Device42 Review

Everything is in one place linked altogether

What is our primary use case?

The first use case is the most important. It is Application Dependency Mapping. We want to track what is dependent on what. We want to know when something goes down or a change is made. We are also trying to use it as a change management database for what hypervisor is in what rack which links over to what business application is running that uses what services and has what account. We have information scattered in a lot of different places. This seems to be a very nice solution for taking everything, integrating it together, and linking it all up. 

There seems to be a lot of automation available with our inventory. We have been putting a lot of work into getting our entire infrastructure into Device42 rolled out. However, we have had a lot going on recently because we're going through a merger and acquisition so this has been a bit of a chaotic time. So, we are trying to get everything smoothed out, put in, and figure out. It hasn't been too bad. 

Since we upgraded recently, we are probably using the latest version.

How has it helped my organization?

Device42 instantly improved password management because we didn't have a solid solution for that. Upon installing it, I saw that was one of the little hidden gems of functionality for this. Instead of going with a single solution or platform that we weren't interested in for password management, we have that built into this functionality. It covers a lot of bases and hits a lot of points needed for an IT department. Everything is all in one boat and the solution links up to LDAPs. Whereas, if you don't go with them, you may need to get two or three solutions from different companies or providers. 

It has definitely given us an idea of dependency mapping. We have been trying to see what we can do to link all of our applications. This would improve our security posture for auditing into Device42, as we integrate that with Jira, then link all three together. It's still a work in progress, but it's getting there.

What is most valuable?

  • The password management feature
  • Data center management and tracking
  • Room management
  • Application Dependency Mapping
  • Automated asset tracking and inventory

Any successful IT department needs to have the functionalities that these features provide, whether through Device42 or through a different support application. The better that they can be supported, the more organized and successful a department will be, especially when an outage/issue comes up. Device42 has everything in one place and links it altogether. This helps when you need to figure out where things are going wrong, where things are happening, or how everything is linked together.

Application Dependency Mapping is in a lot of places scattered through different applications. We are trying to centralize that into Device42. When you first start, you look at things like they are just one application or issue. However, when you can think of it as a dependency map, then you can trace any issue you have back to the source and figure out where the issue is happening and what will be affected when I change this one thing. It has improved our thinking about an IP application or IT system in a sense that everything is linked together and one thing will change another.

The asset discovery is pretty comprehensive and covers everything needed.

The solution provides continuous asset discovery, which is great. If there wasn't continuous discovery, then there would be no way to have devices updated if things changed.

Right now, we have full use of the password management functionality that Device42 provides. The main thing is everyone can login to use it for all their setup. This is the password management under "Secrets".

What needs improvement?

The solution’s automatic IT asset discovery and inventory functionality functions pretty well. There could be some improvement if there were some automated scripts to get it off the ground. I know it takes a bit of effort to get all of various managed devices into one place. We have to go and change how they are managed and make sure they are all linking up correctly so they can be tracked in Device42. Some type of automated script for each to get over that initial activation. Once everything is in and tracked, it is a very robust solution. By the end of this year, I am looking forward to getting it rolled out and properly set up in our organization.

It gets a bit confusing sometimes when you're trying to map things to a certain spot when you are trying to configure it. The only trouble we have had with it is the initial activation to get started and get things linked in there. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Approximately six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is pretty stable. I haven't seen any stability issues yet.

Device42 links up to LDAPs. We've had no issues with managing that.

We need one person (an IT business analyst) to maintain and deploy the solution. I currently perform this function and fulfill a lot of different functions for the company. I wear a lot of different hats. I'm one of the more veteran people in the company here. I have a lot of different roles: application administration, application architecture, and account management. All three of those come together to loop in infrastructure, architecture, and administration. All those come together to get this application ready and deployed in our environment to improve our IT posture.

We upgraded in November.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very capable. There are a lot of things that you can do with this solution. I'm hoping that as our configuration matures that we can take more advantage of them.

We have 15 users who are segmented into users of the application. There are administrators of the application and super admin accounts for the management of the back-end. We have two super admins, three administrators, and then all of the rest are users.

A big push will be when we build our new data center, then that will be hopefully set from the ground up when we redo our network. The solution is not being used too extensively right now. The infrastructure upgrade network is the main upgrade component. You have to start with the networking in Device42, so I'm hoping it will give us a fresh slate to do everything properly instead of mismatching everything in there. We definitely have plans to use the software fully and to fully utilize all of its functionality. However, we're still in the early phases.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have had very positive experiences with the technical support. They have been great. We have received so much support from their end that sometimes it may have even been too much. Anytime I'm looking for something, support is coming at us. I even had a little trouble figuring out who I should reach out to when I needed something, but that was clarified recently. There is no lack of support with Device42.

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

We used different solutions from different platforms. Some of them only fulfilled one specific portion of what Device42 would fulfill. They were coming from all over the place. E.g., we were using Excel spreadsheets and Word documents for some stuff. It was a mess and all over the place.

Our IT lead worked with Device42 in the past. He heavily recommended them so we moved forward with it. There has been a big need for our organization to centralize everything and have a proper change management and inventory system with live updates.

How was the initial setup?

I found the overall process of the initial setup straightforward, but certain parts lacked direction.

The install guide could be a bit better. I ran through it to see where to start. Once I figured it out, we connected with support, figured out where to start, and got a plan together. Now, it's been going smoothly. However, when you first start and install the application, you log in and it's like where's the best place to start? For example, "How do I get from here to everything tracking and linking up?" The answer: It depends on your environment. A segmented approach may be more helpful, which support definitely cleared up.

We are still in the configuration phase. A lot of that is due to the lack of time put into getting this configured. The deployment phase probably took a couple of days. We are still working on the configuration phase. A lot of that is due to our own equipment not being supported anymore. We're in the process of infrastructure upgrades now, which doesn't exactly help.

The implementation strategy is to get it installed, then do whatever initial adoption we could (which was "Secrets"), as we're trying to get our network onto it. As we're going through a network infrastructure upgrade, this is a bit chaotic right now but the goal is to start with the network then flow down towards each specific server and VM that we have. On the opposite spectrum, we want to start with our rooms, then build those out into building our data center and racks, meeting in the middle. We're still in the configuration phase, which has been slow.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI, but we are still in the early phases. We still need a bit more time for the configuration on our end to get our infrastructure ready to be able to be imported and managed properly. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Our IT lead evaluated this.

What other advice do I have?

There are pros and cons to the solution’s agentless approach to asset discovery. Without agents, the benefit is that you don't have to manage an agent, update it, install it, and go through the application management on it. It's definitely easier from a longevity perspective. The con is that it takes a bit more configuration with higher activation to set up. If there were agents, it might be a bit simpler to deploy.

Something that we are in the early stages of is the solution’s CMDB, ITAM, and DCIM features creating a single source of IT truth in our environment. It is in our roadmap plan and where we hope to see ourselves at the end of our configuration phase.

I have learned is that there are ways for various different types of networking equipment, servers, and systems to all have ways of reporting into an application. The biggest one is SNMP. Finding out that those are not all configured properly leads to a lot of headroom once the application's already in place. I know I have to go back and configure all of our switches to be doing what they should.  The biggest lesson is that there is a lot of preconfiguration with your infrastructure to ensure that it is ready to be imported into Device42 due to the various ways that equipment can be reported.

Look into getting SNMP configured on everything ahead of time. Ensure you have an LDAP ready for use with the products. Definitely keep support in the back of your mind because they have helped a lot as we have gone through our process.

I would rate the solution as an eight point five (out of 10).

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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