Broadcom DX Application Performance Management Review

The traditional Introscope portion of the product is the most valuable feature. They removed support for Java 6.


What is most valuable?

The traditional Introscope portion of the product is the most valuable. It provides good visibility to the JVM and Java application.

How has it helped my organization?

We use CA APM for monitoring and alerting of our Java applications.

What needs improvement?

CA has very recently upgraded its “Browser Response Time Monitoring”, as it was previously known. CA has been listening to its customer requirements, and the Digital Experience Collector is a positive step forward.

Unfortunately, my application is Java version 6, and CA has removed support for Java 6 starting with CA APM, Version 10.5, where the Digital Experience Collector is available.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution since 2008.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Because my application is running on IBM WebSphere and Java 6, there were ‘workarounds’ I needed to apply. CA would provide a distinct copy of the Java agent and the associated configuration files to avoid the trouble spots. Unfortunately, these workarounds also disabled important functionality, such as deep tracing.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not had any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. They work with urgency.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not have any previous solutions.

How was the initial setup?

The support documentation has gotten much better over the last few years. Installation is not difficult, once you understand the different components of the APM solution.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Consider the needs of your application and compare a few vendors.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I recognize Dynatrace and AppDynamics as leaders for e-commerce application APM.

What other advice do I have?

Do a thorough proof of concept.

If your application is not current and can’t be upgraded, you are at risk because CA is moving very fast to catch up with Dynatrace and AppDynamics on functionality. But in the process, they will leave behind older technology, such as support for Java 6.

I run an IBM WebSphere Commerce application, which uses Java 6, and I bumped up against several limitations. As my application is public facing and has a large breadth of URLs, it is difficult to configure for very specific URLs. Rather, I needed to implement “URL groups”, which are generalized URL buckets. In an e-commerce application, that might be “product pages”, “category pages”, or “checkout pages”. Implementing the URL grouping is not easy, and if you get it wrong, you’ll have what is termed a “metric explosion”.

A metric explosion means too many distinct metrics are collected, which can put stress on the Java agent and/or the Enterprise Collector. Cleaning up a metric explosion is complicated, unless you are willing to delete all your historically collected metrics.

Again, I experienced these limitations with version 10.3 of APM and lower. The 10.5 version has made improvements, but my Java 6 application is not supported for version 10.5, so I cannot effectively provide feedback on it.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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