Dynatrace Review

With PurePath, we are able to pinpoint where the problems are

What is our primary use case?

We have a critical enterprise-level project where we have seen a lot of performance issues. We tried to figure out what tool might help us solve some of those performance issues. Then we heard about Dynatrace, so we engaged Dynatrace. It's basically about solving performance issues.

In terms of performance, we're still a work in progress. I think we have made good progress identifying the areas where the problems are, and now it's a matter of just working with the different teams trying to figure out what the roadmap is going to be.

We're learning the tool. At the same time, it's also about educating folks within our organization in terms of what Dynatrace can do. And also how do we apply it? How do we make use of Dynatrace and what do we do with the information we get? How do we take that and go to the next step of implementing the changes?

How has it helped my organization?

At least we're able to pinpoint where the problems are instead of just saying, "Here's the results and here are the failures." At least we're able to tell them which calls, which methods were the problem, which interface. That was a huge step for us, to be able to do that. 

We are not the DevOps or the application team. We're coming from the testing side and, generally, it's challenging when you are working with an application built by a different team. When you run a test and say, "Hey! Here's your problem," unless you show the proof, you show the information, they're not going to be able to take it and make some changes to it. So the big first step for us was to identify where the problem was within the application. 

Now, it's mostly about, "What do we do about it?" You have these problems. What are we doing about making some changes and getting into the roadmap.

What is most valuable?

PurePath. We just started using it, it's been less than a year. PurePath is really helpful. 

And I'm learning now about the dashboards, and the session replay is another that was really fascinating to see. I guess AppMon probably doesn't have those things yet.

The features I'm most excited about are the AI piece, the session playback, and the fact that the deployment is even easier with the new version. Not only deployment, but the setup piece of it, I'm hearing, it's easy. I haven't tried it out but that's really encouraging.

What needs improvement?

To be honest with you, I think they have a great roadmap. And the fact that they are using the feedback from the customers to build into the roadmap, is a great feature. I have nothing in particular that I want to see.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From what I've seen, from what I've experienced, absolutely no problem with stability. Especially the ease with which it gets deployed, and also the support we typically get has been amazing. We have no regrets using Dynatrace. It's been a good experience so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

So far we've implemented this for a couple of different applications. It scaled pretty well for us. We're about 2,000 or 3,000 users, but we'll have a better answer as we start rolling it out to more applications. So far, no issues with scaling.

How is customer service and technical support?

From what I've seen, they're very knowledgeable and easy to work with.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We've used a variety of tools, not so much in the APM space. It was mostly about SiteScope and Wiley, those kind of things.

With Dynatrace we were able to pinpoint where the problems were with PurePath, which was something we did not have. Obviously, we didn't work with an APM solution so I'm only comparing this with a non-APM solution like SiteScope. There, it's mostly about, "Hey, here's your CPU, here's your memory," rather than pinpointing where the actual problems are, which is something that PurePath gives us.

How was the initial setup?

I think it was really, really straightforward. It's the second time around. Some of the things, we did them ourselves.

What other advice do I have?

In terms of AI, when it comes to IT's ability to scale in the cloud and manage performance problems, we don't have a cloud implementation yet. But, in general, what I've seen with AI, I think they're learning. The self-healing thing was really impressive in terms of, if you have a problem, what do you do about it? You get notified automatically. Then how do you fix it? Those are some of the things with AI that I thought were pretty cool.

If there was one solution that could not only provide data but real answers, the immediate benefit of that for our team would be huge. Not just telling us, "Here's the data" - there's so much data out there - but what do you make of it? What's the critical data? I guess that's where Dynatrace is headed with AI and the self-healing. That would be huge. If they can say, "Hey, here's your problem. Here's what you need to do to fix the problem." That would be significant. 

I think the solution meets our needs where it is, so from that perspective, it's a nine out of 10.

The most important criteria when working with a vendor or selecting a vendor are customer service and what type of product offerings they have. Do they see the vision of the future in terms of cloud and those kinds of things? Those are some of the things we consider very important.

To a colleague who is looking into this type of solution, I would say we have had a really good experience. If they're in a similar situation, try it out. Do a proof concept. Try it out and see if it's good for you. It may or may not be a good fit. Everybody's different. Try it out.

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