DX Spectrum Review

Offers a single pane of glass that allows views into inventory, code version management, and inner operations with our ITSM

What is our primary use case?

The use case for this solution is as a hardware management tool that manages SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) version two. In some cases, it can manage version three for the MIPS (Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipelined Stages) that responds to hardware performance issues. That is both in the network and the security space. So it is a centralized pane of glass right now.  

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has improved our organization by offering a single pane of glass that allows views into inventory, code version management, and inner operations with our ITSM (IT Service Management) service via a middleman server. It is just an operational asset management tool and it is serving a purpose.  

What is most valuable?

The ability to view assets from a single-pane-of-glass in our present environment is the most valuable feature at this point-in-time. That role will be changing in the short term.  

What needs improvement?

Typically within IT technology and network security, you are worried about the LSI (Linear Shift-Invariant). That would be measured as one (or really zero) to four output-to-session level. Once you start moving into the cloud, then your application performance and your user experience change. It becomes a focal point because you can not control the infrastructure that you do not own. This is why everybody is saying that they do not care about infrastructure. The reason they do not care about it is because everybody is looking at the application performance based on the user's experience. You can not do that in a centralized IT organization and a global SAS deployment.  

The platform capability for CA Spectrum is built on an existing platform that they are trying desperately to sustain and then they bolt all these changes to it to enhance it. You can not do that. That is one of the reasons their solution is not very good or it will not be sustainable.   

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using CA Spectrum for 15 years.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

My impression of CA Spectrum is that it is not a stable platform. It is built with add-ins and plugins and the components are impossible to centralize within the system.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is not financially feasible with this product as it is right now considering the customer product offering. IT organizations and enterprise services are not focused on hardware management. They are focused on service delivery. Taking a critical look at this as a management platform, it is not focused on the future for digital transformation and movement toward the cloud.  

It does not have the capability to do business analytics or bi-directional APIs. They do an automation process and you can not automate manual processes without dual APIs.  

There are a limited number of users involved with the product. There is an operational role, there is a DevOps role (development operational role, meaning they also maintain the level two support for the organization), and then there is a vendor role FCS. That is it.  

How are customer service and technical support?

I have had some experience with the technical support team. Because of that, we are looking for alternative vendors.  

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

We have a combination of management support products that we are using concurrently. We have applications from our security provider, Panorama, for Palo Alto. We have Cisco products, which include Cisco DNA Center ( Digital Network Architecture) and Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine). We have a multitude of other applications and services. But that is another thing. CA Spectrum is not a managing manager. The product is not an orchestrator. The product does not have a bi-directional API that will allow automation to occur to put the network back in compliance with the user's needs.  

Those are the services that are available in the cloud. People say they are more expensive by looking at a sticker price. But consider this: you buy it once and deploy it rather than try to do resiliency monologuing on your own and deploying across the world globally six or eight times. The repeated deployment is your real cost.  

How was the initial setup?

The solution took a total of maybe 18 months to deploy using our in-house networking team. In our case, it takes a staff of about six to full-time technicians to maintain the system.  

All the services have to be set up for transparency. What I mean by that is — and this goes back into the zero trust model — people do not care that you are delivering their services. People want to have transparency. They want to be able to see their services. They want to see their traffic flows. They want to validate their services themselves. So there will be additional folks that will need access to those views to instill that transparency.  

What about the implementation team?

We did not use outside services to assist in the deployment. The folks on our in-house network team are capable and they did a great job.  

What other advice do I have?

My advice to people looking at this solution would be to validate the strategy with the needs. Do not go with a vendor you are locked into right now just because things are as is and it might be difficult to change. Digital transformation is disruptive to the current state of things. You will probably find it easier to change if you start new rather than try and drag the old pieces along with you.  

On a scale of one to ten with one being the worst and ten being the best, I would rate this product as an eight. That is for my current usage and what I am doing with it right now. For what it will be doing six months from now, I would probably rate it as a four. That is because of our planned technology changes. We will be using SAS Viya multi-cloud. The purposes will change and CA Spectrum will become outmoded.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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