CA Service Operations Insight Review

Features like alarm enrichment and escalation policies are very helpful in creation of dashboards reflecting only business critical alarms.


Valuable Features

CA SOI allows a lot of flexibility in managing alerts received from downstream systems. Features like alarm enrichment and escalation policies are very helpful in creation of dashboards, reflecting only business critical alarms with all relevant information including root-cause analysis and probable cause.

Improvements to My Organization

We deployed CA SOI for a customer and they are using it as a top-level monitoring tool for business stakeholders to check how their network infrastructure is performing and to view the status of critical enterprise-level services. This enables the decision-making body in the business to be aware in real-time about the performance and outages in the services provided, and thus deal with issues proactively before their business is impacted.

The unique feature of integrating CA SOI with CA BSI gives NOC users a powerful tool to monitor their committed-service SLAs in real-time. If the SLA is impacted even slightly, the alerts in SOI are useful in giving the NOC users a heads-up and thus the relevant actions can be taken to ensure service continuity without breach of SLA.

Room for Improvement

The topology view should be improved with better quality and a richer set of icons. It also needs to have more customization options in the topology view, like Spectrum's topology editor.

Use of Solution

We've used it for three years.

Deployment Issues

There were some issues while deploying, especially related to DB connectivity but, since v3.3, the deployment activity has been a breeze and very user friendly.

Stability Issues

We did not encounter any issues with the stability of the product. The product is very stable, however, support for the latest OS's should be provided. Performance of the connectors can be improved upon.

Scalability Issues

We didn't attempt it, but CA says that SOI does support on-the-fly scalability. In our in-house CA lab, we attempted scalability tests, however, I am not up-to-date with the results.

In our deployment we deployed it standalone and it was a very capable in effectively managing alerts received from numerous downstream systems CA eHealth, Spectrum, NFA, and Mediation Manager.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

8/10 - due to a complicated integration setup for CA COTS, a lack of proper documentation, as well as a limited featured topology, and no GIS map capability. However, the ease-of-use of the dashboard and the rich set of metrics which are displayed in an easy-to-understand dashboard UI are very powerful plus-points for the solution.

Technical Support:

10/10 - the support team is always helpful and provide crisp and clear information relevant to the issue or query and provide so with a quick turnaround time.

Initial Setup

The initial setup gets complicated when we try integrations with CA eHealth, Spectrum and BSI. Though connectors are available, there are a lot of configurations required to actually get the integration functioning as per requirements. A good documentation set for all relevant configurations for supported integrations would be appreciated.

Implementation Team

We were the vendor team, and we implemented the solution for a major ICT client in Mauritius.

ROI

As we were the implementing vendor, we were not directly involved in the ROI. However, as per customer inputs, their MTBF and MTTR was reduced considerably and many network issues especially performance issues now were identified and resolved proactively before business impact, and the high level management is always up-to-date on the network performance due to the CA SOI interface.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

The pricing and licensing costs are very cheap and as there is no comparable product offered by other vendors, CA SOI is truly a unique solution with a very affordable price bracket. The solution, when clubbed together with CA Spectrum, eHealth and BSI, provides a huge capability in managing complex and very large infrastructures. The low pricing model of CA SOI allows it to be a cherry on the cake offer for potential customers due to its immense flexibility and dashboard capability. The new app dashboard too enhances the value for money of CA SOI.

Other Solutions Considered

We did not evaluate any other options as there is no other option offering the particular feature set that CA SOI provides.

Other Advice

A wiki site covering the entire documentation set and more features in editing the topology, like background colors, shapes and custom icons, a richer collection of device icons and capability to integrate with GIS maps.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a trusted partner of CA. Our in-house CA lab is one of the best in the industry with ability to simulate real-life scenarios on any scale of IT/Network infrastructure for assessment of COTS products and their feature sets and capabilities.
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