What is most valuable?
Probably the most valuable is that it doesn’t really require any or just a minimal amount of effort on my part to sustain its operations. What results from that is the time that I spend interacting with it is actually productive time, solving a problem or validating service or validating functionality across my network or knowing that connectivity exists. I don’t have to hold its hand all the time and babysit it and worry about this patch didn’t work or this upgrade didn’t work or now I've got to take it down to restart it and reboot it.
All that stuff is handled very effectively by the AppNeta team and that frees up my time to take care of the more valuable things.
How has it helped my organization?
It is much easier and it gives a very, very apples-to-apples view that becomes available to a wider range of people, including support . It is very easy for everyone to be able to see the same results or the same thing. There is no worrying about trying to interpret what the results mean. It just quickly gives us a very consistent, common, and easily viewable set of results.
What needs improvement?
My previous answer would have been that they haven't for a number of years made any additions or modifications to the hardware appliances they used to deliver their service. Interestingly enough, just within the last four weeks or so, they’ve come out with a number of new models. I think that that immediately would be the biggest thing that I would have been looking for and anticipating and expecting from them. They in fact have just delivered.
For how long have I used the solution?
My best guess is somewhere approaching five years or so. I don’t remember the exact start date, but it is definitely more than three years.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
We haven't experienced any issues with deployment.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
They are outstanding. In terms of the improvement over something similar in-house, it is not even close. I can’t even imagine us being able to sustain anything as well in-house as they do. There is nothing you can ever do about local individual device hardware issues. Nobody is immune to those, but generally speaking, their track record, at least as far as the appliances that we've used, is that there's at least a little bit of failure in terms of hardware. The downtime, though, is very quick. If there is a failure, it is 24 hours. I call up and I open my support case. It is relatively very quick to document and determine. They have a replacement shipped out immediately.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Its scalability is going to be up to customers to choose. It certainly can become very effective or it certainly is very effective, but I believe as you really start to grow your deployments, it does become quite expensive.
As an educated customer, you are always looking for that point on the curve where you keep adding up the scale and scaling your deployment up without simultaneously building out your need to keep a conceptual awareness and management of yourself and your costs in line.
If you are not careful, you will very easily and very quickly probably have a deployment that is quite large, probably a little bit unwieldy and certainly very extensive very quickly.
How are customer service and technical support?
I have not yet encountered a support engineer who doesn’t have outstanding product knowledge and who hasn’t been very effective. They are personable and able to communicate effectively with the customer. Even sometimes you can be the product expert, but if you are not able to hold up with the conversation or communicate with the customer, then you are not going to be particularly successful. Every experience that I have had with them has been outstanding.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I believe it was our CIO who encountered them at a conference or a trade show or made some contact with them external to our actual engineering team. Our CIO provided our contact information and expressed some interest, and so we followed up and we initially deployed based on the desire of our CIO.
We actually have a specific use case. Then when we spent some time with it, we found that it's just been a very effective complement to our overall operations.
How was the initial setup?
The most basic setup is quite simple. It's easy to accomplish and you will begin to be able to see the results. I think it is probably even less than an hour. More advanced setup can be time consuming. You also need to have the more advanced setups well-thought and well-planned out ahead of time. That's not a knock on their product. That's simply if you deploy it and you want to gain the insights that it can produce in those more advanced circumstances, you have to understand how you are going to deploy it, what you need to do in your environment to deploy it and then understand what those results will really indicate.
The basic problem that a huge majority of their customers have is that the types of deployments that they do is very simple, very easy and begins to return results almost immediately. But the more you'd like to do the more advanced and more dense deployments, you certainly do need to give it additional thought and you will have additional time within your environment to create the structures in your network needed to support them.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Certainly nothing is free. No one gives anything away. If you want something you have to pay for it, but at the same time I think that it is very wise as a customer always to keep that mindset where we want to make sure that every dollar that we are investing, we are getting the best return.
Sometimes maybe it is better to deploy three less and give yourself room to grow. Deploy seven and give yourself lots of time to pay additional attention to those seven rather than deploy 10 units and stretch yourself out a little bit and also assume the additional costs.
What other advice do I have?
If you need something that is capable of acting as a complement to other tools that you’ve used, this will be very effective. But if you have a limited budget and a dispersed environment with lots of different locations and limited support teams, then I think that this would work very well in those circumstances to give you lots of bang for your buck.
It may not provide you every single function that might be desirable, but considering that they are easy to deploy across wide ranges, you can certainly then shift them out to remote locations and have almost anyone plug the red cord in here, plug the power cord in there, and make the blue light flash.