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DX Spectrum OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

DX Spectrum is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Network Management Applications. It is most often compared to DX NetOps: DX Spectrum vs DX NetOps

What is DX Spectrum?
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.

DX Spectrum is also known as CA Spectrum.

DX Spectrum Buyer's Guide

Download the DX Spectrum Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

DX Spectrum Customers
National Informatics Centre India, Banese, Olympus, AlphaServe Technologies, Sicredi
DX Spectrum Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about DX Spectrum pricing:
  • "In general, the license cost will be about 30% of the total TCO for this tool (hardware/support team, OS costs, and OS management)."
  • "The price is very high."
  • "Currently, a perpetual license but some services are moving to a subscription"
  • "The price is good enough to expect an ideal solution. It's expensive."

DX Spectrum Reviews

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ITCS user
IT Architect at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Good monitoring, alerting capabilities, and improved visibility, but AIOps is restricted to Broadcom

Pros and Cons

  • "We were able to standardize the internal processes across all internal departments, resulting in almost an elimination of non-standard process flows through our organization."
  • "We want to make our own choice for the AIOps solution and do not want to be forced to use the Broadcom OI solution by default."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for monitoring both service provider networks as well as customer WAN / LAN / VOIP networks, including all kinds of SNMP-based edge devices.

The key solution to be solved is the correlation between all types of messages from all devices. We are receiving more than 1,000,000 SNMP messages a day across many types of domains.

Unifying the solution within our organization created a standard way of working and integration. We needed a centralized redundant solution for all of our domains, which requires an SNMP-based monitoring tool.

How has it helped my organization?

We were able to standardize the internal processes across all internal departments, resulting in almost an elimination of non-standard process flows through our organization.

We were also able to standardize by cross-learning from all teams on how we should configure the monitored elements, align the configuration of the monitoring application, and use the solution such that it created a common understanding of the best practices.

By implementing the automatic service incident, a very strong closed loop is created in the monitoring of the domains.

What is most valuable?

The topology correlation for layers one, two, three, and four significantly reduces the number of false positives (>98% ratio). By using Spectrum, we did not need to configure the network knowledge about redundancy. Rather, it learns the latest correlation between the monitored elements automatically.

By adding the alerting from the Broadcom performance management tools, a comprehensive list of alerts is created.

As a service provider, we added views for our customers to inspect their sub-domain in our whole network, which reinforces a high level of trust within the relationship to our customers.

What needs improvement?

This solution is missing the in-depth SDN correlation due to the late arrival of Spectrum VNA features and supported SDN networks. The various setups of the SDN networks are not always supported (yet) by the Spectrum VNA engine.

Integration with non-Broadcom AIOps solutions is a known area. We want to make our own choice for the AIOps solution and do not want to be forced to use the Broadcom OI solution by default.

For our size, a redundant based docker platform should be supported for large scale environments with more than 80,000 devices. This will have a very strong positive impact on the effort we need to spend in maintaining our large scale Spectrum solution and the related cost. The time to market for the new Spectrum solution will be reduced dramatically if this becomes available.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using CA Spectrum for more than 15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is good, especially for large scale location redundant solutions with more than 80,000 devices in a single cluster.

In general, the location-redundancy with automatic failover is a myth, except if you are using Spectrum. If you setup spectrum in a redundant setup across 2 location (80 km in between), you can have a automatic fail over time within 10 seconds. This simplifies the maintenance of your setup a lot as well: any component can be switched off for maintenance purposes. The redundant instance takes over within 10 seconds.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is very good.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support depends on the complexity of the problem. Because our own knowledge is quite high and our environment is quite huge, problems can be very complex and time-consuming to solve.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used several solutions prior to this one. The reason we switched is that the combination was causing a problem and we needed to standardize.

How was the initial setup?

You do need a decent level of knowledge to roll out this huge scale solution.

Small, single location-based solutions for 10,000 or fewer devices are relatively simple.

In our experience, the OOTB settings are very usable.

What about the implementation team?

We did implement this using our own in-house Spectrum specialists, which do have knowledge that is on the same level as the first line support at Broadcom.

What was our ROI?

Our ROI is realized through better NPS and a smaller labour cost.

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

In general, the license cost will be about 30% of the total TCO for this tool (hardware/support team, OS costs, and OS management). It turned out to be cheaper than other solutions, even those in the public domain.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated IBM Netcool, different public domain-based SNMP solutions, HP OpenView NNM, and SolarWinds.

What other advice do I have?

We hope that the speed of the improvement and product growth will soon again be at the same level as when this was a CA product.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Network Analyst at a transportation company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Provides granular access control, highly scalable, and helpful for monitoring the entire network infrastructure

Pros and Cons

  • "The containerization of different objects was very helpful in building an org structure. Being able to separately manage your MSP clients with separate visibility was also helpful."
  • "Scalability is a highly rated feature of this solution. It is better than some of the other tools that I've used in terms of scalability. We scaled it to tens of thousands of devices."
  • "The granular access control that it provided so that you could only see devices that were related to what you were working on was great. I couldn't see the entire inventory of devices. I could only see the ones that were related to my work. It has got a very granular access control component."
  • "For my use case, incident coordination was an area of improvement. The internal software engine for coordinating outages could use improvement because sometimes, we used to get false alerts for unrelated devices. They did a really good job of trying to make sure that you got one major alert and any of the subsequent devices downstream were just additions to that, but occasionally, the engine wouldn't properly catch the right things, and we used to get a flood of alerts."
  • "Its visualization can be improved. It doesn't have a very advanced GUI. It is very basic and simple, but it does work."

What is our primary use case?

It was software-based deployment, and we were monitoring the internal network and client devices of an enterprise MSP. We were also using it for generating alerts for ticketing.

How has it helped my organization?

We were able to monitor their entire network infrastructure and receive valuable alerting in a timely fashion so that we could react to any instances when there were down devices.

What is most valuable?

The containerization of different objects was very helpful in building an org structure. Being able to separately manage your MSP clients with separate visibility was also helpful.

Scalability is a highly rated feature of this solution. It is better than some of the other tools that I've used in terms of scalability. We scaled it to tens of thousands of devices.

The granular access control that it provided so that you could only see devices that were related to what you were working on was great. I couldn't see the entire inventory of devices. I could only see the ones that were related to my work. It has got a very granular access control component.

What needs improvement?

For my use case, incident coordination was an area of improvement. The internal software engine for coordinating outages could use improvement because sometimes, we used to get false alerts for unrelated devices. They did a really good job of trying to make sure that you got one major alert and any of the subsequent devices downstream were just additions to that, but occasionally, the engine wouldn't properly catch the right things, and we used to get a flood of alerts.

Its visualization can be improved. It doesn't have a very advanced GUI. It is very basic and simple, but it does work.

For how long have I used the solution?

I used this solution for two and a half years. I have used it within the last 12 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It was quite stable. We had very few outages during the time I used it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

From the scalability perspective, it was fantastic. We were able to monitor our entire infrastructure at the telco level. We were also able to monitor all of the network tools and devices within our client containers. It was a very scalable product. Overall, 3,000 to 4,000 users were using it, and we probably had tens of thousands of devices.

How are customer service and technical support?

I did not use their technical support. We didn't get an opportunity to do that.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in its deployment. It was done well prior to my being part of the team that was using it. 

In terms of maintenance, it requires just the standard software updates and patching. It doesn't require anything out of the ordinary. You just have to deal with more of the ordinary patching cycles. I didn't actually have any experience updating the entire system itself. That was outside of my scope of work. Because we were deploying it at a telco level, we had several teams working on it. My role was adding and removing devices and updating devices for the customers I was supporting. We would add and remove devices in the client networks and the client containers based on the additions and removal of the hardware in the system.

What was our ROI?

We've been using this solution for probably the last eight to ten years through ongoing upgrades and updates. If there wasn't a return on investment by using the platform, our organization would have gone for a different solution. We're very cost-conscious, so we were able to get the value that we were looking for out of it.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to be prepared to do some fine-tuning and scripting to support the product. With any tool of this nature, there are going to be some customizations to monitor certain devices. You should also make sure that you get your containers organized correctly. If you organize the containers correctly with different groups assigned, it will make your life a lot easier to be able to organize your data. Have a solid structure for that and a good plan.

I would rate DX Spectrum an eight out of ten. It was a really solid platform. They did a really great job. The coordination of alerting was probably the biggest issue we had, just because of the scale of the network we were dealing with.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Learn what your peers think about DX Spectrum. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
540,884 professionals have used our research since 2012.
KN
Techincal Support at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
A stable solution for backend application monitoring

Pros and Cons

  • "This product provides good visibility into applications at the backend."
  • "There should be a facility to integrate with other monitoring applications that are currently running in the environment."

What is our primary use case?

We are a system integrator and DX Spectrum is one of the products that we implement for our clients. In conjunction with DX Infrastructure Manager (CA UIM) and DX APM, this gives our customers visibility into what is happening end-to-end in their applications.

How has it helped my organization?

Some of our customers are large banks and government agencies, and they are getting value from using it.

What is most valuable?

This product provides good visibility into applications at the backend.

Some of our customers like the Service Desk aspect of it.

What needs improvement?

IP conflicts cannot be resolved automatically in the case where an IP address changes. This is one of the capabilities that SolarWinds has.

There should be a facility to integrate with other monitoring applications that are currently running in the environment. For example, if a customer is already running SolarWinds then it would be helpful if integration between these two was easy to do.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with DX Spectrum for about 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of stability, it depends on the environment. Sometimes, the application does not function well because of the type of security and policies that are in place. Certain policies will block the application, making it unstable. We learned this after some of our customers complained and we investigated to determine why.

When we come across a situation like this we start working with their security department to address the issues, and then everything will start working well.

Overall, I think that it's a really stable product.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support for this product is not encouraging. When our customers have issues, there is a delay in response from the support team. This causes some of our customers to doubt the solution.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

One of our customers was using SolarWinds, but have since switched to DX Spectrum because they were issues with it. Once they implemented DX Spectrum, they were able to determine the root cause of their problem and solve it.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is straightforward. The length of time required for deployment depends on the environment. For example, in a financial institution, it takes between one and two months because we need to do some information gathering and have confidence that we are meeting the requirements.

There are times when we are mid-deployment and the customer will stop us to say that they want something new. In cases like this, it slows down the implementation phase.

What about the implementation team?

Our in-house team handles the deployment for our customers.

What other advice do I have?

One of the issues that we have is that our customers are not aware of the product's full capabilities and what it can do for them. We are running our own campaign to give our customers a better understanding of the benefit they can get from it.

In summary, I think that it's a fantastic and durable product. For me, it is nice and I am actively recommending it to my clients.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
DR
Network Operations & Delivery Head for TSB Bank at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Good health checks help to identify infrastructure performance, good drill-down features, and easy to set up

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the ability to put health checks in place not only for the infrastructure but for some of the services that are on top of the infrastructure."
  • "Integration with some other tools, and integration with some Network Packet Broker, need some improvement."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of this solution is for Network Monitoring.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the availability to put health checks in place not only for the infrastructure but for some of the services that are on top of the infrastructure. This allows us to identify the performance of the infrastructure.

What needs improvement?

Integration with some other tools, and integration with some Network Packet Broker, need some improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using DX Spectrum for approximately nine months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable. We have not experienced any outages.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's a cloud solution, so it's scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not contacted technical support yet.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We are also using Microsoft Network Node Manager.

The main difference is the availability to do the health-check on not only the devices but also some application services. These are in addition to the infrastructure, and with Network Node Manager, it's more based on infrastructure.

Also, the Drill down feature that DX Spectrum provides is something the Network Node Manager typically cannot do, as well as to drill down on a specific case or on a specific device.

That's also a really good feature of DX Spectrum.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was quite straightforward.

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

The price is very high.

It makes it very difficult with respect to the business because, with any other product, we have to look at a lower-cost licensing model. It would have to be much lower than this one.

It would make sense to have some kind of corporate license with some additional flexibility.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated SolarWinds and Azure.

What other advice do I have?

We are still looking at other solutions to increase the capacity of the devices that are being monitored with DX Spectrum.

We have a small set of devices being monitored and we are running a project to try to duplicate the monitoring on those devices.

DX Spectrum has been great for us. It's the strongest available, the main problem is the pricing, but it's in accordance with the features.

I can recommend this solution to others who are interested in using it. 

I would rate DX Spectrum an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Haytham Rahmy
CSI manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10
Fault management that alerts you just in time, with a user-friendly interface and good support

Pros and Cons

  • "The fault management is perfect."
  • "I think the management or configuration of devices needs some improvement."

What is our primary use case?

Spectrum is mainly for fault management. For performance management, we have a NetOps performance manager.

What is most valuable?

The fault management is perfect. You have alerts just in time.

The interface is user friendly.

What needs improvement?

I think the management or configuration of devices needs some improvement. 

The ability to add new device families from different vendors also not easy. It's a bit difficult.

I would like to see some historical performance of our devices added to Spectrum. That would be great.

It's a live solution, not for historical performance.

Reporting is also an area that could be better. The reporting tool they are using is called Jasper and it requires an official license to be able to work well. It would be helpful to have reporting included directly with Spectrum.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for 12 years. I started with it when it was NetQS.

We are using the latest version of DX Spectrum.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's easy to scale. 

You can have multiple Spectrum servers and you can add them at any time.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have contacted technical support with both the online support to CA and with Broadcom.

We have not faced a lot of issues with DX Spectrum. 

When we had one, we received very good technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I was a vendor for CA before they were acquired by Broadcom.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very easy. 

After 10 minutes, you have a complete Spectrum up and running and you can start discovery immediately.

The deployment is very fast and straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was doing a comparison between Spectrum and different vendors like Celeron, HP, IBM, and for me and a big entity, like a national bank of Egypt, and it was the best. It ranks as number one.

What other advice do I have?

We have the DX Spectrum and DX NetOp for performance center management from Broadcom also. Actually, we have the full fledge from Broadcom and had it from Computer Associates before Broadcom started.

The distributed installation is on-premise, and we have one interface server and approximately six Spectrum servers.

I definitely recommend this product.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Umair (Abu Mohaymin) Akhlaque
Enterprise Solutions & Services Head at Duroob Technologies
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Good for monitoring, covers networks well

Pros and Cons

  • "Spectrum is great for root cause analysis. It has excellent correlation event management. Spectrum's stability and scalability are also amazing."
  • "It's not a great performance management tool. Its reporting capabilities are not very good at all."

What is our primary use case?

I have used Spectrum with four or five customers that are reasonably big. Some of them have an infrastructure that covers more than 30,000 desktops. 

What is most valuable?

If you are looking for the right monitoring tool, Spectrum is one of the best solutions. It covers networks very well. It has all the capabilities that you're looking for when it comes to monitoring. Spectrum is great for root cause analysis. It has excellent correlation event management. Spectrum's stability and scalability are also amazing. If you have a CA Service Desk, then it can be integrated so that if you have open tickets they can be closed automatically. The configuration manager is great as well. 

What needs improvement?

It's not a great performance management tool. Its reporting capabilities are not very good at all. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used DX Spectrum for over 17 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a very stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is there and architecture-wise it's simple. The interconnectivity is amazing.

How are customer service and technical support?

CA Broadcom support is very bad—one of the worst. They are trying to improve a little, but right now, they don't even respond to a ticket for at least a couple of days. A customer is spending $100,000-200,000 on a product, and it takes them three days just to respond asking for the version number. And after the acquisition of Broadcom, it's only gotten worse. 

How was the initial setup?

Setup is easy and pretty straightforward. If you have a simple architecture and everything is already together, it will only take a couple of hours. If you have an architecture that's more complex, then it takes only one day or two altogether.

What about the implementation team?

In-house. The job generally requires at least two consultants for the implementation side. If it's a big customer you require at least two consultants to implement. For smaller and medium-sized customers, then one consultant is more than enough to implement this.

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

They are mostly on a perpetual license, but some of them are now moving to a subscription. 

What other advice do I have?

If you are looking for better performance management, then you should supplement DX spectrum with another tool like CA Unified Infrastructure Management.

I would rate it an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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ITCS user
IT Architect at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Extremely stable and has good cross analysis features

Pros and Cons

  • "I have found the cross analysis feature to be the most valuable."
  • "For us, the implementation was quite complex but it's because of the large number of different environments we're dealing with."

What is our primary use case?

We actually service providers for CA Spectrum. If we create a solution for a customer with this type of API, we use CA Spectrum to monitor this API.

What is most valuable?

I have found the cross-analysis feature to be the most valuable. The many alerts you get have an impact on the connectivity, so you need a very good correlation for layer 1, layer 2, layer 3, and layer 4, layered at the understanding of the technology, which locates the spectrum. It's really unique in this type of solution.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using CA Spectrum for over 15 years, I think.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good - the best we've seen in the market.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. We scale to up to 50,000 devices or so. That's the sizing we usually pulse. And we haven't had any issues so far.

How are customer service and technical support?

We thought that because we are not beginners anymore, we have very high expertise ourselves, so we usually take a second-class support approach or we fix it ourselves. But when it's more complex, it takes a little bit more time.

How was the initial setup?

For us, the implementation was quite complex but it's because of the large number of different environments we're dealing with. So it's not the tool, it's the domain expertise. We need optimized implementation.

Time for deployment really depends on the size of the domain. It can be done in half a day, or it can take you up to eight months or even longer. So it depends on the domain complexity. And then it's not building an application itself; you have to design first, and that is the biggest chunk. It costs you eight percent. So if the design is done properly, then the building is already configurated. There are still a lot of app ports that can be done to help us out.

What other advice do I have?

We going more for a solidified network so we need some improvement there, based on the current level of support for our network. And a more detailed integration with NetFlow data is important for us as well. I also feel that the CIS lock-based correlation needs to be developed as well. So on a scale from one to 10, I will rate CA Spectrum an eight.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Implementer
ITCS user
IT Architect at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Multi-customer approach, easy to scale, and reliable

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the event correlation mechanism."
  • "If the integration is simplified or improved, it will be a unique selling point in comparison to the competition on the market."

What is our primary use case?

We use DX Spectrum for monitoring secured networks.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the event correlation mechanism.

I also like the product's multi-customer approach.

What needs improvement?

They need a seamless integration to launch cloud-based management products of Broadcom.

In the future, more cloud-based solutions will be offered. It is necessary to strengthen the integration with other cloud-based products.

They also have other products that are Operational Intelligence, which is currently stand-alone and usually requires tighter integration. It should be simplified as well, as it is rather complex to create, and doesn't match the ideal situation. 

If the integration is simplified or improved, it will be a unique selling point in comparison to the competition on the market.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with DX Spectrum for 15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Spectrum is quite stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

DX Spectrum is very scalable.

How are customer service and support?

Technical support is okay. A few years ago it was better, and I would have given them a ten out of ten, but now I would give them an eight out of ten.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have extensive knowledge when it comes to using Spectrum. Some teams around me are using Zabbix.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is quite complex. It takes a lot of knowledge, but it is well worth the effort.

What about the implementation team?

We have our own consultants who are very knowledgeable key users.

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

The price is high enough to expect an ideal solution. It's expensive.

The price should be lower, it's not cheap, but we are willing to pay for it. For example, If you are asking for a Rolls Royce, you have to pay for a Rolls Royce.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have been evaluating the differences between Spectrum and Zabbix, as well as the pricing.

What other advice do I have?

For us, within that technology area, it is the standard for solutions that we can select. We haven't seen a better product.

Overall, I am happy with this solution.

Based on the current market, I would rate DX Spectrum a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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