Gabriele ArmaoHead of Monitoring at a tech services company
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"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."
"The stability has been very good over the years."
"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 solution should offer better integration with other tools from a service management perspective."
"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."
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.
Micro Focus Business Process Monitor is an application monitoring software that proactively and consistently monitors business processes to identify performance issues before they affect users.
Apica Synthetic is ranked 8th in Application Performance Management (APM) with 9 reviews while Micro Focus Business Process Monitor is ranked 39th in Application Performance Management (APM) with 1 review. Apica Synthetic is rated 8.6, while Micro Focus Business Process Monitor is rated 7.0. The top reviewer of Apica Synthetic writes "Monitors every single touch point that can fail inside a user's journey". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Micro Focus Business Process Monitor writes "Stable with good performance visibility but is a discontinued product". Apica Synthetic is most compared with AppDynamics, Dynatrace, Micro Focus Voltage SiteScope, Splunk and Datadog, whereas Micro Focus Business Process Monitor is most compared with Dynatrace and AppDynamics.
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