A Vision for Operational Analytics as the Enabler for Business Focused Hybrid Cloud Operations

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1 A Vision for Operational Analytics as the Enabler for Focused Hybrid Cloud Operations As infrastructure and applications have evolved from legacy to modern technologies with the evolution of Hybrid Cloud Computing, Network Virtualization, SDDC, SDN, Mobilization, DevOps, Micro-services, enterprises are in the new era of transformation for infrastructure and application delivery. With this trend, and Network Performance, IT service and Security Event Information vendors (APM, NPM, ITSM, SEIM) must evolve their tools to keep up with this paradigm shift. Each of these vendors has invested significant R&D to collect continuously changing data from various tiers to deliver operational capabilities. Additionally, enterprises often need to build custom data collectors and probes where existing market solutions don t meet their specific operational data needs. Operational data exists in different forms within an enterprise environment, at different layers, silos, tools and systems. The variety of data includes raw packet data at the TCP/IP layer, standard SNMP traps, configuration files, log files, performance and fault data, alerts and ticketing data, business transaction logs etc. Companies have invested in third party as well as home grown tools to capture data required to meet their operational needs. As we follow this trend, we strongly feel that the data itself is becoming commoditized. There is no shortage of information within the enterprise environment, but making sense of it to deliver business value is very challenging and complex. The correlation and analytics of data from disparate sources as well as intuitive visualization to provide just-intime operational intelligence is the pressing need around which value must be created for the business. FixStream, Inc North First Street San Jose, CA, USA FixStream Inc. All Rights Reserved. As the Cloud Operational Analytics (COA) domain evolves, the core value proposition will be centered on an intuitive visualization experience, which adapts to various IT, network as well as business focused end users. COA will support hybrid cloud as this becomes the de-facto deployment model. It will be built on top of a single logical database that internalizes activity across multiple data centers and control frameworks. It will be a highly scalable contextual data correlation and analytics platform. As the touch-point for end users, the interface will ultimately determine the usefulness of the platform but it will rely on the quality and completeness of the data it interprets and represents. Therefore, we believe strongly that COA platforms must have an open and flexible data ingestion approach to deliver business value.

2 The Open Data Ingestion will enable faster and cheaper collection of data of many different types and sources across the enterprise ecosystem. It takes care of the complexities of processing the data, but focuses on providing simple interfaces to ingest data in a scalable way. The platform will provide APIs, SDKs and supporting documentation for development of mapping logic, AAA policies and runtime execution of the logic to map native format data from southbound interfaces into a standard format, that can be quickly consumed by the correlation and analytics component. COA platforms will deliver quick visibility to business problems, unlike traditional operations tools, which solve distinct problem within a silo. In order to achieve this end goal, we feel that the supporting taxonomy and canonical data model needs to be built using business constructs instead of technology constructs to accommodate the addition of new features in a scalable and cost effective way. It will be built on three primary pillars business, application, infrastructure to address the operational needs of three primary end user segments business operations, IT operations and network operations via a common platform. These user groups that traditionally operated in silos can now get the relevant insights using a common platform where targeted contextual insights are delivered based on user profile and policies using role based access. Process Model Hierarchy Process Analytics and SLA Assurance Example-1 Industry: Retail Banking Process Personal Loan Example-2 Industry: Telecom Process Customer Care Process SLA Process Definition Collection of linked activities for personal loan Services Receive, Check Credit, Negotiate Loan, Choose loan Add Service, Process Order, Submit trouble ticket, View/Pay bills, increase QoS s Loan Originating, Risk System, Enterprise Content Managament Billing, Ordering, Provisioning, Credit and Collection, Product Catalog and Pricing, Suppy Chain Services Tomcat, Oracle, SAP Oracle CRM, Weblogic, Cassandra, Apache Web Server Infrastructure Infrastructure Services Servers, VMs, Hypervisor, Switches, Routers, Firewalls, Load Balancer, Storage Devices (physical and Virtual, On-Prem and hybrid). Services

3 Infrastructure: The infrastructure category covers compute, storage and network components. This includes physical as well as virtual infrastructure components such as servers, hypervisors, VMs, switches, routers, firewalls and load balancers. It covers a wide range of vendors and the associated syntax to communicate with each and convert the discovered data to a common normalized format. Standard network collectors will implement algorithms to discover metadata from the network devices, network flows and related paths. : s glue the infrastructure layer with the business layer of an enterprise. Critical business services are hosted inside domain specific applications and are leveraged for successful execution of key business processes. For example, a Credit check service may be hosted in a Credit and Collection application and is used to fulfill multiple business processes for different business units within an enterprise. : Each line of business (LOB) within an enterprise is measured against business SLAs, which typically include metrics such as number of transactions (throughput) within a specific timeframe (hour/days/months), response time (end-to-end) and success rate of the transaction. The LOB personnel pull ad-hoc business reports using a Intelligence (BI) system to compare actual vs. expected business performance as it pertains to the transactions for their business unit. Sometimes a data center outage or a server outage or a slow network can significantly impact the business and prohibit the line of business from meeting their revenue target. Having deep visibility into all of the infrastructure resources which are specifically associated with each business process will go a long way to proactively identifying business impacting issues and in many cases completely prevent them. In addition it helps proactively plan for capacity needs, identify bottleneck or even troubleshoot a specific business transaction for a customer. Putting Cloud Operational Analytics in Context COA platform will provide integration, correlation as well as analytics platform that enriches the core values of APM, NPM, ITSM and SEIM systems to deliver value added services for the business layer. Traditional APM or NPM systems don t deliver northbound functions that map operational data to business process components. For example an APM system detects that a business transaction is degraded due to a fault or performance issue inside an application layer, but it doesn t have the deeper understanding of business process impact or deep visibility into infrastructure dependencies for the transaction. Similarly, NPM systems focus on network performance data but lack business or even application service context.

4 COA will deliver additional infrastructure, application and business level intelligence to SEIM platforms with rich insight for security assurance and threat as well as anomaly detection and management. Additionally, it enriches the value of traditional ITSM systems by providing real-time insight into business process, applications and underlying infrastructure for root cause analysis while the ITSM systems focuses on orchestrating the problem management activities such as ticketing, triage and problem resolution. Intelligence (BI) Cloud Operational Analytics (COA) Lorem ipsom dolores deo illiad magnetic deo illiad deo exciteum deote Network Performance (NPM) Performance (APM) IT Service (ITSM) Security Event Information (SEIM) With all this in mind, OA is positioned to be the critical orchestrator across existing operations management domains. In many scenarios with traditional tools already in place these systems will co-exist. Traditional tools play critical role in delivering the required operational data with the OA platform delivering the front-end business centric visualization powered by strong correlation, real-time and predictive analytics. But mid-market companies with more streamlined IT and network operations OA platforms may collapse these separate management functions into a single integrated capability with a single logical database combined with higher level reporting and analytics from each of the prior domain areas. This ensures most efficient use of data, improved productivity and addresses the operational agility for the enterprises. It may also deliver this with a lower cost structure. Fully converged or not, the COA platform will supercharge the NPM, APM, SEIM and ITSM functions by leveraging relevant data and insights available within them and enrich their value for the end business. The COA platform will be able to detect what, when and why a critical business process is impacted due to an underlying issue either in the application, network or storage layer. We call this concept OI to BI as it aims to correlate and connect the operational intelligence systems to business intelligence systems for a 360-degree view for business.

5 FixStream Approach: FixStream Meridian platform aligns with this forward-looking OI to BI vision of Cloud Operational Analytics. Though we focus on building our own data collector for the initial release, our target is to enable data ingestion from many different sources including existing systems within the ecosystem. We will establish an Open data ingestion platform to normalize disparate data coming in from various data sources and systems to a normalized format. Meridian Open data ingestion Platform will provide a framework to interoperate with legacy vendor solutions for backward compatibility. As the data traverses northbound within the Meridian platform, the processing shifts from syntax based (specific to each vendor) to semantic-based (normalized) as the data processing as well as persistence becomes standardized using Meridian s canonical data model as depicted in the following diagram. Meridian data model is highly extensible. It s logical definitions for base entities, metadata and relationships enables encapsulation from the diversity and complexities that exist in the data collection layer for different vendors, syntax, specifications. Relationship Base Metadata Topography Performance Fault Link Transactions are characterized by metadata are correlated by relationships Metadata is collected data where as relationships are derived from metadata of the entities Containers Map Infrastructure Logos Events Alerts Ticketing Our goal is to focus on building richer business focused correlation, analytics and visualization algorithms which is what end users most need, while commoditizing the data collection layer and working with the community to address the data integration complexities for various compute, storage, network vendors as well as ecosystem components. FixStream as a COA company aims to advocate and establish an Open Data Ingestion Platform that will allow customers, network vendors, partners and systems integrators to develop data collectors to interface with Meridian standard APIs for fault, performance, transactions, incidents etc.

6 Visualization (Dashboard, Integration Maps, Personal, Interactive, Collaboration) Data Analytics Platform Extensible Data Model Indexing Streaming Analytics Contextual Correlation Predictive Analytics Standard Meridian APIs Device Performance Faults Events/Alerts Tickets Open Data Ingestion Platform (Data aggregation, abstraction, transformation) SSH/Telnet Config Files Packet Capture SNMP APIs Logs Physical Network Devices Server, VMs, Hypervisor Controllers (Openstack, SDN) VNFs The company s technology roadmap includes delivery of standard APIs and an SDK within the Open Data Ingestion platform to enable quick integration with other domain specific vendors providing meaningful data and insights. At a very high level, Meridian standard data ingestion APIs will cover the following key logical domain functions. NPM Discover the network topology and network performance data APM Get application and business service level visibility to be able to tie it to business process for business SLA management ITSM integrate to provide collaborative troubleshooting to further reduce the MTTR, contextual and correlated troubleshooting flow SEIM Subscribe to real-time security alerts generated by SEIM vendors for network hardware and applications Consistent with the shift to hybrid cloud, Meridian will have APIs, which enable it to detect and visualize applications running across multiple data center and control scenarios with public cloud included.

7 STRATEGIC DIRECTION PAPER To conclude, FixStream s vision is to deliver a next generation Cloud Operational Analytics platform that promotes Open Data Ingestion to enrich the capabilities of existing operations systems within the ecosystem. We are currently integrating with leading vendors in this space. We will be a strong promoter of open ecosystem with a simple objective in mind make the business more successful and respond to the business needs proactively. There are lots of data available, let s take advantage and unleash the business value it offers. FixStream, Inc North First Street San Jose, CA, USA FixStream Inc. All Rights Reserved. Contact Us: FixStream is excited to be working with visionary technology and channel partners and customers. We invite you to contact us and experience the next level of visibility in your data center.

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