IBM QRadar Review

Highly customizable and provides a single dashboard for global device monitoring


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for this solution is compliance. 

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has improved our organization by allowing us to promote vertical security as an added service for our customers.

It has also improved our integration with other applications. Previously we used to have challenges in terms of application integration. I think that it is slowly changing; for example, Oracle Hyperion and these kinds of products integrate more easily because they have the proper plugins. It is important to know that they are properly integrated with your solution.

What is most valuable?

First, the dashboard is a valuable feature. There is a single dashboard that gives us a complete overview of what is happening around the globe. We are able to follow the devices that are connected to the network. 

The second thing is the customization that we have done. For example, if there is an account login made in Tokyo then we will immediately get an alert.

What needs improvement?

With the transition to a modern IT operation center, I think that many of the devices are going to be mobile. Somebody may not be at the NOC (Network Operations Center), data center, or SOC (Security Operations Center). If anybody from the non-security team or the NOC team has to receive an active alert, it should be enabled in multiple channels.

Ideally, we would like a mobile version so that any alert that comes in will notify us in a mobile app, or by using SMS integration. We are working on these things internally, but I think that these are some of the things that you're expecting from this product.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of this product is pretty good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is highly scalable. It is one of the reasons that we have chosen this product.

Currently, our network has more than thirteen countries deployed. A roadmap is in place for a total of forty countries, so twenty-six more will be added. Deployment is a continuous exercise for us in terms of increasing the number of devices and applications.

The EPS (Event Per second Licensing) is adjusted based on scale. At this time we have close to three or four hundred events per week. As we grow, we are expecting at least fifteen-hundred events per week.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support is very important during the implementation and initial stages.

I think that the turnaround time has to improve. If we raise a ticket then we have to wait for a patch. After this, the patch will probably have to be applied within our test environment. After testing it has to be promoted to production. Overall, the turnaround time is slow. 

How was the initial setup?

Choosing the cloud platform gives a significant advantage in terms of the setup. I have been deploying the same solution across enterprise organizations from day one, and previously it used to take a month for implementation. Now, I think that it has been reduced to two weeks.

The challenge with the old model is that you normally need to work with the hardware vendors to ensure the right patches or data is available. We used to install the physical hardware, but with the cloud version, you can just start your service and add devices. You can start populating and getting reports on alerts and such in a week's time.

The implementation team is about three or four members. It has not yet grown to an operational stage because we are still implementing the solution. 

What about the implementation team?

We do the implementation in-house. I am the program manager and I lead the model from inception to completion. That said, we have to connect with the IBM team to assist with integrating the solution. We're getting pretty good support from them.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The solution is a subscription-based model. It is a yearly subscription from my understanding.

In terms of additional costs, it depends on the subscription that you choose. There are plenty of options to choose from.

There is the EPS licensing cost (Event per second licensing), which is a parameter that you choose. By adding countries to our solution, we have to increase the EPS.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, for each project we discuss which product to choose, and decide depending on what suits our needs.

SolarWinds is one of the solutions that we use for our NOC operations. We had internal discussions and considered many parameters, but later we decided to move to IBM.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution eight and a half out of ten.

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