Dynatrace Review

We know how production is behaving at any point, and if we need to scale

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case is for monitoring our applications in production. We have a number of consumer-facing applications. 

It performs really well. I have been using it for a few years now, and every year we see a lot of benefit in the many features that come out in product development.

How has it helped my organization?

The main benefit right now is that we really know how production is behaving at any point in time and if we need to scale; we can be more proactive versus reactive, serving our customers. We have a number of different apps in other countries, so I think it gives us a holistic view, not just for one app, but for all of our apps.

It's all consumer-facing, so it has a direct revenue aspect to it. If things were to go down, we would lose actual revenue. So it's really not a nice-to-have, it's a must-have.

What is most valuable?

It's the dashboards. The dashboards provide very good visibility into it no matter what your role or title is. They provide very good visibility into what's happening in production. It's kind of a one-stop shop for all that information, instead of having to through logs, or through multiple systems to get that information.

I also think it's more than monitoring, that's what we are learning here at the Perform 2018 conference. It's more of a platform, and it's trying to enable a bunch of different functionalities, not just the monitoring aspect of it. I think the whole AI part of it is going to be pretty interesting. To me, another area that's personally of interest is native integration, so that we can make native apps today that look like they're getting better, in the long-term perspective.

What needs improvement?

I'd like to see native support, because we're launching native apps in multiple countries so we really want to have a really good feel for how those apps are going and how well they're performing, if there are issues. 

The other one is AWS. I think they've just announced something with them. We do have a lot of AWS Lambdas in production right now for a couple of apps we have, so I'm looking forward to that being available to use.

I can't really think of a limitation, I think that it has a lot of good features. Maybe some mobile, tablet-based dashboards, even though I do believe they're already supported, but a better native capability from that perspective, having those dashboards available from the native experience.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think it's pretty stable. I haven't really heard of any outages or things that have gone wrong. I don't use it literally every day, day in and day out, but from what I've seen and experienced, I've not really had any problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think it's pretty scalable, because of the way its designed and architected, it works pretty well.

How is customer service and technical support?

They were pretty effective. We've had to open tickets a couple of times for their new features that we were trying to integrate with, or a problem with a current feature. Their helpful resource is the guardian, which is the best security program. There is a person dedicated to each client. I think that's a pretty good idea. Most of the companies I'm typically consulting with are Professional Services type set-ups, but I think the Guardian program is pretty awesome. It's really beneficial.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't too directly involved. I worked with the team that was doing the setup, but I think it was pretty straightforward. It was pretty quick, actually. Without doing much, just installing the agents, it gives you so much automatic capability. And then you can always tweak that and configure that and make it better. But, right out of the box, I think it's really easy to install.

What other advice do I have?

When it comes to the nature of digital complexity, I personally think AI plays a pretty wide role when it comes to IT's ability to scale in the cloud and to manage performance of product. As we have more and more data in our systems, getting more complex, going into the cloud, we will need to rely on AI in certain aspects of the decision-making. There will still always be a human aspect, in my opinion. But AI will assist with a lot of trivial or not mission-critical type tasks.

I have used siloed solutions at other organizations. Honestly, I don't recall a lot of the details, but in general they did not have a great interface. The information wasn't easy to use when troubleshooting issues in production. They didn't have as many good integrations with other products and tools, so a combination those were the challenges with them.

If there was just one solution that could provide real analysis as opposed to just data, I think that would really tell us what we need to work on and help us prioritize, and not have an ocean of issues. We could focus on the ones our customers are more impacted by. It would be pretty good to take care of them. And the other part would be, it would help us get into consumer insight and help us build our product roadmap, accordingly. We could learn from the customer and then act on that learning.

When looking at vendors, one of the things we look for is the least amount of setup. That's the number one. You don't want to have to invest in a lot of configuration and coding to enable the product. The other thing is, what kind of user interface does it have and how good is the troubleshooting tool. A lot of monitoring will tell you there's a problem, but won't really tell you how to solve it. And third is innovation, because technology is changing so rapidly and a monitoring tool needs to be up-to-date. So it's important that we will continue to be able to monitor and do stuff that's coming out.

Definitely start with a program in mind and know how you measure success, and adoption of really any tool, whether a monitoring tool or not. That's really how you get buy-in from all the right stakeholders, you get the right training in place upfront, versus, setting it up and then struggling to plug in everybody, to get on it and show the value of it . So I would think having a program or a better plan upfront helps.

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