Dynatrace Review

Provides insight into your environment and the AI helps with root cause analysis

What is our primary use case?

I am a Dynatrace consultant, and I work with a partner in South Africa.

How has it helped my organization?

Once you have it running, Dynatrace will show you a picture of your environment that nobody else would have, except perhaps for the architect. IT environments are inherently complex, and this will help figure out what you've got in the environment.  

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the AI. In the older version, it would highlight errors but you still had to figure out the root cause. With the latest version, the AI engine highlights the root causes automatically. 

What needs improvement?

It would be nice if there were a way that it could be made simpler, given the complexity of the things that we're monitoring. It can get a bit overwhelming. The AI has helped in this regard.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution has been very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I am in a small shop so I do not have direct experience with scalability, but I do know that it is one of their design goals. In our company, we have a couple of guys working on huge sites and scaling farms, so my impression is that the scalability is good, or even excellent.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty straightforward. The agent installs and configures everything automatically. In the older one, you had to manually configure everything. Now, you install the agent and you may have to restart some processes, but then it just starts giving data.

What other advice do I have?

In this solution, they try to take a whole lot of complexity and make it look simple. It is not an easy thing to do.

There is a release every month of new features. They are pretty good at implementing things when you log a feature request or enhancement. The vendor is running DevOps and has a high frequency of releases, so you don't normally have to wait for the next major release, provided that there is enough requirement for it.

Quite a lot of the new design in the new version has been influenced by the new privacy rules in Europe. They've had to restrict a lot of what can be seen, in terms of the user's personal data, which can be seen as a good thing. Generally speaking, they've gone from a very open design where you can see all of the database queries and the data, to a more closed system. You can still find that stuff, but you have to turn on a lot of things and implement them. They are not there by default.

I find this a source of frustration because some of the time, the problems are because of the data. For example, someone put in their name wrong or put in an apostrophe. Without seeing the data, you don't know and can't figure out what is wrong. You have to figure it out by looking at it. This is a GDPR thing, however, and it is necessary for compliance. Companies have to decide while consulting with their customers, how much people are allowed to see. Then it can be configured.

My advice for someone who is implementing this solution is to take some time to plan out your operational environment in advance. Try to maintain consistency in naming, because I think that you can get additional value through this planning. You can roll out ad-hoc and it will be fine, but if you take some time to name things then you can get a better picture of your environment.

This is a very good solution, but nothing is perfect.

I would rate this solution eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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