Most Helpful Review
Advanced reporting runs analytics on NetFlow and provides signature-based recognition of problems in the network...
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
The fact that I can use custom MIB files to customize my sensors for the things that are not there as a default is a good feature.
It is a central solution in terms of how to actually use it. It has a very easy dashboard. Everything is concise. We are able to create custom sensors. For different parts of the business, we have many products across many environments, and it works for everything.
The most valuable feature is the ability to span multiple technologies and multiple vendors.
We can see trends for a lot of different things, such as hard drive space and bandwidth usage. We can see and plan for the future by knowing, "We're sort of at 75% capacity now. In three months time, we know we're going to be up to 90%,so we need to plan ahead for it, getting upgrades booked in place." Since things like this take time and effort, it's handy to see trends into the future of where our company is going.
The solution provides us with needed feedback on our IT infrastructure. It gives us really good quality of service when it comes to monitoring of available space and available resources. It allows us to preempt issues before they become a problem for the business.
It is easy to use and intuitive, which is really important. It does what it says on the box by giving you a visual of the state of what is going on at any one time.
It is pretty simple to use, which is always a good thing. It's been very reliable in updating us if any issues crop up.
We use the remote probes a lot for our branch offices. Instead of deploying the full instance of PRTG, we'll put a remote probe out there. This simplifies the whole deployment for us.
The Spectrum tool improved our network assurance levels for our business units.
All networks (or network equipment) are monitored through CA Spectrum.
It is easy to understand and determine when and/or where the network is failing.
The monitoring just comes to us: "Oh, there's something wrong with that machine." It tells us. There are some 50,000 machines or so, all doing different things. And if they go down we hear about it.
It helps our NetOps group actually handle alarms in a way that lets them see the bigger picture of those alarms, and how they might affect our services. It helps us communicate information about the network state better to services that might be impacted by a specific network condition.
As the kind of enterprise that straddles the line between telco size and enterprise size, it scales for us, because we're not all the way at telco yet.
It covers a lot of different types of hardware. It can do a lot and saves us time.
It is very stable. We have not had any major issues in over 10 years.
As a network engineer, the ability to identify what traffic on the link is consuming all the bandwidth at any given time, and provide immediate feedback to the business, is the most valuable feature.
The reporting and generating troubleshooting reports would be the best feature; our host-to-host conversation reporting.
It's agnostic as far as what your network gear is. As long as it supports an sFlow, JFlow, NetFlow, some kind of flow monitoring, Plixer will support it very well.
There are other tools out there that will do what Scrutinizer does. But what I have found with Scrutinizer is that it does it very quickly. I've taken 25 million individual data fragments from the different sensors, and it has graphed that and mapped it and presented a picture within 30 seconds. It has a very efficient database algorithm that I am really impressed with.
The ability to view the status of the top-10 at a glance is helpful. We immediately know which link is over-utilized or heavily used... and it's all in real-time.
The most valuable features of the solution are the ability to track what a device is doing and to go back historically. It is also able to go down to, and identify, very low levels of traffic.
I have an issue with DFS, distributed file services... there isn't one by default. Taking into account the difference between DFS and DFSR as well would be great.
With custom sensors, there is a lot of work which needs to be done in the background, just for it to be tailor-made for the specific thing that we are actually monitoring. We take a lot of time with the custom sensors. I would like to see the customer sensor be more robust and a bit more varied.
The dashboarding definitely needs improvement.
The only sort of limitation is the actual probes. So, if you don't have enough probes on there, you can over flip them and cause the WMI sensors and SNMP sensors to sort of overload. Sometimes, they might timeout for a minute, but they do come back.
The desktop app is the one area where it do with some improvement. From a user's perspective, I would like to be able to get more out of the desktop app as opposed to where we are now with it.
While the desktop app is good, they could slightly improve it. We would like it to be a single pane of glass. At the moment, you can only see certain portions of information. You have to scroll through to make it more granular. We want them to develop the desktop app to be more user-friendly.
Once you start going above 5000 sensors, things do start to get a bit shaky. There are some best practice out there that you will need to adopt and be aware of.
We would like more cloud native sensors for AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, etc. A lot of businesses are moving in that direction, so having something where we can pull performance stats out of these cloud services would be great for us.
The CA Technologies sales team destroyed their relationship with our business units.
It needs better integration with other CA products.
OS monitoring needs to be better developed, as well as their services, e.g., cluster monitoring, URLs, etc.
Make it easier to certify devices.
If they could interact with the MIBs of vendors better, and have a lot more pre-loaded ones, that would be amazing for us right now.
The Spectrum OneClick is a Java-based client, and that's aging. Really, before any new feature integration, I'd love to see a comprehensive rebuild of the UI.
The upgrade process could be smoother. More of the steps around upgrading could be automated.
A better integration with the UIM, as far as being able to do root cause analysis and that type of analytics.
There is room for improvement around the data that they have on the website about solutions... they should have more templated solutions on their website. Going out and identifying how to do RTP performance with a Cisco router, or how to do application response times in an Arrista data center deployment was where most of the work was... They should spend some more time documenting solutions and putting together white papers.
Knowing that they're coming out with a new user interface, that is an area where there is room for improvement. There are so many variables. They should limit the variables in the user interface and create some classes, like "simple," "novice," and "expert" to narrow down the variables within it.
They're working on the security areas, so it can provide more insight. What they have is still pretty much IP-concentric. If they were to make it IP and URL, they'd be a little bit ahead on that.
The solution creates a visual map of a particular location and how the network flows. You need to spend time to generate all those maps. If they could figure out a way to reduce the time needed to generate the maps, that would be great.
The reporting structure, the front-end GUI, also needs some work. It needs some getting used to. It works fairly well, but it's a technical tool rather than a user tool. You have to understand the structure of the databases before you can really use it.
Pricing and Cost Advice
At the moment I'm only using 500 sensors. I pay yearly, so it's a cost that's easily swallowed.
We used a product called SolarWinds in the past, and its cost was high. Whereas, PRTG came in at a third of SolarWind's cost.
Cost was a factor when selecting this solution, but it just did everything we wanted it to do.
Our licensing costs are 10,000 euros over three years.
We have an unlimited perpetual license, so we just pay support costs and it can scale throughout the organization.
We looked at PRTG and SolarWinds. From a cost side perspective, compared to PRTG, and from what you get back from it, PRTG was sort of a hands down the winner.
While I am not the person who deals with pricing, I would say that we pay around 1000 pounds a year.
It is about £4,500 for the first year, then about another 15 to 20 percent annually after that. So, we are looking at about £1000 running costs a year. When you think about how much an outage costs per minute, it's negligible.
The cost of some of these products are a little cost prohibitive, which is unfortunate. We have to find lower cost solutions for some of the things that we have to pull in. For the most part, CA has capabilities in pretty much everything that you would need. You just have to figure out where are you going to spend the most money for what you have to actually get done. You can do all these things but, which ones do you have to do? And that's hard to choose sometimes because you want to do them all.
We pay our one-off cost for the licenses, per device, in blocks of 50. And then we pay an annual maintenance fee of about $15,000 Australian, which is, at this point in time, about $9,000 US, for those 250 devices. The upfront costs for the 250-license use, were about $50,000 Australian, which is about $32,000 US.
Our entire solution, amortized over five years, is in the vicinity of $40,000 to $50,000 a year.
Compared to some of the other tools we have, it's incredibly reasonably priced.
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Also Known As
|Paessler AG||CA (A Broadcom Company)||Plixer|
|PRTG Network Monitor runs on a Windows machine within your network, collecting various statistics from the machines, software, and devices which you designate. PRTG comes with an easy-to-use web interface with point-and-click configuration. You can easily share data from it with non-technical colleagues and customers, including via live graphs and custom reports. This will let you plan for network expansion, see what applications are using most of your connection, and make sure that no one is hogging the entire network just to torrent videos.||CA Spectrum can enable your organization to discover, optimize and improve its infrastructure and the business services running on top of it. By delivering large-enterprise scalability, robust features and superior root cause analysis, this solution can help your organization effectively manage its dynamic, complex IT infrastructure including physical, virtual and cloud environments as well as network virtualization.|
The Scrutinizer incident response system leverages network traffic analytics to provide active monitoring, visualization, and reporting of network and security incidents. The system quickly delivers the rich forensic data needed by IT professionals to support fast and efficient incident response.
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Learn more about CA Spectrum
Learn more about Plixer Scrutinizer
|Jameson Bank, Sidnix, RungeICT, MedicalAnimal, Truck-lite, GamingGrids, The Covell Group, Forsythn County Schools, NetMass, Musgrove Park Hospital, Lanes Health, Columbia Southern University, Vodafone, Intrust Bank||National Informatics Centre India, Banese, Olympus, AlphaServe Technologies, Sicredi||Oxford Networks, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, UltiSat, Wipro, West Aurora School District 129, SUNY Geneseo College, Bloomington Public Schools, First National Bank of Pennsylvania, Kitsap Credit Union, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County Houston Texas, Carilion Clinic, Banner Health, IDEXX Laboratories, Phibro Animal Health Corporation, Goodwill Industries, Parmalat, Armstrong Coal Company, Flybe, James Walker|
Comms Service Provider13%
Financial Services Firm13%
Software R&D Company32%
Comms Service Provider14%
Financial Services Firm14%
Software R&D Company25%
Comms Service Provider22%
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