Quest Foglight for Databases Review

Enables us to monitor multiple database platforms, and our DBAs have all the information they need assembled in one place

What is our primary use case?

Primarily, we use it to monitor about 1,500 databases for availability and for database space, among other metrics.

How has it helped my organization?

It enables us to monitor multiple database platforms. We have MS SQL, Oracle, Db2, and Sybase. We also have Vertica and other platforms for which we use a custom monitoring solution from Foglight. That ability has been very helpful because the DBAs don't have to go to different vendors to get the information. It's all assembled in one place and it buys them time and makes it simple to find out what's going on with the databases.

Using it, we're also able to monitor the OS, hybrid clouds, and hardware across different platforms. For the most part, it would just be the Linux and Windows platforms, because those are the main two that we use. This ability is handy because of the resulting simplicity for the DBAs.

What is most valuable?

We have four flavors of databases and we're able to monitor them all using a single pane. That comes in handy to the DBAs.

Foglight is also able to help the DBAs proactively fix problems before they become an issue. It provides them with real-time activity screens that help in this regard. The DBAs are able to go to these screens and look at what's happening in real time, and that buys them time. It helps them see problems ahead of time and find solutions to them.

What needs improvement?

Foglight does a lot out-of-the-box, but there are times when you need something that it doesn't come with; a custom solution. I would like the rule development code to be made available so we don't always have to be referred to professional services for custom solutions. For example, if we want to exclude certain databases from a particular rule, we shouldn't have to go to support and to professional services for that solution. If the code and syntax were available, we have resources that could quickly turn something like that around. 

But having said that, the help is there if we need it. It's just that it probably costs some money to do that.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Quest Foglight For Databases for about five and a half years. I'm not a DBA. I just stand up the platform and make sure it is available for use by our DBAs.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've had problems with its stability in the past, but they were because the platform was not tuned correctly. One thing that I would suggest is that they should put that information out there: How to tune the platform and make sure that it's running at its optimum capacity. I had problems with it for a long time, and it took a while before we could get it running with optimum performance. If I had known how to do it ahead of time, we could have saved some time.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very good for us. The one thing that we've been told is that when you have more than 800 databases, you have to spawn another management station. I hope that can be expanded for a single FMS (Foglight Management Server). The number of databases that one FMS can monitor in an optimum way should be more than 800. We haven't had that problem yet, but we are fast approaching that number and it's a concern.

We've never used the SQL-PI component of it but we plan to use it, and that will make it that much more beneficial. It will provide analyses of the database processes. It will be beneficial for our SQL queries and for how to approach the configuration of indices.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is a nine out of 10. There is always room for improvement. There are times when a question is asked and it takes a little longer than expected to get a response back. It may be that they are juggling the needs of other customers, and I understand that. But that would be the only complaint.

We have their Premier Support. One of the advantages is that we're able to have 'round-the-clock support. There are times when you have a problem and you can't wait until the next day or, if it's a Friday, until Monday. When we need help right away, that has been very helpful.

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

I'm not aware of any previous solution. When I joined the company, Foglight was in use already.

How was the initial setup?

The process is very straightforward. It's more like plug-and-play and very easy. I have rarely had to call support to help with any installation.

We normally have to do the installation in a non-cloud environment and test it out. If there are any problems we encounter with any of the rules, we iron them out with support. Once things are satisfactory and we're confident, we'll push it into production.

In our environment it takes a long time to deploy, but that's not something to do with the product. It's a result of the resources we have and the fact that we have a lot of hoops to go through to get things validated internally. But none of that has anything to do with the Quest product.

What about the implementation team?

We use the help of a consultant from Quest to deploy. They are always available, but they have to work with our bottlenecks, internally. I appreciate that they are very flexible in working with us.

What other advice do I have?

It's a great product. It's probably one of the best in this class and people should not hesitate getting on board with the product. I have found it's very useful for my DBAs.

There are certain situations where you actually need professional services, rather than going in there and getting yourself mired up in something that you can't fix yourself. You should really consider the use of professional services before you get involved in problems that you can't fix yourself.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
**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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