What is our primary use case?
We are a managed service provider, so we have a wide range of deployments. LogicMonitor, as a whole and software as a service solution, is deployed with collectors on-premise, which also ties directly into cloud providers.
We primarily monitor Citrix environments for customers. That varies from the delivery side, so network Citrix ADCs as well as virtual desktops and the supporting infrastructure around that. That's probably our primary use case.
While we do some NetFlow capture for other managed service clients, the primary use case would be Citrix monitoring.
How has it helped my organization?
LogicMonitor really improved our workflow as a company. Previously, we had been using a combination of about four or five tools. We were able to consolidate those all into LogicMonitor, which significantly improved our response time to new customers and onboarding time for new employees.
We can create granular alerting for devices. Then, since we are a managed service provider, we can have very granular alerting, not only for our own purposes, but where customers would like to be alerted directly on specific issues. It is very easy to build escalation chains that include the customer as well as our own team.
LogicMonitor's AIOps give us a great view of performance over time and potential changes in performance.
We have been able to tune LogicMonitor very granularly and eliminated most of our false positives. Any monitoring platform is going to give you false positives to some degree, but we have definitely reduced our false positives with LogicMonitor by at least a half.
What is most valuable?
The dashboarding is very useful. Being able to create custom data sources is one of its biggest features which allows quick time to market with new features. If one of our vendors changes their data format or metrics that we should be monitoring, then we can quickly adjust to any changes in the environment in order to get a great user experience for our customers.
We have created custom dashboards for our customers to give them a single pane of glass view as far as what their environment looks like in relation to their Citrix environment or VMware Hypervisor environment. LogicMonitor is a combination of things that they have pre-built. Especially along the VMware infrastructure, they have some great dashboards canned and ready to go. On the Citrix side, we have developed a lot of our own dashboards for customer use. We have gotten great feedback from those, as they're very easy to throw together and provide a lot of value to our customers.
We use custom data sources extensively. It's one of the greatest features of LogicMonitor, as a product. We can have very granular control over our data sources. Customizable data sources are one of the primary draws to LogicMonitor, and we do use them extensively. Developing new LogicModules is very simple. We primarily use PowerShell, but there are also a myriad of other options depending on what your target operating system is.
LogicMonitor alerts us very quickly if one of their collectors loses connectivity with the cloud. Occasionally, we will get alerts for customers where we don't have extensive monitoring in place, and they may not be aware that their site is down or that there are other issues with their environments. We have had occasions where the alerts that we get from LogicMonitor that the collectors are down might be our first indication where a customer is having an issue.
At this time, we are using AIOps for dynamic thresholds and anomaly detection. For anomaly detection, we found it quite helpful because it will give us an idea of when there is an anomaly in the environment. For example, if you have a backup job that normally would run, but it isn't running or if there is a bulk data transfer that wouldn't normally occur at a particular time, we can have it alert one way or another. That is a great feature, as far as LogicMonitor's AIOps toolkit.
What needs improvement?
We have found LogicMonitor's reporting capabilities to be somewhat lacking. That is one of the only areas that we really thought was not as strong as it could be. One of the great things is the dashboard functionality, which we were able use to work around the reporting functionality. Instead of having a canned report that gets emailed to our customers, they have a live dashboard that they can log into and view the things we would normally include in a report. They can have a live look, where they can really drill into the data and see what is there.
LogicMonitor's reporting capabilities definitely could use an improvement. We have made do with the dashboarding and done what we can to make that work for our customers. However, there are definitely customers who would like a PDF or some kind of report along those lines, where we have been utilizing other tools to provide them. The out-of-the-box LogicMonitor reporting is the only thing that we have been less than impressed with.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been using LogicMonitor for about four years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
LogicMonitor's stability has been very good for us. We have not experienced any major outages or issues with LogicMonitor as a product in the several years that we've been using it.
We have a team of a couple of people who handle the implementation and deployment of LogicMonitor. We have a larger team who handles the day-to-day support. One of the great features of a LogicMonitor being a software as a service product is we don't have to monitor or manage the tool itself. The collectors update automatically. We handle the operating system running the collector within our normal toolset. Therefore, it gets Windows updates and does all these things on its own or through that toolset. There is very little time that has to be spent managing the tool itself. We are really just managing our systems in the tool.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability is actually one of the reasons that we went to LogicMonitor from our own internal tool sets. The scalability is as big as you want to go. I've seen other customers that have thousands of endpoints in there without any issue. We certainly have not run into any scalability issues in our environments.
We have a variety of users who interact with LogicMonitor on a daily basis. We have our managed services team who work directly with the customers and are in there on a day-to-day basis doing remediation of issues as they arise. We also have our implementation group who take care of onboarding new customers, working with them on any custom data sources or custom monitoring needs that they might have. Then, our customers are able to log and see their own environment along with the dashboards and things that we built for them. It really has been a great tool for our team and customers to be able to see all of that.
The role-based access control that LogicMonitor provides is very robust. We are able to provide single sign-on for our users as well as multi-factor authentication for our customers. Therefore, the role-based access control and authentication components of the LogicMonitor product are excellent.
Our use of LogicMonitor is constantly increasing as we roll our managed customers into the platform. We definitely plan to increase our managed services, and directly as a result, increase our utilization of LogicMonitor.
How are customer service and technical support?
We have only had to engage with technical support on a handful of occasions over the last four years. Thankfully, the product runs very well; we've had very few issues with it. On the couple of occasions that we have had to engage technical support, they have been very quick with first-call resolution, and we've been very happy with our experience during that process.
LogicMonitor provides very wide support for just about any device that you can use in an enterprise environment. We've used it for VMware, XenServer, and Hyper-V on the hypervisor side. On the storage side, we have people using NetApp and Dell EMC. On the networking, we are using Cisco. We also have some customers running UniFi gear and Juniper. There are just a massive variety of devices that it can monitor out-of-the-box.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
LogicMonitor was a great move for us in terms of consolidating our monitoring tools. We previously used a combination of paid and open source tools to monitor our customer environments. Being able to consolidate to LogicMonitor has allowed us to save significant time in server management when managing the tool. We have also seen a lot better onboarding times for our employees coming to the environment. It has been a great gain all-around.
The customer onboarding time was cut down by a half to maybe three-quarters. As far as the employee onboarding time, they only have to learn one tool instead of having to learn multiple tools. We have consolidated our collector or data source development from probably three languages down to just PowerShell. That has been a huge gain. It's much easier to find resources that can learn or know PowerShell, so that's been fantastic.
LogicMonitor replaced Observium, Zabbix, Nagios, and SolarWinds.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup with LogicMonitor was very straightforward. The team at LogicMonitor worked with us to deploy our first collector, then walked us through how to create groups and assign properties to the groups or devices. Most devices have very good metrics out-of-the-box, as the data sources that LogicMonitor provides are excellent for the vast majority of devices. Where we have had to create our own data sources has been with our managed services around more complex data sets, not a specific device.
In our organization, deploying to our internal systems took probably six hours. It was very easy.
What about the implementation team?
We did the initial implementation with the LogicMonitor team. They had a very straightforward strategy as far as getting it deployed. It was very easy to get our devices added in there. As we have moved forward, we have certainly learned different tips and tricks as far as how we organize devices into categories or groups in order to effectively monitor devices with minimal user interaction.
What was our ROI?
The return on investment with LogicMonitor has been excellent. We have seen a great reduction in the number of hours spent managing the tool as well as the ability to monitor a wide variety of services and systems without significant investment, in terms of time for developing custom modules or having to dissect a tool to figure out exactly what we need to do to add the functionality that we're looking for. On top of that, being able to onboard our own employees in a much faster method with only having to learn one tool instead of having to learn four or five tools has been a gain to the net positive with our onboarding process.
Our customer onboarding process is now automated. We don't have to go in and manually create a large numbers of devices in multiple platforms. We go through the process and install the collectors at the customer site, then we have templates that we utilize to deploy LogicMonitor out to those collectors. The automation with LogicMonitor has probably saved us 20 or 30 percent in time, as far as deployment to customers goes.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
As a managed services provider, the licensing model that LogicMonitor provides us is excellent. We are able to scale up and scale down as needed. The pricing is reasonable for the amount of features and support that they provide.
As a managed service provider, we have the highest level of licensing that they offer, so we don't have any extra fees. I believe there are some add-ons for some of the lower tiers of LogicMonitor service, but that's not something that we use with our agreement.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We found that the amount of time that we were spending on managing the tool or doing upgrades was significant. We found that the cost of LogicMonitor was less than the cost to maintain some of these open source products that we had running. The other side of that is there were some new features that we wanted to roll out to decrease our footprint as far as what we're monitoring. The time that we would have taken to develop or enable those modules in our toolsets would have had a higher cost than moving to this software as a service based product.
We evaluated a handful of options. The ability of LogicMonitor analysis as a managed service provider really shined. A lot of the other products didn't have a great MSP portal or their role-based access control was not really mature enough to handle multiple tenants. Therefore, LogicMonitor won out very quickly when we started to evaluate most of the players out there.
We looked at SolarWinds and a couple of other solutions.
What other advice do I have?
If you are looking to implement LogicMonitor for the first time, work through their available documentation. There are a couple of certifications that they offer which are very good and give you a good foothold into the process. Then, talk with people who are currently using LogicMonitor. There is a great support community out there with people who are more than willing to help.
AIOps does provide a very useful data set. They have been continually improving it. AIOps is one of those things, which is there and we use it a bit. While the dynamic thresholding is interesting, the anomaly detection is probably more a nice to have, and not more of the primary features that we use.
We have not utilized the automated discovery and deployment. With managed services, we have to keep track of how we charge customers. Generally, we have a specific list of devices that we're going to monitor, so we don't use the discovery features on LogicMonitor.
As far as monitoring platforms go, I have worked with a wide variety. I would give LogicMonitor a 10 out of 10.