Dynatrace Review

Our performance test teams are more aware of how product features are performing. This helps to prioritize our testing.


What is our primary use case?

We are using the solution in the operations space.

Our primary use case is production monitoring of complex business critical systems. Another use case would be performance testing of critical releases.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution uses a single agent for automated deployment and discovery, which helps our operations. It reduces the cost of ownership of managing Dynatrace as a tool set, ensuring that we're able to maximize the value from Dynatrace and monitoring is available. That's a big plus.

An example of how it helps is we are more proactive than we were previously, though we're not quite where we want to be. Engineers are talking more with the operations people, which is closing the loop. Our teams are becoming more customer centric.

The platform is very good at identifying potential issues, but each problem that surfaces in most cases still needs to be qualified and quantified by somebody who understands the system. Complex application problems, not infrastructure, surfaced by Dynatrace still need to be reviewed by somebody who understands the application logic or system architecture. For somebody who understands the platform though, issues can resolved in minutes as opposed to hours.

We have the ability to detect user action response time slow downs and their consequences, along with the back-end calls to third-parties. We are heavily dependent, for a number of products, on back-end service calls to other suppliers. Using Dynatrace, we are able to measure the performance of those third-parties. 

We are also using Dynatrace to right-size the infrastructure, especially on private cloud where we have to provision the resources upfront to save costs. Dynatrace helps us by finding how many resource we are utilizing and identifies how many resources we need to maintain for the level of performance and scalability that's required. This has helped us right-size in about 50 percent of our cases, leading to a reduction in cloud resources by 50 percent.

The solution helps DevOps to focus on continuous delivery and shift quality issues to pre-production. This helps with performance testing because our performance test teams are more aware of how product features are performing, which helps to prioritize our testing. It creates test cases so we're able to do more testing. Because Dynatrace helps us define the cause more quickly, this speeds up the time between test cycles.

What is most valuable?

The end-to-end trace is valuable for us to be able to assign responsibility to the right resolver group very quickly.

The user experience allows us to be able to gauge customer experience and understand the performance impact of our platform.

It has a very nice interface with an easy way to visualize the data that we need, making it quickly accessible. It is very easy to use.

As a platform consolidating tool, it covers 90 percent of the needs for most applications. In that respect, it presents a very high value for us.

We have used synthetic monitoring functionalities to poll. Mostly, it's around service availability and key functionality of a website from different geographic locations. 

The real-user monitoring is mostly used to gauge the difference in performance for multitenant applications, This is so we can discern if there are any local network or client-facing issues when we do a comparison between each customer. It is quite important for us to be able to identify a client-side issue, as opposed to a feature managed problem, because we're essentially providing managed services of business applications.

What needs improvement?

Dashboarding and having different templates available for more business reporting, or even other metrics, would be useful.

With Dynatrace, we use one tool where we would have used many, but we still have had gaps.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has very high availability.

When we started, we were measuring uptime in a different way, and then Dynatrace started measuring uptime based on services, as opposed to infrastructure. Initially, because we started using different metrics for availability, it showed us that we weren't available as much as we thought we were. This helped us to have better conversations with customers and improved availability from the customer perspective over time. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have 115 users, which includes Level 2 and 3 supports, service design, product management, cloud infrastructure management, software developers, software testers, and product architects.

We are only in an early phase at the moment regarding the use of Dynatrace. Currently, we are only using it on two critical platforms. Going forward, we're looking to expand to nine critical platforms.

Our adoption rate across the portfolio is low because we're still in a pilot phase trying to build out our business cases.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is excellent and very fast. Not only do I get a quick response, but they're also able to close the request off very quickly and satisfactorily with a fix.

Some of the feedback I get from our team, who are familiar with other tools: "Compared with other tools, Dynatrace support is excellent." 

How was the initial setup?

The feedback that I get from people is that the initial setup was very straightforward and easy. It was amazing what information we got in such little time after deploying the agent.

In most cases, the deployment is quick. It takes a couple of hours.

For high-risk applications, which are business critical or high complexity, we would deploy Dynatrace. For medium-risk applications, we would consider using Dynatrace. It comes down to cost qualification for medium-risk applications.

What was our ROI?

The solution has decreased our mean time to identification. It has saved us from 10 minutes to a couple of hours.

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

Consider volume because that is where you will get the most benefit. Doing a point solution is not cost-effective.

There are additional Professional Services costs which ensure the solution is configured with meaningful names so you're getting the most money for your investment.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

It is the easiest platform to manage in comparison to the competition, like Elastic Stack, New Relic, AppDynamic, Nagios, or Prometheus.

What other advice do I have?

Without a doubt, I'd recommend Dynatrace for business critical applications and anything that's driving revenue.

Biggest lesson learnt: To recognize the most value from the information that Dynatrace provides, you need to make it available to everybody in the DevOps group. There is a wealth of data which can be exposed, manipulated, and consumed by other systems, not just what's visible in Dynatrace. This can also be used for inputs into other upstream platforms.  

Understand the demands within your environment and plan a pipeline, then discuss with Dynatrace. 

We're aware that there are use cases for notifications that can be used for triggering self-healing or autoscaling, but we are not using those yet.

I would rate this solution as a nine (out of 10).

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

SaaS
**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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