What is our primary use case?
The Real User Monitor, with its transaction and synthetic transaction monitoring, is the typical classic in APM cases when the customer would like to do transaction monitoring. Micro Focus scores better where the underlying infrastructure management is also covered by Micro Focus tools.
Otherwise, there are many other products that score well on a standalone basis. Micro Focus has kind of lost their place in the APM market place, which they used to enjoy with their market reacquisition product.
What is most valuable?
If we're talking about an end-to-end solution, it has to come from one vendor, which provides the underlying infrastructure as well. In that case, Micro Focus or BMC would score better than one-point solutions, like AppDynamics, New Relic, or Dynatrace, because they are pure APM solutions.
When it comes to end-to-end apps management, integrated solutions score better. Otherwise, you would need a lot of integration done along with the underlying infrastructure to get the end-to-end view. Besides the transaction side, you will also need to set up the underlying infrastructure, database, and the whole holistic view, if you would like to have that.
What needs improvement?
One area to improve is the user interface, of course. The second one is their R&D has virtually stopped building a product roadmap. They need to really do a catch-up game with many of their incoming competitors. They actually need to completely revisit their product development strategy and overall product approach, if they wish to remain relevant in the APM market.
For how long have I used the solution?
We've been using this solution for about twenty years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
If there are any issues they have been resolved, either by test fix, bug fix, or patches. We found this to be a stable product.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We haven't had any challenges with scalability. The fact is, scalability also leads to a linear requirement on the infrastructure needed to deploy the solution. That effectively means that if you have more applications, more transactions need to be managed, you need to use a lot of provisioning on your infrastructure that hosts an APM solution of that size. This will turn out, eventually, to be a costly affair.
How are customer service and technical support?
I am not satisfied in their technical support, of late.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup has two components. One is building the infrastructure to monitor and the other is building the configuration for monitoring. The first part is straightforward, but we have seen many challenges building the configuration for monitoring.
The product is not working. I'm talking about issues that last a year and a half. The product does face some challenges, in terms of bugs and taking a longer time than expected to fix those bugs.
It all depends upon the size of the deployment, so it could probably take from two months to one year. More importantly, in your test product, the one-time deployment is not good enough because you need to continuously refine and improve it. That needs to be ongoing to get the product to reach a certain level of maturity, in order to get the best benefit out of it.
What other advice do I have?
I would go one step back. I would like them to consider the overall holistic solution they have chosen. If they're choosing the end-to-end infrastructure management solution also from Micro Focus, then they need to identify what APM functionality they are really looking for. They should get the POC done for those functionalities in their own environment for the Micro Focus APM solution. If they are satisfied, they should go for it. Otherwise, they should not. If it is a standalone solution, however, I would not recommend Micro Focus. A standalone APM should be ideally considered.
On a scale of one to ten, Micro Focus APM is not more than five.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?