CA Unified Infrastructure Management Review

Extensive probe library means we can monitor all of our varied technologies


What is our primary use case?

We use it for monitoring our infrastructure. 

I think it's a great product. It really brings it into the 21st century of Web UI. This latest version, version 9, that is supposed to be announced here at CA World, brings more of that HTML5 interface in and really steps it up to be a great UI. Easy to use, quick.

What is most valuable?

It's the probes. They have probes for all different types of technology. Whether it's WebSphere, JBoss, or you want to do JVM monitoring, you want to monitor just CPU usage, even Docker, they have probes for that. If you have a technology out there, there's a probe. And if there's not a probe somebody's creating a probe already. The probe library it pretty extensive.

How has it helped my organization?

The improvement is because we can deploy agents (they call them "robots," most people know them as "agents"). As most people know, agents are bloated, they can do whatever you want. With UIM, you put that robot out there and you place the probes you need, only the probes you need. So you have a base agent and here, for example, I only want to monitor server CPU, memory, storage, and maybe I want to monitor JBoss on this box. I just put the CDM probe out there, I put the JBoss probe out, and that's all you need. You don't need the load and probes for Docker or something else that you don't need to use.

What needs improvement?

More HTML5, more flexibility, and reducing the number of screens, fewer mouse clicks, fewer mouse movements. They should really take advantage of the features that the newer web technologies allow for. We're administrators, we're doing thousands of things every day, lots of clicks. Automation, automation, automation is what we want.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been a great product compared to some previous monitoring tools we had in place. Every time there were software updates for the server for security, from Microsoft or any other vendors, that would require reboots. A lot of the times we would have crashes or we'd have to do some recovery to bring them back up. With UIM, we've been running it for about nine or 10 months now and I think I've had to go and reboot the servers once.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability seems great because they use hubs, so if your hub is hitting capacity on a number of servers, devices it's talking to, you can just add another hub. And it's a message-based system.

How is customer service and technical support?

They've been great. Actually the guys that are doing the UIM product really know their stuff.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We have SolarWinds and we had some older Spectrum products that CA had, as well. But, the user interface was not as modernized as UIM.

The product we had was just nearing it's end of lifecycle for us, and we needed to move on to something else that the users would be more comfortable with using.

How was the initial setup?

I think it was pretty straightforward. We did have, just as a disclaimer, a CA person on site helping, one of their sales engineers, just in case anything came up. The process went smoothly. Honestly, we probably didn't even need him there.

What other advice do I have?

Our criteria when looking to switch to a different product include the user's ability, their willingness, to use it. And another main consideration, you can get data in but can you get data out in the formats you need? If you can only get data in, but you can't get data out, it's of no use.

I give it an eight out of 10 because, as I said, I think it needs a little bit more improvement around the UX, but it's getting there. And they're making a concerted effort to make that happen.

I would tell a colleague who is researching this type of solution to really look at your feature functionality. What do you need? Does it meed your needs?

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