What is most valuable?
One of the most valuable features has been the ease of use that really fuels adoption in our organization. Other solutions that we have used for APM were not as user friendly, and frankly it was just really difficult to get people to use the tools.
The dashboards have been straightforward; easy to set up, really, for the most part.
How has it helped my organization?
It's made it easier to collaborate across teams; be able to have the same data immediately in front of you just by sharing a URL.
What needs improvement?
It could be a little more flexible in configuration on the back end. The design is geared towards specific goals, and they've done a great job with those. A lot of times when I'll ask a question, "Can we make it do this? Can we make it do that?", the answer is just, "No. Sorry, we don't support that at this time." And I get it, that's a good model for them to have, but I always have a wish list of things as I'm working with the tool.
I come across little things all the time, and I just file a ticket with AppDynamics to raise a feature request. So, I don't keep track of them, I just document it, and fire and forget.
I’ve been impressed with the features that they're adding and the direction that they've been working, a lot of which I wasn't aware of. License management, for example; being able to just give a certain number of licenses to an arm of the organization and say, "Here. Here's your licenses, do whatever you want with them." That really pushes the ultimate administration of the product out without having to "micromanage", if you will, and worry about giving them the key to the server. We are not currently using that. As far as I know, it's not released yet, but I was excited to see that. That was one that I brought up with support along the way.
I am impressed that they continue to develop and improve, and it's not a stagnant product by any means.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We have a controller that's pretty overloaded. We haven't run into any issues, though, with the AppDynamics.
How are customer service and technical support?
Their technical support's been very responsive. They don't always have the answers that I want, but they're responsive, and help us find solutions where they can.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We didn't know that we needed a new solution. We had a solution. Another department wanted to look at AppDynamics. We looked at it and said, "We're already doing that, but if you want to bring it in and test their claims of greatness against what we have, go for it". We brought them in, and we said, "Let's buy that.”
How was the initial setup?
Initial setup was very straight forward. We didn't even use technical services for our implementation.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
It could be cheaper. It's a little cost prohibitive. There are so many features that also show a lot of value, but it’s not always easy to justify the cost.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We did not look at any other vendors. We weren't shopping, really.
In general, when I look at solutions, first of all, the product has to be top shelf. It has to be number one. That really drives us: "What is the product going to do for us?" In the vendor, we look for a vendor that's going to be around for a while; that we feel is going to be stable enough to support us into the foreseeable future. And then the support model, technical support; the ability to get into the technical details with us when we have questions. All of those things.
What other advice do I have?
Having implemented without the help of professional services, we were capable of doing that; it went very smoothly. Involve, even indulge, AppDynamics in being a part of the implementation process, and having the planning and discussion around it. We wanted to go more rapidly than that would allow. Therefore, we kind of short-circuited that process, and jumped right in, which was good, but I think that there's value in having folks who have done it a lot look at where you're going with it, and give you some pointers. We've had to "course correct" a little bit on a few points as we went, and they might have been smoother along the way, had we just gone through the enablement and initial process.
It’s a great product. We're happy with it.
Nothing is perfect, so a perfect rating would be unattainable, but they’re pretty close to that. They're really great.