What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature is the flexibility and how you can get any data pretty much anywhere. They have a lot of out-of-the-box solutions for applications, servers and web servers, but you can also use their APIs and their EPA to get additional data, building and correlating it altogether.
We have some applications from which we can't get data with out-of-the-box tools from CA or even AppDynamics, so we need the EPA agent to get that data and then compare them to those that are captured with out-of-the-box tools. We really appreciate that that's a strength and a flexibility of APM.
How has it helped my organization?
It's critical that we're able to find actual problems or issues with applications on our network. We use APM to do that, as well as to troubleshoot the causes or triage them so that we know where to look for the problem.
What needs improvement?
It's got a steep learning curve, although some parts of it are easy to use.
I also know that CA is doing a big push to play catch-up to get the UI to be a little more streamlined, easier, and intuitive to use. Hopefully when they do that, they'll have an advantage over other solutions out there, like AppDynamics.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
I haven't had issues with deployment.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
In the previous releases, that was an issue for both my current and former companies. There was a conflict between the Java agent and our app servers. It was conflicting with some of the web services and so it crashed our servers. In the current release, however, I'm not aware of any such stability issues.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
So far, scalability has not been an issue. There's a limit on the number of enterprise managers where the data goes to be reviewed. The solution, however, is that if you reach the single-cluster limits, then you can federate other clusters, so that way you can view up.
The main issue with scalability is, however, that there's a lot of overhead required to keep it expanding. With AppDynamics, on the other hand, you at least only need one server in order to accommodate a lot more agents. With CA APM, you need a lot of central servers and enterprise managers to have that same load. It is scalable, but the maintenance or the overhead to maintain it is a lot higher than other products.
How are customer service and technical support?
They've been slow at times to get us answers and solutions, such as a few years back when we had the issue of the agent pressuring our servers. I haven't had to submit many support tickets, though, as I have co-workers who do that primarily. The feedback I've heard from them is that AppDynamics has done a better job than CA with support.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
How was the initial setup?
It was all set up before I joined.
What other advice do I have?
Both CA APM and AppDynamics have their place, but just do your research. CA, I think, has demonstrated their commitment to the product and improving it and playing catch-up in areas where they need to.