Dynatrace Review

Gives us full-stack monitoring, from the browser all the way back to the database

What is our primary use case?

We are using it in an operational mode, when we have trouble easily getting the root cause, getting the application back up and running. 

Based on that, the product has worked very well for us. We are happy with it.

How has it helped my organization?

It's really opened our eyes. We had point solutions where we could see different elements of the stack, and Dynatrace ties everything together. Before, we could never get that full-stack monitoring. It prevents that, "Oh, it's your problem. No, it's your problem," type of an issue, and it allows us to get to that problem.

It also helps us get us the context of the customer experience. What's the business impact of those problems? And we've never had that before. That has been good.

What is most valuable?

  • Ease of use
  • The full stack - Everything from the browser, all the way back to the database, and being able to see everything, and really narrow in very quickly on what is the root cause. That's the biggest bang for us.

What needs improvement?

Where we are struggling is being able to pull that information out and combine it with other contextual information that we have in other sources. Mining that data in a big-data environment, and joining it together and coming up with larger types of analysis on it. Big-data types of issues. We're still blazing a trail, trying to figure that out. But it's not as easy as some of the other things we've been able to do with the product.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Very stable. Very happy with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have a lot of our infrastructure on it, so it's meeting our needs, for our enterprise. We have thousands of agents that are out there in over a thousand applications, and it's meeting our needs with that.

How is customer service and technical support?

I think it's good. They are very responsive and get back to us. They try to give us workarounds and follow up with us. So, we're happy with that.

How was the initial setup?

We have an infrastructure group and I'm more on the business-unit side, but I was part of our PoC as we brought it in, and stood it up. Generally, it was very easy to get it set up and get going very quickly. It was pretty easy. We used some of the Dynatrace sales team and the engineers to help us get it set up, but in short order, we had it going.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

AppDynamics and New Relic were the other two.

We were never able to get AppDynamics working in our PoC. We couldn't get it working on our web servers. New Relic didn't meet some of our shortlist criterion.

What other advice do I have?

Regarding the nature of digital complexity, I think the role of AI is becoming more critical when it comes to IT's ability to scale in the cloud and manage performance problems. It's because of the complexity and the number of elements that are out there, and being able to completely understand what the problem is. There was a good quote from one of the last keynote presentations here at the Perform 2018 conference: "Let's not chase $500 issues. Using AI allows us to go for those bigger issues," and look for more value, rather than worrying about all the little things that happen. AI would give us the ability to handle that low-level work, very quickly - the auto remediation - get that back up and going. It would buy us time to do higher-level work.

We've used a lot tools at our company, including siloed monitoring tools. Some of the main things we're seeing with them are gaps in the ability to handle emerging technology; things like single-page applications, Angular applications, single sign-on applications, those types of things.

When looking at purchasing an APM solution, we wanted something that was a proven leader. We looked at industry review rankings. Did it support the technologies we develop our applications on? Can it give us that full-stack view into our architecture? Can it tell us what's going on with the customer experience? Those types of things.

If I had a friend looking to adopt an APM solution, I'd really have him take a look at Dynatrace. It's an industry leader. We've had a great experience with them. It meets our needs. They're future-looking. Even though we're not where they are in terms of the capabilities they have, we know we're going to need those capabilities in the future. Great product.

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