CA Unified Infrastructure Management Review

It has a wide variety of monitors and probes. The UI needs to be more intuitive with better organization for grouping and deployment.

What is most valuable?

It has a wide breadth of monitors and probes. It enables us to monitor just about anything we come across. That's its strength: it's got a wide variety.

It's allowed us to narrow our footprint. We're getting ready now to retire some legacy apps that we use for monitoring, so it's allowed us to narrow our footprint.

What needs improvement?

  • They need to work on the user interface. I know they are, but to me, that's one of the big things that is holding them back. It's not with the times. It's not real intuitive. You really need to work with it to figure out where things are.
  • We need to be able to group servers and deploy different packages to them.
  • You should be able to better organize the grouping and deployment. That's kind of where they struggle. They need to work on that area. I know they are, but that's our pain point. The organization is lacking.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think it needs a little work in terms of stability. We've had issues with some probes crashing. It seems like there are really more bugs in a release when it comes out than there should be. I would think they should be caught in QA. That's what I've seen so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It seems to be very scalable. We have 6,000 servers, and we really haven't run into any scalability issues. We have thousands and thousands of monitors. But the number of alarms for event handling can be a little better. I know they're working on that. They may have another solution coming out that will help us with that.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been fair, medium, or whatever the middle of the road is. I wish they were a little more responsive on some items, and be a little more knowledgeable on some items. It seems like we need to go through several layers before we get to someone who really can help us with our problem.

We're not just opening a, "Hey, how do you do this?" It's more like, "Okay. This is broken. How do we go about fixing it?" It seems like it takes multiple conversations to get what we need out of that, to get a fix.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We had many solutions and this one came down from management. "You're going to narrow your footprint," and the powers that be picked it for us. We had to go with that. It was already in. Other products were already in house, so this kind of lent itself to, "Well, here's another solution from CA, so deploy that."

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward for the complex tool that it is. There is complexity in terms of the more you deploy it, the bigger you get; and when you start to add layers, it can be complex. Overall, though, it was fairly straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

I would do a proof of concept and go through all the use cases to make sure it's going to fit your needs. You should also work with the user interface first. Ask yourself whether it is going to be too cumbersome for you, given the type of environment that you have.

Knowing now what I didn't know then, having really good and responsive technical support is very important. It is not something you really think about when you are looking for a better tool, but you have to live with the decision for years. It's hard to evaluate, I know, when you're first deploying or first looking at new tools, but being able to evaluate that would be good. The scalability and the ability to cover the range of our different requirements is also important.

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