CA APM Review

It improves our total customer experience and reduces our operational costs, though CA should marry it with the UIM technology.


Valuable Features

We've found Team Center a very innovative and intuitive interface. It gives us the ability to link applications to other applications and services all the way down to the database.

We're just now upgrading to it, so we haven't gotten into Team Center a lot. For now, we've mostly been using Investigator in order to triage performance bottlenecks and other problems within our enterprise systems.

Improvements to My Organization

We've had some hits and some misses, but our successes have been well-noted. Overall, APM improves our total customer experience and reduces our operational costs.

That said, the downside for APM is, in our case, end-user acceptance and use. We're trying to expand to other departments, show them what the value points are, and show them that we can help them with their jobs, performance, and efficiencies. With version 10, CA shifted its marketing plan and its persona, and that's been rather disruptive. I'm hoping a good disruption, but a disruption to my end users, whom I'm still trying to get turned-on to performance monitoring improvements.

Room for Improvement

We'd like to see full integration of Unified Infrastructure Management to take over the infrastructure monitoring from APM. They should have APM sterilized away from the infrastructure using the custom scripts through the environment performance agents. CA should go over and use the technology from Nimsoft or Unified Infrastructure Management to gather that information and marry it up back to the application.

Stability Issues

We're not really having issues. We're only half way through the total capacity that we've projected. We're currently at about 800,000 metrics. We originally wanted about two and a half million. We're getting there, slowly, but we're getting there.

Scalability Issues

We're hoping to scale it out to the entire IT staff with about 1200 total servers including a mainframe, which is massive, through four call centers. We've got it scaled to that, but it's our end users' uses of the technology in order to improve what they're doing in the varying departments that will ultimately determine how well it scales. And so far, so good.

Customer Service and Technical Support

We only had one main issue with our upgrade. It took longer than I would have liked. I pushed the issue up through our account manager, got a call, and within an hour, we got it fixed, though that took us a week-and-a-half to get to that point. We expected it to take an hour-and-a-half.

Previous Solutions

Other teams have their own products -- Splunk, NetFusion or NetQoS -- but we're slowly hoping to turn them over to CA.

Initial Setup

When we first installed, it took us six months to install it and get it somewhat usable. Our upgrades, because we're having to step development or step environments, usually takes us about three months.

The step environment is where we do dev tests. This involves stress and QA cycles, and then production. Each one has to have a month to get everything installed, tested, and verified to make sure it doesn't impact our core applications.

We just now finished our Phase 2 upgrade to our second tier, which is our performance test environment and our QA two environments. It went really well. The reason why it took us a month to do our test was because we had to get everything lined up with CA support and to get the install and upgrade completed.

Implementation Team

When we first installed, it took us six months to install it and to get it somewhat usable. Because we have to step development or step environments, it usually takes us about three months.

Other Solutions Considered

No other vendors were looked at. APM was part of an enterprise contract deal. We had several other CA products and CA offered APM as an add-on to our contract, which increased our costs, but the vice-president and CEO and CFO thought it would be worth it. It's been five years and we're doing pretty well.

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