CA Spectrum Review

Allows us to have a holistic view of our heterogeneous network architecture

Video Review:

How has it helped my organization?

It helps our NetOps group actually handle alarms in a way that lets them see the bigger picture of those alarms, and how they might affect our services. It helps us communicate information about the network state better to services that might be impacted by a specific network condition.

What is most valuable?

Spectrum allows us to have a holistic view of our network architecture. We have a pretty heterogeneous topology at U of M, we're a half Cisco, half Juniper shop, and we have multiple layers to our network topology. So, it's really important for us to be able to do that topological map, and be able to visualize the network state at any given time.

What needs improvement?

Spectrum is interesting because it's a super-mature product for CA, and it works really, really well the way it is. In terms of new features and functionality, I feel like there has to be a transition there. The Spectrum OneClick is a Java-based client, and that's aging. Really, before any new feature integration, I'd love to see a comprehensive rebuild of the UI.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable for us. We have, not a highly available implementation of Spectrum, but we have an active standby situation, where we have an active SpectroSERVER and a standby SpectroSERVER and an active OneClick and a standby OneClick running all the time. So it works out pretty well that way.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As the kind of enterprise that straddles the line between telco size and enterprise size, it scales for us, because we're not all the way at telco yet. Maybe one day.

How is customer service and technical support?

Pretty good. They're super responsive. They have that four-tier system and that works pretty well, because if we have a question, we can ask it at a lower priority and it will still get answered. If we have something where our hair is on fire, they'll call us right away.

How was the initial setup?

It could be a little bit better, to be honest. The upgrade process could be smoother. More of the steps around upgrading could be automated, I think.

What other advice do I have?

When selecting a vendor, the most important consideration is product; it has to be product and features.

I'd give it an eight out of 10 right now, because it does what we need it to do. It could go an extra 20 percent somewhere.

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

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