CA APM Review

The agents are low-profile; there is not a whole lot of overhead with them. More automation is needed.


What is most valuable?

  • Isolating issues, the dashboards, and the customization are the most valuable for us because they enable this tool to be used by multiple tiers. Let's say we don't know what the problem is when one occurs, we just know that we have multiple tickets generated, and there are customer groups down or experiencing slowness. These tools help us identify the issue quickly. That saves us a tremendous amount of money. That's the number one value.
  • It is easy to use. That's a big one.
  • The fact that it is a suite solution, rather than using just one technology.
  • There are multiple offerings. That's nice as well.
  • The agents are low-profile, and there is not a whole lot of overhead with the agents.

How has it helped my organization?

It sounds kind of corny, but it helps bring us together because when a problem strikes and it’s happening, there's the tendency to start finger-pointing at different groups. With this tool in the hands of a tier-one or a tier-two technical individual, or small group, they can identify the issues without needing to go back and forth between different departments, who are all saying "Oh, that's not our problem." It then turns out to be their problem in the end. That's the main benefit.

What needs improvement?

There are a lot of improvements to be done. One particular area is in the area of automation. That's a big thing for me.

  • In my personal opinion, it's a bit of a weak point. I believe that they know that, and that they're working towards it. I would love to see that. I think they are heading down the right road. It’s a sound product.
  • In APM, in triage, it's all about time and less effort. If an outage bridge or a severity breaks out, I want less people on the phone. I want a small group of individuals. I don't want every head of department on that bridge for hours on end. There are a whole lot of ways. That's a soft cost; but it's a cost: absolutely.
  • I want to see more automation out of these products, especially in identity management. As we virtualize, and as we become more mobile, I want identity management to seamlessly move with the user and applications and systems. That's a hard nut to crack.

I have very high expectations for these tools. If it takes me more than a matter of minutes to identify a problem, it's not good enough. There's still a lot of growing to do. A lot of it is internal growth, too. It’s not just CA. It's not their fault; but our own company needs to adopt certain practices and change our ways. We need to be more open too, I guess, with more internal collaboration to use the tool to its full potential.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable; and, more so, I like CA's direction. I am very inspired by it. It gives us hope.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product has absolutely been scalable.

How is customer service and technical support?

My team doesn't deal with technical support directly. We work with internal groups who are the actual customers of the product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was not involved in the decision process to purchase APM or in the setup. They have actually been in-house for quite some time, before my time; but I've learned to know them. I've learned their products. I've met with vendors, as well as other vendors and competitors. CA seemed to beat out everyone for our company.

What other advice do I have?

Never be satisfied. Always ask for more, and always look for the next step. As long as the company's vision is really the future, then I think we're in good hands.

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