What is our primary use case?
Our company primarily uses the AppMon product and we have it divided up in different business units: line support, corporate systems support in our organization. We primarily use it to monitor internal HR applications, enterprise document applications, anything that involves Java, database SQL. We're trying to monitor and make sure that we're tuning performance.
We have an initiative going on this year, high-availability, so we're trying to get as many applications in our organization to be monitored through this tool as, much as possible, to make sure they're all running most efficiently and performing the way that the management would expect.
So far it's going well. Quite a learning experience for us.
How has it helped my organization?
The dashboard gives us something to show managers and our business where the problems are. That's really been eye-opening for them. They can see, yes, this tool has been a good investment. They can see where the problems are and how we can take advantage of it for making those necessary corrections, so it's been helpful to us.
What is most valuable?
I like the end-to-end monitoring - we can see. Also the user experience, that's been really helpful for us because a lot of times things just aren't detected and I hear from the users. This isolates some of the issues from their experience, so that's definitely been useful for us.
We're also starting to learn some of the Synthetic monitoring, hoping to do some performance testing in the future.
What needs improvement?
We'd like to see them continue to develop the AI, what they introduced today here at the Perform 2018 conference, with the whole Synthetic monitoring. I'm glad that they're starting to merge a lot of the tool-sets into one to make it easier.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
There's definitely been some challenges around stability, as far as PurePaths sometimes. Also the history, we've got so much data being built. We have to be careful to keep a short amount of history available to our users, so it's been challenging.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I think the design is pretty scalable. It's pretty easy to add additional nodes if we need to. Also, it's easy to migrate changes from one environment to another. That makes it so you can scale it. I think it's met our expectations for scalability.
How are customer service and technical support?
I personally have not used tech support, but we have other people on the team that do engage with the vendor more avidly and they've said that support has been pretty adept at meeting their needs, time-wise. We're pretty pleased so far with the way the vendor has handled problems we've proposed to them.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We've used SiteScope for monitoring a lot of our web applications. I know we've used Tealeaf and Splunk. They're great tools but there's quite a learning curve there.
This one, Dynatrace, seemed to be a little bit more straightforward. It's certainly more robust in what it can do as far as the end-to-end monitoring. You can also see how big these conferences are, like here at Perform 2018. There are a lot of other users for networking who are familiar with this tool, so that's helped us adopt it a little bit more easily and to push that incentive towards our directors.
SiteScope is limited. It doesn't do Angular apps as much. It doesn't do single-page apps, so it's more just one web page; it's easier to write scripting for that. But when you have something that goes through a whole set series, it's been challenging. With Dynatrace it has been a little easier to monitor those types of situations. That's the primary reason.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
I would like to see them improve on their licensing and the cost. It's been a challenge for us because the way they have it broken out right now, you have to buy it by units. It's hard for us to know where to put those units because our company is broken up into all these different business units, so it's been challenging in that sense. I just would like to see them improve that model a little bit.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I wasn't really involved in the process, but when we saw what the tool is capable of, it certainly went to the top pretty quickly. It has met most of our expectations since we purchased it.
I do believe that they evaluated one other vendor, product but I don't remember who.
What other advice do I have?
When it comes to the nature of digital complexity, the role of AI when it comes to IT's ability to scale in the cloud and manage performance is certainly a big thing going on right now. It's very important to us. I want to make sure that there's not only learning when there are issues, but also that there is taking action automatically to correct it. That's where the intelligence is at, and once you program it in, it knows how to fix the issue and you don't have to troubleshoot and find out what the issue is. That's a big initiative that's going on, it's very important to us, this AI.
In terms of one solution that could provide real answers, as opposed to just data,
any solution that could tell us, definitely, when there's something going on across our organization - not just in one area, one department - something that could tell us from each point when there's a communication such as sign-on; we want to know if it's something with the network, it's something with the area that supports that application, or if it's something on a host server. Something that tells us, all the way across the board what the issue could be. That's what we're driving towards.
I'd rate Dynatrace about a nine out of 10. There are some things that they need them to improve upon, but they are pretty close to the top.
Talk with them, go out and seek, look at all the options you have. Make sure that you talk with your business and discuss what is most important when you're looking to invest toward performance issues. Look at a tool that spans across the company, that can meet multiple areas of needs, not just your own.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Feb 20 2018