CA Spectrum Valuable Features

OSS Manager at Telefónica UK / O2
* REST API: The single most undersold feature of CA Spectrum is the REST API! * Customisation: Very customisable under the hood and using standard features. * Reliable: It just works. I've been using Spectrum for more than five years and it just keeps getting better. The REST API allowed us to automate a lot of the manual work required to add devices into Spectrum. This included: * Installing the product via ‘silent installer’ based on one config file (installer would look at hostname and find out what role the server was and installed only those components. It also saves a DB if it’s a primary, and then loads the DB if it’s a secondary failover). * Adding users from LDAP (you need to create the users in LDAP in spectrum, and then it uses LDAP after that). * The automated deployment scripts we have first locally check if the devices are reachable via ICMP, SNMP, TFTP, etc., and then, if successful, it will add it to Spectrum in a specific container location. This contains logic which allows us to allocate which server in the Spectrum domain the device is deployed on and also checks to see if it exists on any other landscapes and deletes the devices that it’s not meant to be on only if the device exists on the correct landscape. Other automation is the automatic creation of Global Collections, and a custom reporting ‘engine’ that allows us to query data from within Spectrum (e.g., 'Show me all alarms for devices running iOS version x which were created in the last hour' or 'Show me all devices which are running iOS versions not starting with 15.’). Another thing that REST is good for is querying attributes for a specific model type. E.g., the VNM models contain info such as number of traps received, number of ignored traps, etc. When using tools like RRDTool, you can graph these over time and see how your Spectrum environment is doing. These are the main areas and I’m looking to do a similar job for CA Performance Management. Once this is done, there is a lot of config management (i.e., management of Cisco configs) I want to do as even configs are stored in Spectrum models via attributes. The best thing about Spectrum is the way it has been designed 'under the hood’. The concept of models with relationships to other models and each model having attributes. This makes a lot of information available that can be obtained very fast, instead of having to try do everything via VNM shell or GUI. I was using VNM shell for years and typically ran scripts on each host and had to manage each host and the scripts (which were mostly always the same but nonetheless still a pain to administer). Most information is obtainable via VNMShell but you have to ‘stitch’ the info from each landscape together. With the REST API, it’s one call and it checks all landscapes. What I also like about the REST API is that you can have a separate host running all the scripts. This allows for a much cleaner Spectrum build and less complications when upgrading. Spectrum is what I like to call a good CMDB product. Once you have discovered the devices, you have a good CMDB to use to populate other tools. You can create custom attributes via the Model Type Editor and use Spectrum as your ‘single pane of glass’, which contains all the info a NOC/support team needs (e.g., you can import device reference numbers, circuit refs, addresses, contact numbers, etc.), so all the info is in one place. This can all be populated via REST API at discovery time. It took me some time to get to understand the REST API and enjoy scripting, so the initial time investment was needed - but now it’s paying off and saving me a lot of time. Back when I started to tinker with it, there was not a lot of documentation. This has vastly improved over the years and the APIs are getting better in terms of documentation and updated features. View full review »
Network Tools Engineer at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
There are many valuable features but the ability to have all the inventory reports, event reports, configuration management. It does correlation so instead of producing 20 alarms if a site goes down, it only creates one. That's one of its strengths. View full review »
Stuart Weenig
Senior NMS Architect at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Spectrum is really good at discovering what I have out there just by giving it the list of things: my inventory. I feed in my inventory, and it discovers what is out there and how they are all connected to each other. View full review »
TEM Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
* NCM * Discovery: Scheduled, on-demand, synchronized with eHealth * REST API * Spectrum integration with CABI, eHealth, SOI, and EEM * Modelling of custom device models * MRTG graphs in real time for interfaces * Dynamic Global Collections * Distributed landscapes * OCC console client * Web UI console * Integrated GIS maps * Self-certification * Condition correlation * Event configuration * OOB Probable Cause database * MPLS Transport and VPN managers * Watches and thresholds View full review »
Daniel Alejandro Zuleta Zahr
Developer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
It has many great features, but in most of the companies that I have done consulting for, they rarely use them as it requires an advanced level of knowledge of the tool. Event Configuration: A tool in its simplest form creates business logic around events. For example, generate an alarm if Event A occurs and if Event B doesn’t occur within 30 seconds. In its hardest form, you can create a custom state machine for very hard business logic. Event Correlation: Spectrum has out-of-the-box correlation, but with this tool, you can create custom ones. You can make some alarms hide inside another alarm as a symptom, get root cause analysis, and avoid unnecessary notifications/alarms on the screen. Topology view: The topology diagrams on CA Spectrum look very nice and they are very useful. We stopped using them because with more than10K devices, the administration was just too painful. Dynamic models: Integration with the CA Spectrum is awesome. Sending traps with the third-party tools and using the SBG to receive them requires a learning curve. However, once you get it, it is very simple. Unlike another tool, you don’t need to know what the third-party tool is monitoring. In other words, if it sends some data, it will be dynamically created in CA Spectrum. View full review »
Senior Enterprise Monitoring Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
The stability of the product is key. It never breaks, really. The stability and reliability of the Spectrum product have been top-notch. The only reason you're not going to know that your stuff is up and running is because you set it up wrong, not because it's not doing its job. View full review »
Telecommunications Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
The most valuable features start with the core feature fault management and then the Configuration Manager; Service Manager; Watches; event management and event correlation; MIB tools; and the fact that it is fully customizable. View full review »
Jason Hohmann
Communication Systems Analyst at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
The fact that I don't have to sit and watch things. They get monitored, and then I hear about them and take care of them as needed. View full review »
IT Manager at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
The flexibility. It is so customizable. You can about make it do anything you want it to do, if you can figure out how to make it do it. There are things you can do in it to customize it to your environment and make it meet your business needs. I do not know if I have seen other products in this space that are as flexible. View full review »
Edgardo Serra
Head IT Operations at ICBC Argentina
Spectrum is very useful for us, because the product lets us monitor and control all the various components of our infrastructure that support our business from an IT perspective. We are also beginning to implement SOI, in order to view our IT infrastructure from a business perspective. As the boundary between business and IT become more confusing, it becomes more valuable to our users that we in IT can easily and quickly understand the impact of IT services within the business. SOI and Spectrum allow us to achieve this. We can optimize the IT services we offer our users and get a quick view of the business impact. Then, we can adjust priorities and solve problems quicker. View full review »
Parag Pujari
Director IT at CNO Financial Group, Inc.
The main thing is obviously notifications about alerts, getting ahead of the curve to make sure that we do not have system going down, or if it is down we get to know it earlier. If it is going to go down or if it is down, we get to know it earlier. If it is going to go down, we also get to know it because if the servers degraded and so on, we get to work on it before it really has any business impact. View full review »
Fabio Andre M. Sant' Anna
Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
* Ease of administration * Topology * Root cause identification * Design Our company is sectorized and each area has its role in the process, where the administration and support of the assets are executed by specific areas. However, the operation and NOC 24x7 require quick, visual understanding and with clear alarms to trigger the affected team as soon as possible, minimizing impacts. View full review »
Mark Parkin
Enterprise Systems Management (ESM) Engineer at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
This product automates much of what is involved in monitoring. For instance, device discovery can be performed in any of a number of ways with minimal manual intervention. The model catalog in Spectrum (digital models for various physical or virtual devices) is very extensive so, in most cases, monitoring uses device models that precisely match the actual device. This provides excellent tailored monitoring ability. Spectrum can be set up as fully fault-tolerant and in that scenario, it can provide near 100% monitoring up-time; five-nines monitoring up-time is certainly attainable. View full review »
Senior Systems Engineer at GEICO
The quick notification of issues, quick alerting because timeliness is always valuable, it's very important for us. View full review »
Software Engineer at Charter Communications, Inc.
A valuable feature is the topology view. You can view the topology. Other valuable features are the host configuration, the NCM feature, the policy manager that it has and the scalability. That's one of the biggest ones. View full review »
John Simpkins
Network Systems Integration Engineer at University of Michigan Health System
Spectrum allows us to have a holistic view of our network architecture. We have a pretty heterogeneous topology at U of M, we're a half Cisco, half Juniper shop, and we have multiple layers to our network topology. So, it's really important for us to be able to do that topological map, and be able to visualize the network state at any given time. View full review »
Luis Miguel Goez Mora
Senior Manager Information Technology Infrastructure at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
* Network Configuration Manager * MPLS & VPN Manager * Southbound Gateway * Event rules * Event procedures View full review »
Luis Miguel Goez Mora
Senior Manager Information Technology Infrastructure at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
* Network Configuration Manager * MPLS & VPN Manager * Southbound Gateway * Event Rules * Event Procedures View full review »
Jeremy Guthrie
Systems Engineer at Charter Communications, Inc.
The root cause analysis, fault isolation engine, and the overall event management that Spectrum brings you. View full review »
Rodolfo Siqueira
IT Infrastructure Manager at a government with 11-50 employees
Actually, the whole network is monitored with this product. View full review »
Rafael Maia, ITIL Intermediate, ISO´s* 1400+
IT Analyst / Technical Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
The most valuable feature is the detection of minor, major and warning alarms, showing through different colors. Spectrum is not SOI, but it gave the possibility of putting a view, a dashboard, showing servers that were part of a VMware server architecture. View full review »
IT Operations Manager at Delta Air Lines, Inc.
* The ability to quickly identify and isolate incidents. * Automate ticketing With the service manager today, we are moving the service now into the future. View full review »
Kevin Kaufman
Manager Of Monitoring Service Delivery at American International Group
* The correlation * The integration point View full review »
Shawn Ousley
Network Engineer at Aerospace Corporation
Allows us to be proactive. View full review »
Nuno Rosa
Lead Consultant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
* Event management * Fault management * NFV support View full review »
Ilya Shutov
Head of Data Science at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
These features are core requirements for infrastructure management: * Topology Discovery * Configuration Management * Best network root-cause analysis * Service management * Integration with CA SOI and CA SDM View full review »
Umair (Abu Mohaymin) Akhlaque
Enterprise Solutions & Services Head at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Implemented with Enterprise Customers across region. Very strong Fault Management tool , Extra ordinary correlation & alarming. Not to difficult to implement but eventually adv. correlation is not easy to implement. View full review »
Senior Technology Architect at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
The breath of the product. View full review »
Infrastructure and Application Surveillance Specialist at a hospitality company with 201-500 employees
Root cause analysis, fault isolation, customizations, and CA support tech access. View full review »
Martins Arinze Okoye IT Il,M IT,Oca,Mc IT P
Lead ,Managed Services at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
The alarm and root cause analysis features are the most valuable to me. These features help to pinpoint causes of outages and performance issues.This ultimately identifies the specific component responsible for an issue thus accelerating problem/issue resolution. View full review »
Business Analyst Level 3 with 1,001-5,000 employees
* Event Correlation * Relationship between the services delivery infrastructure * Policy creation by events * Root Cause * Attribute monitoring * Integration with other tools View full review »
Programmer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
The network mapping functionality. View full review »
CA Technical Support Engineer/Fujitsu Regional Service Delivery Manager for PZ Cussons West africa at a tech company with 501-1,000 employees
Root-cause analysis and modelling pinpoint the exact cause of problems, which makes life easier. View full review »
Randall Hinds
Program Manager - Enterprise Command Center at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Easy navigation from initial alerts to a full topology and detail on the Network infrastructure and it relationships is the most valuable feature View full review »
Ilson Baltazar
Coordenador de Suporte - Command Center with 51-200 employees
For networks: * CA Spectrum * CA eHealth For applications: * CA UIM * Zabbix has always supported us in custom monitoring, scripting, etc. View full review »
Scotty Orr
Advanced Solutions - Sr. Strategy Advisor at GDT - General Datatech
* Monitoring * The dashboard View full review »
Juan Pablo Ferrari
Support Engineer Management Area with 201-500 employees
All the features are working fine. View full review »

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