CA Performance Management Review

Enabled us to build hundreds of highly instrumented custom reports around multiple data sources

What is most valuable?

The integration to the other products that we use: NFA, we use ADA, we use Spectrum; and CAPM integrates all those into a single pane of glass, for performance. CAPC is good for developing reports around those multiple data sources and giving us a single vision on what's going on in our environment.

How has it helped my organization?

In the past we've had multiple monitoring tools and products being used simultaneously. The goal of the product - and we're still working on eliminating some of the overlap that the other products have - is to allow us to have a single monitoring system, or as close to a single monitoring system as possible on network performance. That way, the network engineers don't have so many places to look for performance data. Prior to using the CA tool suite, we probably had - and I would hate to say this - but we probably had a hundred monitoring tools.

What needs improvement?

Some of the individual report views, the way some of the columns sort, there's room for improvement in giving us more flexibility in being able to sort reports based, for example, on what columns the metrics fall under.

I would say for the most part, most of the improvements I would identify would be on individual reports that are produced by PM, that we instrument to be produced by PM. They may not necessarily do everything we want them to do.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've had CAPM deployed a little over two years. I have experience with CA's NetQoS NPC for about five years prior to that. CAPC basically replaced NPC.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Not really stability issues. We've run into bugs but I wouldn't call those stability issues with PM, specifically. We have run into software bugs where certain features weren't working right, in the past, that CA would have to address. I don't think that would fit under stability. Stability's like crashing.

Now, the one thing I will say. When our CA performance management system is on a Linux system, when that Linux system needs to be updated with patches - and this is the server itself - of course PM has to stop. All of our monitoring stops while that patching is going on for those services, while they restart those servers, but I don't know that that's a CA thing. While that reboot is going on for those servers, for those patches to take place, of course the system has to restart.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with PM. We use other products like NFA and ADA. We've had scalability issues in those areas, but with PM we have not. I don't think we've run into a situation where we have too much. We actually designed our system around a million interfaces to monitor, and I think we're probably less than half a million at this point.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would probably give them an eight out of 10.

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

We switched because there were multiple other solutions, and we were already using CA Spectrum, so the natural progression was to go to CA and use their performance management tool, also known as CAPC, Performance Center. We used multiple tools. We had NetCool out there, we had SolarWinds out there, CiscoWorks, numerous tools.

How was the initial setup?

For us, I would say it was complex. But I think a lot of customers that use the tool rely heavily on the out-of-the-box reporting that CA produces with the tool naturally. For those types of deployments, it might go easier. For our needs, we highly instrumented reports. We have built literally hundreds and hundreds of individual reports ourselves, for our own needs and, I would say that that comes with a level of complexity to accomplish.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was not on board at the time that they were doing of the selection of this tool set, with Anthem. I'm aware that they were also looking at NetCool as another option, and I am not sure why CA was ultimately selected. I also don't have any information about pricing. I'm not sure what they spent on it.

What other advice do I have?

On the positive, if you can rely on the out-of-the-box reports, it should be a fairly straightforward deployment. If you're looking at instrumenting your own views and stuff, it gets more complex the more views you want, the more complex your views, and the more you want to instrument the tool for your environment, versus using the out-of-the-box solution. My advice would be to understand how you're going to implement this and what you're expecting from it.

You're going to go one of a couple different ways. You're either going to instrument it to satisfy some specific needs that you have, or you're going to depend heavily on the out-of-the-box reports that only do instrumentation in a few examples that you find you need. When they demonstrate it to you, you should ask those questions about the differences.

In follow-up to my rating it an eight out of 10 overall, I've used a few other products. There aren't a whole lot of other products I could even give a five to, to be honest. I've used SolarWinds, I've been exposed to NetCool. I've heard horror stories about HPE OpenView. I would give it an eight, which isn't perfect but it's high on my scale.

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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