PagerDuty Review

The customization options available make conformity to our needs possible.​


What is most valuable?

SMS + phone call alerts, multiple escalation lists, personalized notification rules, centralized administrator interface, automatic incident creation. The customization options available in PagerDuty make conformity to our needs possible.

How has it helped my organization?

It governs our "on call" system, picking up custom-made emails from our alert system and forwarding the alert to the relevant on-call technician using his custom set notification rules. As a System Administrator, PagerDuty reliably notifies me via email, SMS, and phone call at the creation of an incident with custom-set rules controlling who is responsible per issue and at what time those responsibilities kick in. PagerDuty is of central importance to the continued smooth function of my company and it's IT-related infrastructure and applications.

What needs improvement?

Open alerts should properly respond to SMS resolution beyond the initial alert. To explain, when an alert first comes through SMS, it'll prompt for a response: 4 to acknowledge, 6 to resolve, 8 to escalate. If a ticket is acknowledged with a 4, and then the matter is dealt with, responding again to the SMS with a 6 then will not resolve the ticket. It's a minor issue, and one largely mitigated by the mobile app.

For how long have I used the solution?

5 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

None, and this is really key. The stability of an alert system makes it reliable, and an alert system must be reliable as a baseline.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

None, though there are just two administrators of the system and no more than ten users at any time. That said, as our projects have become more complex over time, we've had zero issues tying them into PagerDuty when necessary.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Home-grown incident management system. It was poorly written and unreliable.

How was the initial setup?

A previous Sys Admin configured the system. By his account, it required no special knowledge to implement.

What about the implementation team?

In-house.

What was our ROI?

This would be difficult to measure. Without PagerDuty, an element going into error might go unnoticed, or the timeframe of an issue may be unclear - a situation that might cost our company valuable clients. The notification features of PagerDuty and the logged history are incredibly important for identifying problems when they occur and responding to them promptly, as well as ensuring that someone is indeed responding to them at all. Accountability matters. PagerDuty has saved us from creating, through ignorance and inaction, many tense situations with multiple clients. The reliability that PagerDuty provides (as a service) and enforces (as a practice of the service) creates real value in the immeasurable "quality of life" for both our administrators and our clients.

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

PagerDuty licensing is straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

VictorOps - a somewhat immature product at the time. Had most of the "big" features at a glance, but missed most of the details in actual use. Total lack of an API (at the time of our test, not sure if this is accurate to current) pushed us to PagerDuty.

What other advice do I have?

No specific advice. The community has a lot of solid ideas for using the product during initial setup.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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