How has it helped my organization?
There was a specific problem that I was having where my technical staff was telling me that I had to buy new servers. Our business model depends on subscribing users at a certain rate or level per server. If I can't jam 50 people onto one server, my business model wouldn't work. And we got stuck at 25 and we couldn't figure out why. Why was the server slow? Why could we not get more on there?
Using eG, we were able to figure out that it was actually a disk problem. The disk itself was overloaded. Imagine, on these cloud platforms that we've built, these are very complicated platforms. There's thousands of moving parts. Somebody calls up and says it's slow, there are so many variables that you can't do it without a tool like eG. We narrowed it down, using eG, to the hard disk and within that, we narrowed it down to the fact that one type of traffic was very high. And eG told us all that in, like, four clicks.
We put a technician on site, we opened up the server, and we discovered that the battery for the write cache controller was not plugged in. The write cache controller dramatically affects disk performance. We didn't know it wasn't plugged in. It looked like it was plugged in, and because we plugged it back in, we avoided a $20,000 purchase on new servers. We would not have found the problem without eG. That's one example.
What is most valuable?
The auto-configuration or auto-Thresholding is very important because it saves a phenomenal amount of labor and setup costs and time.
The fact that it's end-to-end monitoring; it goes across all seven layers of OSI model, so the physical transport, the hardware layer, and the application layer and everything in between. That's very important to us, giving us visibility across all hardware and all applications.
What needs improvement?
I've been working with them a long time and the ones that I've asked for, they've done.
It'd be nice if the price was lower. That would be an improvement.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It's very stable. One of the risks when you're installing software in a multi-tenant environment - we're a high-availability platform where there's thousands of users. If you make a mistake or the installation program crashes the server, or you have to have a maintenance window to install it because it requires a reboot; all of those factors make a software package less attractive. Disrupting thousands of people can be very difficult and very painful.
With eG, if I need to install the monitoring agent on a server, I do not have to do a reboot, and because I've installed eG agent probably 600 or 700 times, I'm very confident that it will not be intrusive and that it's not going to cause a problem for the customer's environment or for our environment when we install it. We don't have to declare a maintenance window to do any work with eG. It's transparent and that's a result of it being very stable.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I'm not aware of the limits. It's very scalable.
How are customer service and technical support?
Their tech support people were awesome; they got us up and running in about a day.
I've called them many times over the years. They're some of the smartest guys I know in the business; a lot of respect for them. I know the owner. I've met him, Srinivas. He was a former scientist with HPE. He's co-authored something like 14 patents. Their head of technology support, Bala, I've met in person several times. These guys were all around the core of the company when it started.
Since then, I don't frequently talk to them in person anymore because the company has grown, but the staff that they've brought in have been very, very good. The guys are very intelligent. Never had an issue with them not knowing what to do.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
When I started researching the market, I found that there was a lot of high-end "800-pound gorilla" products that were very expensive, and they should come with a consultant in the box. Things like HPE OpenView, for example, take a phenomenal amount of setup effort and cost, and they're expensive. They're several hundred thousand dollars, just to buy. And you have the low-end products, like WhatsUp Gold; it does some basics but it doesn't give you some of the features that eG does. eG was right in the middle. It was priced right.
How was the initial setup?
It's very simple. Takes less than five minutes.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I had multiple choices and I evaluated several other products, including HPE OpenView, Microsoft System Center. It was Microsoft System Center which we probably could've gotten for free because we're a Microsoft Gold Partner. I also looked into another one from IBM. The name escapes me at the moment.
We evaluated several.
What other advice do I have?
To get the value out of eG, you have to embrace it fully, from end to end, and you have to abide by or deal with the alerts or the alarms as they arise. eG forces you to become a better search provider, or maintain a higher level of quality within your platform, or within your IT.
Because it gives you visibility that you can't have without it, you're able to see problems much more clearly, sometimes before they affect users. And the worst thing you can do with any alerting software or monitoring software: when something goes red, don't ignore it. Deal with the alarms and alerts as they arise and strive for the "three nines" or the "four nines" of normal performance.
It delivers a huge amount of value and most people don't understand that. The people that haven't done the research or tried another product, like we have, don't get it.
Your choices, as a customer or consumer, would be the low-end stuff for a few hundred dollars - and you get very limited output. Or you spend half a million dollars on the product, just on licensing, and maybe another $250,000 on consulting fees to implement it, and you'd be left with a product that's still not as good as eG.
You can implement eG for probably $50,000, $60,000, depending on the size of your infrastructure. And it's all about value. It's all about bang for your buck. It delivers at a much higher level for the money than anything else out there. It has for a long time.