CA Performance Management Review

The reporting helps me monitor root drives that are nearing critical capacity


What is our primary use case?

We use it for monitoring up/down, fault management, and trending.

Although it's a really good tool, it very much needs to be rebuilt so that it can be updated on a regular basis.

How has it helped my organization?

One of the ways this product has improved things would be disk space. Since it is monitoring a lot of our infrastructure, I can get it to run a report showing, for instance, what root drives are in the critical range in terms of being full, like 90 percent full, and disseminate that information to the other areas of the organization. I can let them know that there is not a problem now, but there will be in the near future and that if you run out of drive on your root drive for your OS, bad things happen. It's not a pretty picture, when that kind of thing happens, to recover from. Running that report showing which servers and file systems are almost to the critical level is a good, proactive use.

Also, the ability to very quickly and graphically navigate around, being able to zoom in to a timeframe, apply it to all the other panels - things of that nature - are all very intuitive. When I give someone access to the system, the learning curve is pretty short and they very quickly start to discover how easily, with a few clicks, they can get to what they're looking at and understand how the system works with minimal effort, unlike some other systems where you would need some training to know what you're looking at.

What is most valuable?

The metrics that it's able to track and that it's able to trend,

Keep in mind, because we have not updated, it's to the point where I've got to build a complete separate system with the latest version, and then map over all the users and customization, etc, then swap IPs to bring the previous system down so that we'll be on the latest. There are about two years worth of updates that I'm missing out on at the moment. I'm hoping that there are a lot of updates and nice, new features that have been added. So, really, I've been in the dark ages as far as running for a while now, but the feature that is inherent to its core, of being able to graphically represent a trend and status, is nice.

What needs improvement?

This may be available by now but for server space, when it comes to the disk file system, I'd like to see that graphically represented, or the trend, rather than what I'm seeing now. I don't know what the latest version has, all the nice, new features, until I get that project underway.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's fairly stable. This still falls under the issue that the current version I'm running is two years out of date and is less stable, I'm sure, than the very latest version. But stability has been good.

One of the best features about it is that it's a ground-up application from CA. So, there are typically more features added more quickly and there are more updates to the product on a regular basis, unlike some other products.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have never had a problem with scalability. We've always been quite well under what it can do.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support has always been good. A lot of the people that I've known for many years working on the Spectrum side of things have moved into the Performance Management side of things. So tech support has been good.

The response time is good, and typically, with any case with CA, I am sent surveys that I fill out on a regular basis to evaluate performance, how it was handled.

They will come by and visit occasionally, and they're really good about being available when I need help with looking at new systems, to show us what they have to offer.

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

We did not have anything previously, except maybe something along the lines of the free MRTG. But previous to that, we were on a Unix-based system. The biggest thing is trying to tie them all into a centralized database, or a CMDB, which is a project that we're still working on, making progress on, so that everything feeds from a centralized database and is aware of configuration items. That way we can interconnect all these applications so that we can add automation and things of that nature.

How was the initial setup?

It was a bit complex to set up. I don't know how much that has changed. But it was fairly complex to set up.

I didn't get any training or have assistance setting up and it did take a while to do. I followed the directions. It was straightforward but there were a lot of steps to set things up at the time. Keep in mind, again, it was quite a long time ago that we set the system up.

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

I believe the product's pricing is a good value at this point. We're currently trying to internally evaluate everything that we use. It's moot in that it falls under the same umbrella that Spectrum does, and Spectrum is an integral part of the tool. It is used by a lot of departments within our agency to monitor the network up/down. So, it's a part of that umbrella, they're included together. With that, the pricing is fine.

Many years back they changed the way that they did licensing and that was good. Since then, everything has been just fine.

What other advice do I have?

I would give Performance Management an eight out of 10, and I might even move that to a nine after I've had a chance to upgrade it to the two or more years' worth of features that have probably been added.

It's quite usable. It's quite good to see something graphically, it's a very graphical application.

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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