem in an increasingly dynamic hybrid environment, maximize use of their IT resources, reduce change management risk and saving time generating compliance reports.

  • Reduce MTTR on day-to-day operations
    Meridian offers faster fault isolation thanks to its unique visualization of the health and performance of business processes and their associations with transactions, applications and infrastructure.
  • Optimize datacenter resources
    Meridian generates heat maps and reports on how infrastructure resources are being used, thus providing meaningful information for consolidating resources.
  • Support seamless migrations
    Whether migrating part or an entire datacenter, Meridian automatically provides a real-time discovery and visualization of the datacenter infrastructure and applications to facilitate planning of resource migration and change management
  • Support compliance and other asset-based reporting
    Thanks to its big data architecture and data collection, Meridian allows generating several inventory reports for compliance reporting, either on inventory of IT resources or IT applications or business processes.

FixStream provides dashboards for CIOs and VP Operations with a holistic view of their business processes to end-user transactions to applications, application services and infrastructure (compute, network, storage). FixStream is the only platform capable of doing multi-level correlation across the entire technology stack.

For CIOs, FixStream provides business intelligence and health and performance summaries, including computed SLAs and predictive risk of the company business processes. This capability to visualize and drill down a business process environment at the business metrics level (how many invoices are stuck) to the transaction level (which transactions are slow or have errored out) to the application services health (Oracle database errors) to the infrastructure level (which server/VM is out of memory or which switch interface is down) is unique and valuable.

For VPs of Operations, FixStream provides additional operational intelligence from applications to infrastructure to assist Operations in quickly identifying failures and keeping applications running through top-down visualization and predictive analytics.

FixStream gives practitioners a way to quickly isolate performance and fault related issues starting from a higher business process or application perspective and drilling down into layers of the infrastructure. This can be accomplished in seconds, with just a few clicks, often reducing MTTR from hours or days to minutes.

Meridian encourages collaboration by providing teams with a common view of how applications and infrastructure are functioning together. This capability is provided with FixStream’s integrated maps of applications and infrastructure.

FixStream gathers data from across a wide range of application and infrastructure resources — basically every major compute, network, storage and application entity in the data center — and correlates all of it together to show the association between applications and infrastructure assets. Meridian is agentless and auto- detects entities without the need for operator input. In addition, Meridian can install a Business Transaction Correlator to associate end-user business transactions with the applications that support them.

FixStream leverages its big data platform to provide predictive analytics for 3 use cases:

  1. Failure prediction based on health and performance patterns affecting applications
  2. Dynamic benchmarking for automatic threshold detection
  3. Resource capacity planning such as predicting when a storage volume is
    expected to be 90% full.

FixStream User-Defined Management (UDM) allows associating additional business process metrics to quickly identify which entity may be failing and troubleshoot the problem to the actual root cause. For example, an application may slow down due to a backup operation overloading the network, thus resulting in loss of revenue (Orders not booked, shipped, invoiced or serviced). Being able to quickly identify the faulty entity greatly impacts a company’s fiscal quarter/year end along with customer satisfaction. FixStream is the solution that provides a single view of the entire technology stack and avoids having to hop between individual domain management systems (Analysts report that most IT operations use 30 or more separate tools with no integration between them).

Additionally, FixStream reports on business process SLA and on predictive analytics such as disk capacity maxing out soon. Finally, FixStream saves all data in a time- series database to allow viewing the business metrics, health and performance in a play-back mode to facilitate troubleshooting by visualizing how the system changed and failures evolved over time.

FixStream’s Flow2PathTM, a patented technology, discovers the application flows between servers and computes the real-time paths for each application flow across network and storage. FixStream has filed 4 patents and 2 patents have already been granted.

The key is to get the entire application map and all the relevant operational information together in a single product. This is for the benefit of everyone in the organization from the business to IT operations teams. The operational data presented on the application map is relevant, contextual and hence actionable. Since everyone has an end-to-end view, problem resolution is very quick and eliminates finger pointing.

FixStream currently supports on premises, private cloud, public cloud (Azure and AWS) and Openstack (SDN and NFV) environments. Google Cloud Platform support will be determined based on customer feedback.

Meridian discovers customer Azure and AWS resources and overlays faults and alerts for customer instances. In addition, Meridian provide a complete application map linking the on premises resources and public cloud resources for that application, thus greatly enhancing visualization and providing correlation and analytics across the entire hybrid cloud.

FixStream published northbound and southbound REST APIs to share data with 3rd- party ITOM, ITSM, APM and SIEM tools. It also publishes APIs to export any of the data it collects over time so that users can use their own business intelligence tools to further analyze the data and present the data in their own dashboards such as Tableau.

FixStream has built connectors with ITOM, ITSM, APM and SIEM tools. Today, Meridian supports Splunk, Dynatrace, specific tools from BMC, CA, EMC and ServiceNow. See the Meidian datasheet for a full list of connectors.
FixStream open APIs can be used to create additional connectors to integrate other tools as data sources and to extract health and performance data from FixStream.

It’s hard to put a price on strategic insight but for reducing current cost analysts predict from 5 to 15 percent reduction in IT operating costs using the latest operational analytics capabilities. FixStream has customers report reducing MTTR by nearly 500%, and saving on license fees by consolidating and standardizing on the FixStream platform. Others find savings in productivity from the automation of compliance and other asset-based reports.

The FixStream platform is built around a big data ecosystem which includes real- time streaming, analytics and visualization technology, focused specifically on IT operations and related business challenges.

FixStream supports bare metal and virtual environments for on-premises, hybrid and public cloud environments.

FixStream has often been deployed as on-premises software to maximize the control and security of our enterprise and service provider customers. FixStream licenses Meridian on a subscription basis allowing the customer to access all updates and upgrades for free for the duration of the subscription. Meridian is also available as a SaaS service on FixStream partner clouds. Contact FixStream for more details.

The FixStream Meridian platform runs in software and requires no special hardware. An Installation Guide specifies the ports that need to be open for the Meridian communication required between its own distributed components and to the managed entities. Users set the polling interval, which determines the level of overhead. The software and all data is kept inside the data center running Meridian, thus minimizing security concerns.

Yes, FixStream integrates with software managed cloud environment technologies, including OpenStack, SDN Controllers and Juniper Contrail to discover the virtual compute and network dependencies, on a per tenant, and per tenant application level. FixStream determines the connections across the virtual and physical network, including VLAN, to tunnel to other VNFs, vRouters, vSoftware and vLoadBalancers and correlates them to the application flows and services.

Meridian uses cutting-edge Open Source technologies such as Kafka, Storm, ElasticSearch, D3 and AngularJS. It is inflight to leverage other technologies, including Spark, Hadoop and Hive.

FixStream has been deployed in production by some of the most established Fortune 500 enterprises and largest Telcos in US and Europe. References may be provided upon request.

There exists many tools for monitoring a single IT domain such as application, database, servers, network, storage. Some of them do monitor multiple domains but FixStream has not come across any vendor who is combining application and infrastructure environments and building detailed operational maps for end-to-end hybrid IT environments. These tools belong to the IT Operations Automation (ITOA) domain which includes IT Operations Management (ITOM), IT Service Management (ITSM), Application Performance Management (APM) and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM). Beyond ITOA, Gartner has created a new domain called AIOps (Algorithmic IT Operations) which corresponds best to FixStream capabilities.

FixStream considers existing ITOA tools as additional sources of health, performance, security and change data that Meridian can easily integrate through its existing connectors or can be brought in by developing additional connectors. APM users can now see the precise path of communication between applications through every layer of the infrastructure. APM users gain business contextual perspective by seeing how each business application is distributed across the infrastructure and conversely, which applications are supported by each individual infrastructure resource.

FixStream does not claim to displace existing tools. This decision is best left to customers as they evaluate the value of these tools along with Meridian.

FixStream is working very closely with the following technology partners:

FixStream is working with the following channel partners:

A device is marked Blocked when it is in maintenance mode and you do not wish to receive alerts from it. At the time you block the device, you have the option to clear faults and alerts on it so that the device will show greyed out on FixStream topology maps.

A device is marked Hidden if it is no longer being monitored or was removed from the infrastructure. A hidden device does not count against the total number of licensed entities.

Visit FixStream’s website at http://www.fixstream.com and contact FixStream to get a demo of the product.