CA Spectrum Review

You can customize it to your environment and make it meet your business needs


What is our primary use case?

We monitor our network devices with it, therefore it performs well.

What is most valuable?

The flexibility. It is so customizable. You can about make it do anything you want it to do, if you can figure out how to make it do it. There are things you can do in it to customize it to your environment and make it meet your business needs. I do not know if I have seen other products in this space that are as flexible.

How has it helped my organization?

We see events that we would not typically see. Thus, it helps us find things that we may not have known were wrong. It creates transparency and makes everything work by being more transparent.

What needs improvement?

CA is going in the right direction. What we want is more integration between the tools and it looks like they are doing more of that. That is probably the big thing. Better integration between the tools, being able to take all the data from the tools and having it available in one place, such as generate dashboards, analytical data, etc. 

I would like to see CA move Spectrum, Performance Manager, and some of their other tools moved to a SaaS based model. You see a lot of other manufacturers which are moving toward SaaS based models.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good. We have not issues in the two years that we have been using it. It is one of CA's more stable products.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good. We have not scaled it a lot. We are getting ready to add another SpectroSERVER to it for redundancy. But from a scale perspective, it has worked out okay for us.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is so-so. It depends on who you get. Sometimes you get the runaround. Sometimes, I am not sure that the people that pick up cases know the product well.

You open a case specifically for Spectrum support, but depending on who you get, some of the guys are really good or knowledgeable. Typically what you find out is those are kind of the higher level people. Then, sometimes you get people that you do not get really good answers from, who make you feel like you know more about the product than they do. So, it is hit or miss. 

Sometimes, you have cases that may stay open for weeks. These are not complex cases. These are just questions about how to do something or if you can do a certain thing. It seems like it takes a long time to get an answer. It just depends.

The communities are probably a bigger help than actual technical support because you have a lot of other people that can provide feedback. Therefore, it is not terrible.

How was the initial setup?

It was pretty straightforward. We actually had the CA Services guys come in and help us set it up. 

What about the implementation team?

We were involved in the the set up and everything, but CA Services did the heavy lifting. They were the experts, so we did not have to have a ton of knowledge. So, the setup for us was pretty easy because we used CA Services.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had HPE OpenView, SolarWinds, and OPNET tools. We chose CA because we can consolidate all of those tools down. This is why the integration is important. It has allowed us to eliminate a whole bunch of other tools, so we were able to consolidate, and that was a good thing for us.

What other advice do I have?

It is a really good product, though it is very complicated. You need to make sure that you have the staffing, because of the complexity of the product. You will need staff to be able to use it to its fullest extent. 

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

The biggest criteria are:

  • Functions
  • Features
  • Cost
  • The reputation of the vendor.

There are a lot of little vendors out there that are in a lot of these spaces, but you have never heard of them. Therefore, it is good to have a large company that you know and you trust. We have a good account team and good pre-sales people. They have really help us out a lot.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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