Device42 Review

Automatic, continuous IT asset discovery is key to our operation; when changes happen they are pulled in

What is our primary use case?

We have a pretty unique use case, one that isn't used by a lot of companies. We have Azure, AWS, as well as Google Compute Engine in the cloud. We want to have all of those in one central station. That's why we're using Device42, so that it can track all of our IPAM in one place.

We have it on-prem in our data center.

How has it helped my organization?

The fact that the solution provides continuous asset discovery is key to our operation because we treat our instances like cattle, not pets. If something breaks in the build or along any step of the way, or something just stops responding, normally we just shoot it and spin another one up. So we have to have something that notices that something remotely changed, and that can then pull that back into the records inside of Device42.

The solution's CMDB, ITAM, and DCIM features absolutely create a single source of IT truth in our environment. That's why we use Device42; because that is what we have to have. When I worked at Bluehost, we were using Act! tables and they were really painful to use as a source of truth because they were never kept up to date. Device42 is much easier to keep up to date. And because of the way it works, and the reports that it has, we all trust it as our IP address management tool. It's the best IPAM tool out there.

And deployment of the solution has definitely increased our security posture because you can only secure what you know about. If you don't know about it, you can't make sure that it's secure.

What is most valuable?

The discovery is the most valuable feature. Device42 has remote connectors that will go out and look for the changes. You can run Nmap. You can do one-way DNS zone syncs and that's pretty important. Those are the things that are really quite strong for Device42 to report back on your infrastructure.

The solution's automatic IT asset discovery and inventory functionality are top-notch. The thing I like is that it's open-source. If I need to change them — and they've given me links on GitHub to have them — I can go and change them to pull exactly what I want, as frequently as I want. 

Also, I can show this to CEOs, and they understand it. So the front-end is awesome. 

Once you get the reports done

  • the monthly device add-on trends are awesome
  • the changes are awesome
  • the IP statistics, device statistics, and your building's statistics are all really good.

What needs improvement?

A con for Device42 is that Kubernetes integration is lacking. You pay for 10,000 spot licenses and if you're spinning up a Kubernetes cluster, or four or five or six Kubernetes clusters like we do, you're going to have 5,000 or 6,000 nodes in each of those, doing different types of business things. And those don't flow in and out. Yes, you can purge them — they do have a purge function — but the way that that works for security purposes leaves a little bit to be desired. I want to keep track of those for a security solution. If there were a compromise, it would be nice to have that rather than have it taking up some of your spots. Something that's missing is Kubernetes-based statistics so you can get a peek inside your clusters there.

Also, the reports are a little clunky, they could be better.

Finally, the comprehensiveness of the asset discovery is not perfect, but that's part of it being open-source. The scalability, the time that it takes to get things inside, could be faster.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Device42 for about seven years. At Bluehost, a company I used to work for ages ago, we brought it in and I started using it there. It was in one of its earlier releases. We were buying other companies and that's when I started using Device42.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. We've never had a problem with Device42, and we've used it quite heavily.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Nmap is the de facto standard. But Nmap is still slow. If you wanted to look at 10,000 different IP addresses and get a little bit of information from each of them, it would take a little while, unless you multi-fitted them. There's a new tool out called Masscan. I've taken it and written a middleware so that the Device42 stuff uses Masscan now. That would be something that would really help Device42 scale much faster, in the discovery-specific portion of its tool.

For what we're doing, the scalability hasn't been an issue. We knew a lot of people were going to be using it. We have people from all over the world — from three different places in India, seven different places in the United States, and a bunch of people in the European Union —  working on this at the same time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is fantastic. We wanted to bring in a whole bunch of information from NetBox. We wanted to basically seed Device42 from the information we kept in NetBox, and they made that very easy. It was very helpful.

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

We used NetBox. We switched to Device42 because it's better.

What was our ROI?

Device42 is not that expensive. To have something that has all of our IP address scheme in there, something that is up to date and current, is a huge ROI for our organization. The ROI is very high.

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

At Device42 they were really kind. We were working through the licensing agreements this year and they said, "Hey, we'll open this up for you if you'll give us your feedback." They're willing to make something work, and they are working on a solution that will work better for people who are using Kubernetes.

We follow the Kubernetes lifecycle. Every quarter they release a new one, and then end-of-life every six months. Our development is a little bit ahead of that, so we're testing things, bringing them up, spinning them down, for QA. And that uses quite a bit of address space, so the licensing thing is my only, "Hey, guys, you're not super-hot on the licensing."

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I've used NetBox, MyIP, and RackTables. I've used quite a bunch of these other tools out there, and honestly, Device42 is the best. The others don't compare to it. It is so much better.

I, myself, and people in roles up to the VP, looked at a whole bunch of options, ones that they've used in the past. Together, we came to the conclusion that, for pretty much any commercial company — and this is really the takeaway — that would rather focus on making money than spending a whole bunch of time fiddling with different databases, different underlying hardware; any company that wants an app that will get up and running, the very best thing to do is to get Device42.

What other advice do I have?

Just choose Device42 first.

Device42 hasn't reduced the time spent managing IT assets in our company because it has given us a better look at all the assets. It has created some work for us. But once we're done with all that work, I think it will go down.

I give it a solid nine out of 10. If it had a way to better work with Kubernetes and the pricing was different, it would be a 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?


Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**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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