What is our primary use case?
We look at the load patterns and server health by looking at server health parameters. Heap memory is of prime importance as well as how the heap is behaving and how the memory is behaving under load, as well as the CPU utilization. These are generally the parameters we will check.
How has it helped my organization?
In a production environment we check all the parameters. We can detect any leakage, any problems, whether RAM is sufficient, and whether CPU is crossing a threshold. We can determine if we need to add new servers or RAM or adjust the heap settings.
It helps save resources for a company.
It also helps us look at business-critical transactions and how fast they are happening. It helps us pinpoint the methods or functions that are taking longer to operate and we can advise the development team to look into it and fine-tune those areas. They can make adjustments immediately.
What is most valuable?
For me, the most valuable feature is being able to check memory patterns. We check them when we do load testing or soak testing to see if there are any memory leaks.
What needs improvement?
A CA APM agent takes a lot of memory. That is one disadvantage. If you configure CA APM correctly it will still consume around 15 to 20 percent of memory.
For how long have I used the solution?
One to three years.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We haven't had any issues with its scalability.
How is customer service and technical support?
When you submit a support ticket it will take them two to three days to reply. They told us they would resolve issues within 24 hours, but so far that has not happened.
There have been times when we were doing performance testing, load testing, where it didn't capture the required information we were trying to monitor. We called the CA APM support team. They suggested we increase the RAM and restart the agents. That was the solution they gave us.
How was the initial setup?
The setup is not straightforward. It is a bit complex. I have not configured CA APM myself, but I use it for performance testing. When we are doing performance testing, we configure CA APM for a pre-production environment which is similar to the production environment. We will do load testing and take all the parameters and observations and send them, along with our recommendations and conclusions, to development. But I have not really configured CA APM.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Dynatrace is the most expensive of these tools followed by AppDynamics which is "medium-expensive." Both CA APM vs Dynatrace and CA APM vs AppDynamics are a bit lower in price. Because of this, our clients insist on using CA APM.
In my opinion, if you can afford it, go for AppDynamics instead of CA APM. But if our customers don't have the budget, we'll go with CA APM.
We have a comparison chart showing the license costs for AppDynamics, Dynatrace, and CA APM and other monitoring tools as well. We provide that information to our clients along with the advantages and disadvantages of a particular tool. We provide our opinion on which it is best to go with but we also listen to our clients' opinions. We discuss this at length to finally come up with a decision on which tool to go with.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I use many tools, such as LoadRunner, Silk Performer, and IBM. I also use AppDynamics and Dynatrace. The last two are actually the best for me at the moment because they support even the database level. CA APM does not support that much. It will only give me minimal information about the DB.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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