CA UIM (DX Infrastructure Manager) Review

Pros include: modular design, flexibility and ease of deployment


What is most valuable?

  • The nimbus architecture
  • Scalability
  • Modular design
  • Product coverage
  • Ease of deployment

How has it helped my organization?

People from different parts of the organization are aware of its capabilities and will defer to it when they need something monitored, or automated, rather than devising their own solution. It speaks volumes about the product that people have faith in it to not only ask the question of can it be done, but also believe it will be done. Not only are our internal processes simplified and enhanced by UIM but it also adds value to the services we provide to our customers.

What needs improvement?

  • Documentation
  • Product releases
  • Testing
  • Transparency regarding bugs and closed support cases
  • Honesty from the vendor on what is and what isn’t important from their portfolio of products

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for five years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

It depends on the version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The probes (basic components that can, amongst other things, monitor particular systems) can be buggy. More often than not new releases are to fix issues rather than add new functionality. The core components are fairly robust for the environments I have worked on. CA support are quick to act when issues arise however and the community has excellent contributors which can provide key insights into problems as well as identifying them before they arise.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think the product is quite strong in this regard, but maybe not so much the underlying database. If the deployment is going to be extremely large than a clued up DBA is a must.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

It's very good, they give us regular product updates. We also have calls with our account manager, and attend biannual conferences.

Technical Support:

They are generally very good but occasionally I feel like I’m being purposefully stalled so that their SLAs aren’t breached. However, I can appreciate that all of the basics must be ticked off in case something basic was missed and so that a clear picture of the problem can be built up. There is always the opportunity to escalate to the account manager who returns with a swift and clear response.

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

No, but I have evaluated other solutions and deemed them unsuitable to switch to. Some solutions do, though, have novel ideas which could be more appealing to organisations with different needs.

How was the initial setup?

This really depends on the environment in question, whether it is a single subnet on a Windows lenient group policy, security policy, short data retention periods, basic reporting to internal staff and a small amount of industry standard hardware/software is fairly easy to set up. Thousands of distributed, diverse servers and devices in a multi-tenant environment that needs years of data to be at the fingers tips of people with different access privileges across the world would not be so easy.

The sizing of the environment is very important, and the deployment needs to be carried out by someone with a bit of experience.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it in-house.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

  • ScienceLogic
  • SolarWinds
  • System Center
  • Nagios

What other advice do I have?

Get an expert to guide you through it. Don’t expect miracles, you get out what you put in, no solution is the holy grail. You should become a developer to really see the benefits of the product and get involved with the community to share your thoughts and ideas, CA listens to their customers feedback.

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