CA APM Review

It provides easy isolation of business transaction defects from CEM.


Valuable Features:

  • Thread & Method level tracing from within the app engine (JVM or .NET) from Introscope Agent
  • Easy isolation of business transaction defects from CEM
  • Fantastic delineation & TCP analysis from ADA

Improvements to My Organization:

Introscope was our first modern APM tool, and the application deep dive capability gave us visibility into behaviours of requests from within the app engine & code. CEM was the first Business Transaction monitor that could report response times for every data hop. ADA reports TCP statistics that are app specific but still match command line output NW Engineers expect, and the tool revitalized a difficult relationship between app monitoring teams and Network support experts.

Room for Improvement:

The main improvement areas for all three tools in CA APM are licensing, licensing and support. CA APM Introscope agents are licensed by CPU count which is fine for 1995, but in 2016 CPU is a less applicable measure for modern virtual and cloud hosting environments – not to mention MF IFLs used instead of CPU for zLinux.

CA APM licensing for CEM is tied to Agent licenses, and this prevented my team from leveraging it separately for broader benefit. The rationale from CA was that CEM was most valuable when integrated with Introscope, which is true. However, CEM has value on its own and could have justified additional spend on agents if we were allowed to configure it to capacity and use it broadly even where no agents were deployed.

ADA is not truly integrated with CA APM suite, and there should be both real-time data feeding from Collectors into APM consoles (not CAPC) & historical data from all APM tools in a single reporting repository (not separate DBs).

Cost and Licensing Advice:

Go ahead and buy CA Professional Services, but expect CA to continue asking for additional purchases to deliver on committed APM functionality. Their APM solution is already one of the most expensive, and the extra spend should give you enough weight to get what you've paid for - support without hidden price tags.

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