We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"The solution’s UI and single pane of glass is good. The new dashboard is modern with its new design. The look of it is not pretty, but it is efficient, which is good. It is user-friendly; you can find what you need on the interface quickly."
"This solution has helped to improve the interaction between our network, datacenter, and application teams. I have used other tools, but this tool can pinpoint the root cause of my application or network issue in the majority of the cases. So, it helps different divisions or groups in the IT department to troubleshoot together and get an issue resolved. This tool helps a lot in our day-to-day networking application and IT operations."
"For us, the most valuable feature is something called TWAMP that allows for real-time traffic in a way that is 10 times lighter than things like SolarWinds. It's in the sub-milliseconds of accuracy, and you can divide tasks so that you can literally see things like the tagging for Quality of Service. That had been incorrect with the carrier, but there was no way on this planet you'd be able to tell a carrier that they're wrong. I have dozens of scenarios where we found "No, that's not right," and got it resolved instantly."
"It is about finding operational problems. When sites go down, we try to determine who is at fault. While there is not much finger-pointing, the solution is just trying to analyse when there is an outage and where do we start looking to fix it. The very nature of why organization chooses to use the solution is to accelerate the meantime to resolution and find where problems lie to get them rectified as quickly as possible."
"It helps with releases because we monitor them in staging. We can tell if something is critically wrong before it gets into production, e.g., if it was load related or function related and also what was different in the dev stage. It then alerts us straightaway inside of our production monitors once it has been released. Therefore, it has improved how we run our systems since we monitor multiple environments."
"From our standpoint, there are a number of valuable features. The WebHooks are obviously really great. The alert framework is really good and then the reporting and visualizations that you get from the dashboards is good. Those three areas are primarily what my team's focused on in terms of usage from day to day."
"With the ZebraTester, the ability to have and store dynamic variables, when setting up the monitors, means you can extract that value and use it in a subsequent service call. This is something that has made our lives easier... This is one of the features that I like the most because it helps us in configuring these services, in a certain flow, without the need to re-record the whole thing."
"As always, within the IT industry, everybody's always looking to upgrade and update everything else like that. Apica has been one of those things but it's really hard to replace because it offers us the unique capability to see what the customer is seeing. A lot of other ones can do Selenium script and things like that, but there's a lot in Apica that we use right now. We utilize a lot of the scenario options in Apica right now, and there's a lot of other ones that do parts of it, but it doesn't do everything that Apica does."
"One of the biggest advantages of moving to Apica is the ability get to a hybrid model with the architecture in the cloud and our agents on-prem. We also have access to Apica's cloud agent across the globe. That has changed the way that we have our load testing setup at this point. Previously, it was always internal. Now, with this change in the way it is implemented for load testing, we can test anywhere across the globe and from the list of agents available within Apica's cloud. If I don't have an agent available in a second location, it just takes an email to their customer support, then it is spun up within 24 hours. That flexibility has changed the way that we perceive our load tests, not just in the US, but globally."
"You can tell from the operational space of people who are using and consuming this data that they are more integrated. It is not dependent on one team anymore. It saves a lot of time by capturing and pinpointing the exact problem that is happening quickly. We have moved from getting escalations manually to getting escalations synthetically."
"Our application SREs do script checks in such a way that closely mimic our customers' actions using the platform. Because there are so many different ways and options to be able to configure checks to closely mirror your applications' capabilities, it provides a lot of optionality for teams to create the right type of check that can notify when there are any issues. At the end of the day, we want our monitoring tools to be able to catch any outage before our customers do. This is where Apica Synthetic does a great job."
"We see the benefit almost every day. It allows us to be alerted whenever there is a store that is not responding properly around the world. We do have a network operation center (NOC) who receives these alerts, immediately checking if everything is okay."
"It needs the possibility to export data because it is not easy to see larger data sets, e.g., for one month. It would be interesting to export data into a PDF or dashboard to keep a history of the situation."
"For the PVX, they are in the process of getting the results to export to cloud and SaaS for analytics. They told me that this will happen later this year. Right now, for the most part, I create that data myself."
"Some of the Skylight applications are a little newer, and they're still moving through initial revs. There are certain bugs, but nothing is insurmountable... It will just take a little bit of time for their user interface to get a little bit better."
"I would like to see some improvements in parts of their synthetic transactions, which includes all the latency, jitter, and throughput. I would like to see some Layer 7 analytics in there. I want to be able to do a DNS request, HTTP GET request, or even SIP call point-to-point or via registration."
"The initial screen on their dashboard could have a bit more data, but this is a small thing. It could have more data, so we do not need to drill down to a screen behind that initial information. I would like them to get a little better on the user interfaces that we need to go into."
"The having to install an application on your desktop to utilize something like ZebraTester is a little cumbersome. It would be nice to see that become a web-based application. Having the documentation a little more accessible, and easier to digest by people who are just learning how to use the framework, especially when it comes to more complex or more edge-based cases would be really helpful to have."
"When it comes to the way the internal agent is installed, because you can install an application on a server, I would love to see the application Docker-ized. If you could install internal agents using Docker or using containers, it would be easier for us to manage them and spin up internal agents."
"Alerting needs improvement. It's a little noisy. It needs some better options. Currently, they have an issue, when you set up a synthetic monitor, you can set up where it's monitoring from, a data center that Apica owns."
"The accuracy of alerts can be improved a little bit. Right now, it's pretty good in terms of alerting pretty quickly about failures or changes in response times. However, what we have seen happen is the number of alerts that we are getting is very frequent, and we would like to tone down the number of alerts. That's the only trouble we have. Apica could tone down those settings because there is no option for us to tone it down to a level that would reduce the alerts to a minimum. As a platform, it does send us good alerts, but it could be improved a bit."
"Learning the tool has always been a little difficult from a scripting perspective because the framework is proprietary and unique. Once we became used to what it does and how to perform it, then it became easier for my team and me. I would like to see some of the testing steps be part of a more well-known language, like Java or Python. That would be a big improvement."
"We have been focused on reducing polling times for synthetic checks. We have gone from 10 minutes down to five minutes for a pretty broad swath, but there is some appetite to reduce that further, which could be an improvement."
"The reporting part that we use for our executives needs a bit more customization capabilities. Right now, you can use only the three main templates for reporting. We would like to be able to customize them."
"The pricing is cheaper than other competing products, which is better for our budgets."
"It provides value and the cost is not huge."
"The pricing of Accedian Skylight is really good. The sensors are low cost. Their model to analytics for sensors is by license, endpoint, or session. With the probes for their analytics, if they get deployed virtually, they are free. The licensing is only based on flows. So, you can effectively deploy probes everywhere in your network. Then, if you want to look at a specific type of traffic, you can enter into it with a very low cost license. You can just use things like spam ports, mirrors, TAPs, and aggregators to optimize what sort of traffic you send to these analysis tools. Then, if you want to start looking at more, you can up your licensed as you go. You are not getting forced into expensive appliances or subscription models."
"The pricing and licensing are very reasonable. At the end of the day, you are using their technology/software and getting X amount of checks for a very decent value. As for discounts, they try to meet your budgets as much as they can. For example, if you need 100 checks and you have X amount of budget for it, then they will try and get down to that price. Costing-wise, it is a reasonably cost product. They will always try and come down to your price if you need them to come down to it by knocking off certain areas."
"Apica is pretty cost-effective if you buy both solutions together: Synthetic and LoadTest. If you are going for one solution, the cost is on par with any tool in the market."
"The level of alerting accuracy has saved us time and money in operational costs. Overall, it has automated a lot of the manual efforts which have been more complex with some of our other scripting tools or monitors. So, it brings things together by doing things faster and saves us money."
"License management is another area that Apica could do better. We have already had these conversations with our account teams. This is something that they are looking at largely improving in upcoming releases. I believe that this is already on their roadmap."
"The pricing is very reasonable, but it is not cheap."
"Another main difference between Apica and the other products was the cost. We really thought that the balance in Apica between the features and costs was the best among all the products on which we did a PoC."
Accedian provides performance analytics and end user experience solutions for on-premise, cloud and hybrid IT infrastructures. Accedian SkylightTM delivers unified network and application performance monitoring (NAPM) visibility across the entire application and network chain, with best in class resolution and velocity. This enables Accedian customers to assure their business-critical digital infrastructure and unlock the full productivity of their users.
Apica Synthetic is a powerful monitoring tool built for enterprises seeking predictive insights into the performance and uptime of websites, applications, APIs and IoT. By simulating user journeys from locations across the globe, IT and DevOps teams are able to proactively monitor applications around the clock, identifying performance and availability issues before they affect internal or external end-users.
Accedian Skylight is ranked 12th in Application Performance Management (APM) with 4 reviews while Apica Synthetic is ranked 7th in Application Performance Management (APM) with 9 reviews. Accedian Skylight is rated 9.0, while Apica Synthetic is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Accedian Skylight writes "Solves network issues quickly, saving engineering time". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Apica Synthetic writes "Monitors every single touch point that can fail inside a user's journey". Accedian Skylight is most compared with ThousandEyes, SolarWinds NPM, NETSCOUT nGeniusONE, Dynatrace and Netrounds, whereas Apica Synthetic is most compared with AppDynamics, Dynatrace, Micro Focus Voltage SiteScope, Splunk and Datadog. See our Accedian Skylight vs. Apica Synthetic report.
See our list of best Application Performance Management (APM) vendors.
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