Riverbed SteelCentral AppInternals Review

Great for visibility but lacks many features and difficult to update

What is most valuable?

The application side of the solution is its most valuable aspect. We are using it on the logs that were captured on the application side. 

As an Administrator, before we bought this AppInternals, I didn't have visibility on why items were slow or why an application was not running. This gives us the ability to see what's going on. The application is load balancing. We can now see if its own server has issues or just one specific server has issues.

What needs improvement?

Right now, our challenge is that we don't have the support we need, and based on the requirements we have, there are some audits and it turns out that the AppInternals agent is causing false trafficking issues.

We could not update the server requirements on the version we have right now, due to the support. 

It would be great if the solution could offer fixed bundles and more features.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been working with the solution for three or four years now. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's not updated to the latest version, due to the fact that if we do that it will crash or cause some issues. Because we don't have a new AP version, we have just direct production. If our management accepts the risk, then we might do the upgrade of the server as well as its application version. Currently, we are using a two-year-old version of the solution. It is not up to date.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The server-based scalability is a challenge, however, we cannot change anything, including the scale, unless the management decides to take the risk and update the solution.

How was the initial setup?

We're running it in a Linux bot. I'm not sure if I would describe the process as complex. On our side is basically in-house, so it's a pretty standard installation process. Whatever servers that we have provide talks to the app servers which talk to the database servers. The setup is intranet-based and not internet-based. That makes our setups rather simple and straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We handle everything in house using our own team.

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

I don't know the exact pricing, however, my understanding is that it's quite expensive. Dynatrace has competitive pricing in comparison. I believe Cisco pricing is also okay.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We recently increased to another license. That said, for other teams to be involved in what we do, including network and infrastructure, we've decided to look into Dynatrace, which is a more complete system.

We are looking at Dynatrace based on some information that we've gotten from websites as well as some other experiences from our colleagues. Our manager also has previous experience on the solution. We're now in the POC stage and are awaiting the arrival of the hardware to get started.

Before this product, I recommended the Sophos Manage Engine. Management did not consider it because it's from India.

What other advice do I have?

We're customers. We don't have a special relationship with the company. I am the operation's application administrator.

At the moment, the solution is monitoring the applications that we want it to monitor. We're not looking at it on a daily basis. We just use it here and there. The challenge we have is that we believe that Dynatrace can address some tasks we'd like done that are not possible to execute on this solution. Dynatrace includes monitoring of not just the logs, but the applications as well.

Dynatrace also makes us include firewalls, etc. We could have it so there are end to end solutions or identifications within the process. What we have right now is only the app server as well as the database server and its connectivity.

The solution does save time that's caused when creating SQL coding. However, there are some issues around AppInternals changing the code and giving us issues.

From the point of view of the top management, we want a more permanent solution. We want to identify what causes issues and we are looking for a more end-to-end solution. That is why we are looking at Dynatrace. 

I don't know if I have any advice for other organizations. The experience I have is only based on my own limited experience. However, I believe that the application has the potential to be really good if it identifies what is really important to an organization. It's still sort of half-baked without AppResponse. Without the other key features in infrastructure, like the network, firewalls, and proxies, it's lacking. It's not fully complete.

I'd rate the solution six out of ten. It addresses some of our needs, but there's a lot lacking that could be added to make it a fuller, more interesting product.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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