CA Spectrum Review

The topology view, Global Collections and Fault Isolation algorithms pinpoint the exact point of failure.


What is most valuable?

The topology view, Global Collections and Fault Isolation algorithms pinpoint the exact point of failure.

How has it helped my organization?

It gives you a proactive approach. It is almost like it can foresee what's coming fault-wise speaking, and the key is the proprietary Inductive Modeling Technology that it has that gives it that edge ahead of other products.

What needs improvement?

I think the interface needs a bit of a revamp. They need to adapt it to the new app world that it is now ruling (iOS, Android Apps), and it needs to offer more. Also, the Sizing tool is a bit old, and the last time I used it the CPU recommendations for our SpectroSERVERs given by the tool were Pentium IV. I can see that now there is an online updated tool that can assist with your design which is good.

For how long have I used the solution?

I’ve been using it for almost eight years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

In earlier versions, the installations were a bit clunky and troublesome, but after v8 this improved dramatically, even installing large deployments were a breeze to do.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

v6.6 had few hiccups, but in general it is a very mature product. It's been around since 1991 when it was owned by Cabletron.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

When properly designed and you have your base installed, to scale it up or out is a walk in the park. You just need to introduce the new server, what role it has, and whether it's part of the FT environment and you’re done.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Pretty good. I must say, CA is an excellent company and their client always comes first. Every time I have worked with CA support, they were very insightful and had deep knowledge of the solution and how to tackle the issue.

Technical Support:

Back in 2005, when I started working with Spectrum, the level of support engineers they had in the L2 was amazing! They provided deep knowledge and exact root cause solutions when I challenged them.

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

I tested different products before Spectrum. Tivoli was one of them, but it was too complicated and troublesome to configure and maintain. I didn’t like the interface of BMC Patrol as it wasn’t very intuitive, and HP OpenView was the same with a very unappealing GUI, and the algorithms used to keep track of changes in the network and root cause analysis very basic. I didn’t switch, it was only that I worked with these tools before working with Spectrum.

How was the initial setup?

It’s not very complicated, just by following the manual guides were good enough to do a basic installation

What about the implementation team?

It was an in-house implementation but I did training in America which helped me dramatically to fine tune the post-installation.

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

The pricing could be a bit steep if you are a mid-sized or small company, this is an enterprise product, designed and built for huge environments. Licensing used to be easy, and CA had a template depicting all the possible combinations for licensing, I don't know how easy it is nowadays.

What other advice do I have?

Think big, and look to exploit all this product has to offer around Fault & Service Management. When I was the Enterprise Administrator in a big data center in South America, my motto was: if the coffee machine has a network card, we can monitor it and see if we are out of coffee. Spectrum is capable of doing this and more.

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.
2 Comments
author avatarUser
User

The User Interface indeed needs to be modernized and CA acknowledges that, so in the latest release, there is the Web Alarm Console UI, which is HTML5 based and helps operators view and manage alarms in a modern, fully web based console with capabilities such as : List of Alarms, Alarm Details, Neighbour Topology and Impact. In the future releases, it is expected to have the full functionality of OneClick console in a web HTML5 format.

author avatarEdgar Parra
Real User

excellent, thanks for the heads up! Ed.

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