Catchpoint Review

Global synthetic monitoring tracks system availability but drill-down for error detail is too involved


What is our primary use case?

We are using this to monitor our applications, our global applications, like the Autodesk Store, Autodesk.com application websites, Autodesk subscription portal, Autodesk account management. So all those global websites that our customers access are monitored through Catchpoint. It's used as a global synthetic monitoring solution.

How has it helped my organization?

Catchpoint is actually catching issues before customers see them, since it's checking the sites every five minutes or even every minute, via the APIs. So, it's catching issues alerting the team proactively that there is an issue.

What is most valuable?

We really need the API monitoring, as well as client side session monitoring, the global synthetic monitoring, to track the availability of the systems from the customer side. So, it's mainly used to measure the availability and to check whether the sites are available from the customer's perspective. It's used to test it from the end-user perspective.

What needs improvement?

There are lots of areas. One is, if we need to do performance analysis, we have to click too many times. For example, if there is an issue that is caught by Catchpoint, we need to understand what the error is and at which step it failed, or which transaction that is impacted. To drill down, we have to click too many things to get the answer.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far we have not had any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability, since it's a specific appliance that we purchase and we consume, there is no way to scale, but it's easy to scale if we have to buy additional licenses. But it's a long process.

How are customer service and technical support?

The thing I like most is the tech support in this company, because they have 24/7 chat support. We can chat immediately and ask them about an issue and they keep responding. They create tickets on our behalf and respond. That's the best part of Catchpoint compared to all other products. This is not a feature that is available with all of our companies. We can go to support and there is always a person sitting there and answering our questions.

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

We previously used Sitescope. It is a high-speed product but it was not evolving to match the technology changes that were happening in the industry, like syndicated applications, APIs, and different encryptions. It was not handling or supporting those types of things. Whereas Catchpoint supports all these things: single-page application, AJAX, different types of authentications. We wanted to move to that.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward.

We worked with the support team. At that time they did not have a dedicated training portal. Now, they have come up with a dedicated training portal where we can do training. It's available for all customers and you then get certification. So they have made it easy.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The price and licensing are very, very high. They have to come down on the pricing to match with the industry standard. I don't think they will be able to get customers.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

During that time we evaluated New Relic. New Relic did not have an on-prem node. We had some internal applications, so we needed both internal and external application monitoring. The internal application monitoring was not supported, only the external application was supported by New Relic. Whereas, at that time, Catchpoint supported both, so that's one reason.

The other reason was that Catchpoint uses a scripting language called Selenium, which is very similar to our testing framework, so it was really easy. The Selenium test scripting framework was the main reason we picked it because our team, our company, is familiar with this language, the scripting language they use for all the monitoring scripts.

We also evaluated Dynatrace. Dynatrace was closer, but at that time they didn't have the same kind of on-prem node.

What other advice do I have?

I have noticed they are coming up with APIs to get metrics and then prepare dashboards. Also, they are enhancing their reports on transaction monitoring and they're coming up with solution enhancements every quarter. I really like that.

In terms of advice, it can differ from company to company. For example, if you're looking for solutions like just web page monitoring or the API, I would say Catchpoint is the best one. But if requirements involve database queries, SNMP monitoring, etc., they don't have it. They're working on fixing that, I think. 

But web page monitoring, when it comes to global synthetic monitoring, I recommend them for just web pages.

I would rate Catchpoint at seven out of 10 overall. There are a few enhancements that we have requested, as I mentioned, such as better drill-down to get failure details. That's one of the major things. And then there is trending. Currently, out-of-the-box, they provide only seven days availability. So, we have to do queries and we have to go into a separate analysis module, we have to run lot of queries to long-term trends. Long-term trends are something that management is always keen about. Those are the areas that, if they improve, I would rate them a 10.

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