Dynatrace Review

The AI means we spend less time looking for problems and more time solving them


What is our primary use case?

We primarily use it for performance monitoring and to track down solutions to ongoing issues.

Its performance is great. We previously had AppMon, and AppMon is a little bit difficult. But we're PoC-ing Dynatrace, and we love it so far.

How has it helped my organization?

We spend less time tracking down what's truly a problem and looking for problems, and more time actually solving the problems.

What is most valuable?

  • The ease of use
  • The ease of installation
  • The simplicity of actually getting data out of it
  • The artificial intelligence

It's more than just dashboarding. It actually tells you when you have problems, so you don't have to go set up anything. It automatically figures it out. The artificial intelligence is by far the most useful thing I've seen.

Without the AI, I don't think we would be able to grow at all. As we continue to grow, our environment gets more complicated and there are "segmented people" who know little pieces of it. The AI allows one item, the software, to be able to understand everything and provide all the data.

What needs improvement?

To me, dashboarding is still a little bit sketchy. I'm definitely of the mindset that the problem cards are just more than enough. But when you're making that transition from AppMon, which is very dashboard-oriented, over to Dynatrace, which is no dashboards, there needs to be something in between so that business buys in a little bit. To me, setting up the dashboards is not that easy to do.

There should be something that would help transition, especially customers like us who already are heavily into AppMon. I would transition my dashboards over so that we don't have to recreate them, because recreating them is very difficult in Dynatrace. I get that they're two different systems, but any legitimate company that is doing that... 

If you're starting in one or the other, you're totally fine. But if you're porting over... My boss has to do a whole business case on why she wants to do it, and it's really hard to say, "Oh, the dashboards that you had on the team that you were using, you're not going to get over here." Or, "You have to re-create them all over again." People are going to ask questions about cost, who is going to do that. Although the tool automatically does that, business hasn't seen it yet. So it's a really hard sale. I would love to see some kind of integration so that we can say, "Okay, we transferred at least 80% of your dashboards over."

For how long have I used the solution?

Trial/evaluations only.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven't had it long enough to truthfully rate stability. We've had AppMon long enough, about two years, and that's been rock solid, minus any upgrades. Every time we do an upgrade there's some instability. When it's not being upgraded, it's perfect.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is great. My biggest concern when we first put it in was the resources that it would take up, network traffic that it might create. But it seems perfectly scalable to any environment. Even on some of our heaviest use servers, it doesn't seem to affect anything. So to me, it can be put on any environment and keep growing.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have a guardian. We don't actually call technical support. We have somebody on-prem. He's knowledgeable and almost always available. Whenever he's in the office, he's available. Even outside the office, he's pretty available.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup. I took this over from my boss, and she was involved in the initial setup. I was kind of thrown into it, so I was a little worried about that. But it's been pretty easy.

I'm involved in the switch from AppMon to Dynatrace. To me, that's the biggest upgrade we've got. For AppMon, I did training courses. We did one-on-ones with our guardian from Dynatrace. Even with those, it was still a very complicated tool to learn. With Dynatrace, we picked it up in minutes. It was very intuitive. That's what I can't believe. I almost wish we didn't waste the time doing the training for AppMon. I would have just gone straight to Dynatrace.

What other advice do I have?

As for a tool that would not only give data, but real answers, it would make things even quicker. I actually think that's what Dynatrace does for us right now. It tells us the answer to what the root cause is. It doesn't actually fix it, which I'm hoping it will eventually do, but it actually gives us the right answers right now. That is better than what we had before, which was somebody would go in there and try to find the problem. They may not have gotten to the root cause, so they would put a temporary patch on it, and then it would come back again. Now, we seem to be getting to the root cause every time.

Our most important criteria when selecting a vendor are knowledgeability and the future vision, which, to me, is the most important part of Dynatrace. They're not thinking about, "Here's a tool for today, and we're just going to keep improving it slightly." They already have a master plan for where they want to go, and the tool reflects it. It shows that they're just thinking way ahead.

I'd give it a nine out of 10. I think it's virtually perfect. There are some bugs in it. Sometimes things get hung just for second, and you have to refresh something. Also, they aren't necessarily intuitive, but to me, they're just going to get better over time.

My advice is, start directly with Dynatrace Saas. Don't start with AppMon. Don't do the other older solutions. Just go straight in. Even if you have on-premise, SaaS is much better to start with.

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