CA UIM (DX Infrastructure Manager) Review

It tells us if a system is about to fail and we can take proactive action.

What is most valuable?

UIM is very configurable. You can do lots of things with it. Now that comes with a caveat, right? If it's highly configurable, generally speaking, it's not easily cookie cutter place-able, right? There's a lot of programming that comes along with it. Once you figure out that piece of it, you can do pretty much anything with it.

I don't think it’s very complicated. It takes time, just like anything, but once you figure it out it's pretty much the same for each individual section of the product. It's just applied in a different way.

Currently, my reach is just the Windows servers, but soon it will be all types of monitoring and automation, including Windows servers, Linux servers, and applications that live on those servers. They are the pieces that I'll be looking at.

How has it helped my organization?

Currently, without going into too many details, we are leveraging the product to perform self-healing. If there's an outage of some sort or maybe even a metric, if you know what metric to monitor, to tell you if something is about to fail. You can take action to prevent the failure. Instead of being reactive, we're being proactive. Even to the point of being proactive and realizing these are the metrics that tell me, “this system is about to become unhealthy”, and reacting to that rather than reacting to an actual outage.

What needs improvement?

I do a lot of coding outside and inside of UIM. The biggest, most annoying problem, if you will, is the ISE that's embedded in UIM. It is very limited in its scope and what it's capable of compared to even some of the more primitive ISEs that are on the market. Personally, I'd like to see more time spent on the ISE, whether that's going to be in their new product, which is Unified Management Portal.

I've heard from up the food chain that they're going to be changing it and it's going to be more integrated with UMP. But I'd still like to see more improvement on the ISE, especially from my perspective because I primarily work in automation. The ISE portion is very big in my space.

In PowerShell, for instance, their ISE is, in my opinion, pretty good for what it does. You can tab through all the options versus in UIM's ISE, in order to do that there's actually a pane on right hand side that you have to click through. Even then, what the actions that are listed there do is not described well enough.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

UIM is pretty stable. Everything has its quirks. As far as the monitoring platform as a whole, I've worked with a lot of different programs and it's pretty stable. It's up there with the top.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have yet to run into anything that it couldn't scale. We've scaled it massively since we've started using it.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very responsive. They're quick to escalate an issue that they don't know how to solve themselves. Where other companies fail, I think, is getting a customer to somebody who actually knows how to fix the issue. Whereas with CA, it seems like every time I open a case, they're very quick to find out what the actual problem is and get somebody in contact with me that actually knows how to fix the issue. No matter whether that's somebody actually on the technical support team or if it's a senior principle consultant that's outside of the technical support team. It seems like they're always very responsive to get that done.

How was the initial setup?

For the most part, initial setup was straightforward. It's very one-step-after-the-other to get the initial basic monitoring portion of it setup. Then, obviously, there's a lot more things that it can do after that. That takes a learning curve.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Choosing UIM wasn't my decision. That came from above my pay grade.

What other advice do I have?

Last words of advice. It's a great tool. One way I painted myself into a corner was when I first started using it I thought that it only can do this this one certain way. With UIM, the one thing I've learned is there's hundreds of ways of doing it and they're all right. It's just a matter of which way gets you there the fastest I guess.

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