CA Performance Management Review

Puts the creating of dashboards and reports into end users' hands.

What is most valuable?

It's a pretty complex product. There are a lot of parts to it.

The biggest selling point is putting the power of creating dashboards and reports into end users' hands. They can create views that are most pertinent to them. That's been the big one for us, and one of the reasons why we went with the product.

How has it helped my organization?

From a business standpoint, it's hard to quantify. It's been used in the capacity planning process, as far as our network infrastructure goes. We've been able to utilize data that's been collected by the tool to more accurately predict usages.

What needs improvement?

The one area where I think it could be improved is the reporting capability. The dashboard features are very function rich, but the reporting feature is probably not as rich as we'd like it to be. There are some limitations in using it.

For example, the number of objects that you can simultaneously show or display in a report is limited. The reporting capability needs to scale up a little bit higher.

Compared to eHealth the reporting is limited. For example the number of graphs in a report is limited to 15. Another limitation is that you cannot copy or duplicate reports.

The whole non-root installation really needs to be clarified a lot more than they did.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using it for just under a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't really had any significant stability issues. I'd say that maybe we've had one issue in all that time, where there was data corruption. But we were able to solve that with the help of technical support.

One really needs to make sure that you follow their guidelines and recommendations regarding the database size and performance. They give you certain guidelines that you need to follow regarding the database. For example, given your size environment, this is the size of database you need, and this is how it will perform well. If you want to have good performance, you need to meet these specific requirements.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had an issue with scalability other than in reporting. I would not necessarily say that's a scalability issue of the product, but that's scalability with respect to one of the functions of the product.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've called technical support on different occasions. Sometimes just for assistance and sometimes to report an issue. They have always been very responsive and quick to call back. I prefer a phone call and I rank them very, very high.

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

We were using a different CA solution. Specifically, we were using a product called eHealth.

The reason why we migrated was a recommendation from CA. Their focus was going to be on the CA Performance Management product, and less on eHealth. They were trying to migrate users away from eHealth.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was complex. There are a lot of components that had to be installed. The biggest issue that I had with the installation is that it's very much geared to a root installation.

In other words, if you use the root ID to install the product, you're most likely not going to have issues. We just ran into numerous issues because we did not have root access.

While they made some effort in the documentation to describe how to go about doing that, internally it was less than complete. We kept on getting issues that we could not complete because we didn't have root access.

It was a collaborative effort. Through support's help, a lot of time spent on this side, and with support personnel over here and on the server side, we were able to figure out what the issue was.

However, it wasn't a matter of, "Run this script and you're done installing." In no cases were we that fortunate, because we were not doing a root installation.

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

I wouldn't say it's too expensive. I'd say it's comparable to what you're going to find in the marketplace.

You have to make sure you have an accurate count of the number of devices, and more specifically, managed objects. I'll use that term. It is the devices and the managed objects that you want to put in your CAPM system.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated other options in the past when we selected eHealth. We did a full evaluation and we went with the CA solution.

After we had only been on it for two or three years, we felt comfortable with CA, their approach, and their strategy for handling network performance management. We just decided to stick with CA and migrate to their next generation, the CAPM.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely take advantage of the training that CA offers. Certainly take that training, just prior to, or just after you've done the installation. That will put you in a position to really exploit the features of the product.

There's so much you can do with the product and not just the dashboard and the reports that users can generate.

There is more customization that you can do to the product and tweak it to your site's needs.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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