What is our primary use case?
We are using Geneos for basic monitoring, like process, logs, database monitoring, etc.
In terms of the applications we monitor with Geneos, they are the basics, like load processes for getting the data, parsing it, and loading into the database. We have a processor running 12 to 14 hours a day and we have to monitor the data we are getting, the FIX (financial information exchange) messages. We are parsing to see whether everything went fine or not. Then, if we are loading it into a database, we are checking the counts to confirm that whatever is in the FIX messages is getting loaded.
How has it helped my organization?
The solution’s web-based UI is a really helpful tool because sometimes what happens is that we are not on our machines but we can utilize those links over our mobile phones. We can access things from pretty much anywhere. If we are traveling, we can check the status of my application through the web-based UI and see if something is failing.
Previously, we did not have much in the way of monitoring. Geneos offers various kinds of samplers and it keeps adding integrations as well. For example, we are using Control-M scheduler for our batch. We integrated ITRS with Control-M and now we are getting all the alerts from there into our ITRS monitoring, and we can publish that in the dashboard. In one view we can see how our hardware is, how our logs and processes are, and how our batch is. And we are using Symphony and there is integration from ITRS for that. That's also something that we are utilizing here.
In addition, the fact that I check anything from anywhere, is a time saver for us. I would say that, overall, the solution is saving between two to three hours per day, compared to having to do everything manually.
For my application, Geneos is detecting and helping us avoid outages at least once a day. It's proactive monitoring so we get an alert and can take action before there is a major impact.
What is most valuable?
One thing we're utilizing in Geneos is the Gateway-SQL. That's really helpful for us. Using Gateway-SQL, we are able to merge two different views into one. Suppose we have to check something in the log and that we have to check something in the database and do a comparison before publishing a result. We can achieve that using Gateway-SQL.
Another valuable feature in Geneos is the FIX Analyser, because in our automation we are dealing with a lot of FIX messages.
On top of that we use the dashboards which are very good for presenting everything in one place, and we can send it to our higher management. We have different kinds of dashboards. For our application team, we have a full-view dashboard where we have set up the status of the processes, the hardware, and everything. Then we have a management dashboard for looking at applications. It tells us if the whole of application XYZ is green or not. We can design different kinds of dashboard per our needs.
Alerting happens in real time, and we can set up the sampling interval. If we want something to be checked every five seconds, we can do that in Geneos. We have different intervals set up. Some things are not really important and have been set up with sampling every one minute. We also have things we sample every 20 second and things we sample every five seconds.
What needs improvement?
We explored the database logging feature of Geneos ITRS and we are not using that much as of now. We are using it for a reporting type of function. We collect the trends — how many alerts we are getting — and we probably review it once in a month. But I would really like to see something from the Geneos side to set up automated reporting from ITRS. We have to send reporting to management every day. To do that we have to check the dashboard and then we have to report whether everything is fine or not. In the future, I want something, some reporting kind of feature in ITRS, where it can collect all the data and mention what is green, what is amber, and what is red in a report. That is the most important thing that I would like to see.
The other area where something could be done is the scheduling part. Instead of relying on any other scheduler, it would be good if we could use an ITRS tool for scheduling our batches.
For how long have I used the solution?
I started using ITRS Geneos in 2012, so it has been almost nine years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The stability has improved, as we purchased an upgrade. Now it's pretty stable.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We have all the processes defined, but if we are deploying a new process on our side, we can simply tell the ITRS team that we have here, "Okay, we are deploying a new code base and these are our requirements," and they can set up monitoring quickly. It doesn't take more than five to 10 minutes from their side.
How are customer service and technical support?
Technical support is really helpful. Whenever we have a use case, we can simply send out one email and we get a response the same day, often within an hour. That's really helpful and pretty impressive. And the guys know what they are doing. They're always responsive and knowledgeable.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We did not have a previous solution.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was pretty much straightforward. We had two Geneos people come to our place. They sat with us and set up the process; how to define everything and we then had all the XMLs identified. If there is anything new to set up, we can simply follow the guidelines provided. It's an easy setup. We can do it in five to 10 minutes.
The implementation strategy was a form that we had to fill out where we indicated, "You have to monitor this process. This is the log part," etc. ITRS then took care of everything else.
The initial deployment process took about a year. In addition to the Geneos people, there was one person from each of the application teams involved from our side. We have a team of three people who are dedicated to ITRS itself. They deploy the probes, set up the monitoring, and manage the gateway. They work full-time on ITRS. Altogether, across our organization, about 500 people are using ITRS.
What was our ROI?
We have definitely seen return on investment, although I can't share specifics.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
We have an enterprise license so it's easier to scale up. The other license option is per-user, in terms of how many servers you're monitoring.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We haven't evaluated anything else so far, although that would be a higher-management discussion. But I think everyone is happy, as we have been using the same thing for many years.
What other advice do I have?
We are not the team that's monitoring the real-time data. We have a different team that set up the Geneos for that.
We are really relying on Geneos for everyday tasks. All the monitoring is in Geneos and we are going to continue using it. We are pretty happy with Geneos and I would rate it at the higher end, a nine out of 10.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?