Dynatrace Review

We're able to save business teams and application-support hours or days figuring out problems

What is our primary use case?

We have hundreds of applications in our organization which are currently instrumented. We define business transactions and provide real-time monitoring for these applications.

Overall, I'd say we're pretty satisfied. However, as a larger corporation - our environment is very, very large, we have over 15 production servers and a total 20-plus Dynatrace AppMon servers - it's increasingly difficult to manage as our environment grows out. It's simply because our team is not fully staffed to support such a large environment, and to do the maintenance work with all the upgrades from 6.5 to 7 to 7.1. We have some challenges where our hardware that we are using today is hosting one servable host with two different Dynatrace AppMon instances, which is not, I guess, a typical setup. So sometimes it's a little bit challenging with the support, but we work through it.

What is most valuable?

As an administrator for the AppMon servers, we see the benefits every day when we help business teams to figure out some of their problems, troubleshoot to root cause. When we hear of these cases where we save business teams or application support hours or days of figuring out problems, that's probably what we're most proud.

What needs improvement?

Definitely HA, because we have so many applications that are dependent on AppMon that it has been deemed critical. Any downtime, it just affects so many users. So that's one of our key asks for the future.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is where the "fairly satisfied" comes in. I think it's also due to our environment and having multiple servers hosting dual instances of AppMon, where we've seen a few challenges. We do work with the vendor. However, because we've had instances of down AppMon servers, although we can recover fairly quickly, one of the key pieces that is missing is having high availability. I believe it's coming in 7.1, so it's on the roadmap, we just wish it would be sooner.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As an organization we keep growing, because everybody wants AppMon. Even within my last two years, since I've joined the team, I think we've added four new production servers and probably eight to 10 including dev and QA. However, instead of having two very large Dynatrace servers, we had to scale out laterally. 

We've had challenges. I would say it's not scalable, because we've had to move large applications that were in a shared environment to their own separate Dynatrace server instance. Those are some of the challenges we do have.

How is customer service and technical support?

Support has been very good. We are in constant contact with our sales engineer. 

They're very responsive, and anytime we do have an issue and raise a concern, we get immediate feedback. We have a good relationship with Dynatrace.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved with the initial setup. But since I've been there we've upgraded from 6.3 and 6.5, and we're currently rolling out, I'd say, 90% of our environment is at 7, we're just missing one server. I would say the upgrading is fairly straightforward. It was just a lot of work, due to the size of our environment.

What other advice do I have?

When it comes to the nature of digital complexity, and role of AI when it comes to IT's ability to scale in the cloud and manage performance problems, that's the direction that we're already going, and I don't think we can avoid it. It's something that for us, as a large organization, we will need to leverage. I think we will adopt it, hopefully, sooner rather than later.

If we had just one solution that could provide real answers and not just data, the immediate benefit would be that we'd be able to do more work, free up our time to do other tasks. Also, as a trickle down effect, the more time we have to do other people's requests - we have hundreds of applications in our organization  - so the trickle down effect would benefit all teams.

For us, the most important criteria when selecting a vendor are stability of the product, and HA is definitely on the list due to our nature of our business. Also, new features being added on, that's always a big plus.

I would give it a solid eight. Again, it has a few features lacking or which haven't been there since the inception - the HA - because we've gone through three or four upgrades. When we lose our one server, we might lose two server instances, so it affects more applications.

I'd definitely say sign up for the trial, test it out in your test environment, and get your business users and app support teams involved quickly just to see the benefits. Just being able to look at the PurePaths; the first time I saw PurePaths I thought, "Wow. This is a pretty powerful tool."

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