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DX Spectrum OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

DX Spectrum is #1 ranked solution in top Network Management Applications, #1 ranked solution in top Network Troubleshooting tools, #8 ranked solution in Infrastructure Monitoring tools, and #10 ranked solution in best Network Monitoring Tools. IT Central Station users give DX Spectrum an average rating of 8 out of 10. DX Spectrum is most commonly compared to SolarWinds NPM:DX Spectrum vs SolarWinds NPM. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 31% of all views.
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: November 2021

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

Archived DX Spectrum Reviews (more than two years old)

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Scotty Orr
Advanced Solutions - Sr. Strategy Advisor at GDT - General Datatech
Real User
Improved our network assurance levels for our business units

What is our primary use case?

Global deployment for AIG NOC Deployment in customer networks, as well as multi-tenant deployment at Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) 

How has it helped my organization?

The Spectrum tool improved our network assurance levels for our business units. However, the CA Technologies sales team destroyed their relationship with our business units.

What is most valuable?

Monitoring The dashboard 

What needs improvement?

It needs better integration with other CA products.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What is our primary use case?

  • Global deployment for AIG NOC
  • Deployment in customer networks, as well as multi-tenant deployment at Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) 

How has it helped my organization?

The Spectrum tool improved our network assurance levels for our business units. However, the CA Technologies sales team destroyed their relationship with our business units.

What is most valuable?

  • Monitoring
  • The dashboard 

What needs improvement?

It needs better integration with other CA products.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
IB
Coordenador de Suporte - Command Center at Agility Networks
User
All networks are monitored through CA Spectrum. OS monitoring needs to be better developed.

What is our primary use case?

We migrated all monitoring, which was previously monitored by the Applications Manager for CA Spectrum/CA eHealth.

How has it helped my organization?

All networks (or network equipment) are monitored through CA Spectrum. However, the service monitoring part of the tool is not the best solution.

What is most valuable?

For networks: CA Spectrum CA eHealth For applications: CA UIM Zabbix has always supported us in custom monitoring, scripting, etc.

What needs improvement?

OS monitoring needs to be better developed, as well as their services, e.g., cluster monitoring, URLs, etc.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What is our primary use case?

We migrated all monitoring, which was previously monitored by the Applications Manager for CA Spectrum/CA eHealth.

How has it helped my organization?

All networks (or network equipment) are monitored through CA Spectrum. However, the service monitoring part of the tool is not the best solution.

What is most valuable?

For networks:

  • CA Spectrum
  • CA eHealth

For applications:

  • CA UIM
  • Zabbix has always supported us in custom monitoring, scripting, etc.

What needs improvement?

OS monitoring needs to be better developed, as well as their services, e.g., cluster monitoring, URLs, etc.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about DX Spectrum. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
552,136 professionals have used our research since 2012.
it_user874995
Support Engineer Management Area at Acuntia
User
Easy to understand and determine when and/or where the network is failing

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is to monitor networks.

How has it helped my organization?

It is easy to understand and determine when and/or where the network is failing. 

What is most valuable?

All the features are working fine.

What needs improvement?

Make it easier to certify devices. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is to monitor networks.

How has it helped my organization?

It is easy to understand and determine when and/or where the network is failing. 

What is most valuable?

All the features are working fine.

What needs improvement?

Make it easier to certify devices. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partners.
it_user778884
Communication Systems Analyst at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Monitors countless machines for us; we know when something is down and needs fixing

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "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."

What is our primary use case?

Monitoring. We set it up so that other people can watch everything and let us know if something goes down, or processing needs to be restarted. Then, sometimes, it just does that on its own. Air conditioner overheating. Stuff like that.

For the most part it has been good. There were snags in the beginning, learning curves, and the like, but it's relatively easy.

How has it helped my organization?

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's improved things because we know when something's down and we know when something needs to be taken care of and when not.

What is most valuable?

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.

What needs improvement?

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.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's up most of the time. It's good. At first there were a couple snags here and there, but lately, it's been great.

One issue, after two weeks, we had to pass it up, escalate it, suddenly, and the next person went and solved it. Most of the time it's been solved or we've talked to engineers. Most of the time it's been good. No one's perfect.

There were problems with it going down, or generating extra tickets. But mostly, that got worked out after a little while, with tech support and us going back and forth getting solutions to the problems. It's been great recently.

What has surprised me most about CA has been the inner knowledge of some of their techs. I had no idea what was going on and they were like, "Hey, we got it."

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's great. You can just keep adding stuff.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would say it's a lot like other tech support. Some of it is great, and some of it is unreasonable. The ones that know their stuff, know their stuff. And the ones that are learning, are learning.

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

A couple other solutions. It cancelled some of those out. 

We switched because it was a bigger thing. We swapped so we could have support for just one monolithic thing, as opposed to a lot of little things. 

It just had more support, we could call somebody. It was very complex business software. We probably still don't use 40% of the solution at this point.

How was the initial setup?

I would say mixed bag.

We wanted to make it so it was automated with a text file, so we didn't have to watch the little bar the whole time and answer those questions. We wanted all the configuration in one little file. So we had to figure out where that was and how they do that. Once that got done, then automation of getting it deployed to new environments, if we need to, is very fast. We just change a line or two in the text file and say, "Do this," and walk away. It's great.

What other advice do I have?

My most important criteria when selecting a vendor are

  • knowledgeable tech support
  • reasonable forums
  • documentation.

I give it an eight out of 10 because it's not perfect, but it's better than a lot of what's out there. There is still a lot of work you need to do on it. Even though it's a vendor product there is still a lot of support you have to have to get certain things. 

Again, we have a very diverse environment; Cisco stuff, air conditioners. To get all that to work to it's full potential with this product, monitoring-wise, is work. So if there was more interconnectivity already in it that would help. For instance, we had devices that were added six months ago that weren't operating to their full potential. Then we would realize, "Oh, this one needs to be done." So we have to run these end processes. Again, the are a lot of devices. Not all of them are doing this, but enough that we have to sift through them, manually, and get this one working and that one working. So that's why it's not a 10.

In terms of advice, I would tell people to load all the MIBs before you add the devices. Literally.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
JS
Network Systems Integration Engineer at University of Michigan Health System
Video Review
Real User
Allows us to have a holistic view of our heterogeneous network architecture

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "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."

How has it helped my organization?

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.

What is most valuable?

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.

What needs improvement?

Spectrum is interesting because it's a super-mature product for CA, and it works really, really well the way it is. In terms of new features and functionality, I feel like there has to be a transition there. 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.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable for us. We have, not a highly available implementation of Spectrum, but we have an active standby situation, where we have an active SpectroSERVER and a standby SpectroSERVER and an active OneClick and a standby OneClick running all the time. So it works out pretty well that way.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

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. Maybe one day.

How is customer service and technical support?

Pretty good. They're super responsive. They have that four-tier system and that works pretty well, because if we have a question, we can ask it at a lower priority and it will still get answered. If we have something where our hair is on fire, they'll call us right away.

How was the initial setup?

It could be a little bit better, to be honest. The upgrade process could be smoother. More of the steps around upgrading could be automated, I think.

What other advice do I have?

When selecting a vendor, the most important consideration is product; it has to be product and features.

I'd give it an eight out of 10 right now, because it does what we need it to do. It could go an extra 20 percent somewhere.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Randall Hinds
Program Manager - Enterprise Command Center at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It provides easy navigation from alert to topology to detail on NW infra and relationships.

What is our primary use case?

Fault Domain isolation is the primary use case for our teams with this tool.  Once configured, it centralizes alerting on conditions that would require an experienced NW engineer to investigate at the command prompt.

How has it helped my organization?

This tool provides excellent Fault Domain isolation when properly instrumented and configured, allowing quick action on links/routers/switches/etc.

What is most valuable?

Easy navigation from initial alerts to a full topology and detail on the Network infrastructure and it relationships is the most valuable feature

What needs improvement?

The configurations are still XML-based and require a good deal of coding to setup each object for monitoring.  Alerting is yet more coding, and relationships are more coding... In a drag-and-drop world, this tool is in need of a bit more than a make-over. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What about the implementation team?

In house

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user779115
Senior Technology Architect at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
It is very stable. We have not had any major issues in over 10 years.

Pros and Cons

  • "​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."
  • "A better integration with the UIM, as far as being able to do root cause analysis and that type of analytics."

What is our primary use case?

Monitoring our network devices and our weighing devices out to our clients. It is an awesome product. It works really well.

How has it helped my organization?

It covers a lot of different types of hardware. It can do a lot and saves us time.

What is most valuable?

The breath of the product.

What needs improvement?

A better integration with the UIM, as far as being able to do root cause analysis and that type of analytics. 

They are separate products. There is some integration recently of the two, but not really at what I will say at the analytics level to tie the two, from one problem to the other. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. We have not had any major issues in over 10 years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales really well.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have not used technical support, but other people on my team have. I have not heard anything negative about the support.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup.

What other advice do I have?

I would consider this at the top for doing this type of monitoring.

Sometimes it can be overly complex, but at the same time, it does give you a lot of capabilities. It is complex in just the varieties and the capabilities it has.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: Combination of meeting the requirements and the cost.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user778746
Senior Enterprise Monitoring Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Monitors our infrastructure and reduces unnecessary operations alerts significantly

Pros and Cons

  • "​The stability of the product is key. It never breaks, really. The stability and reliability of the Spectrum product have been top-notch.​"
  • "Needs better integration with all the other products in the Agile suite of tools; anything they could do to make that less complex, would be great."
  • "If nobody else has said the documentation needs improvement, let's go there. I understand, you can either write about it or you can do it. And most of us would rather they do it, but now that they've done it, those of us that didn't do it, we need to go and find: "Where did they write about this to tell us how to do it?" That's always lacking."

What is our primary use case?

We use Spectrum to monitor our infrastructure, servers, network, routers, switches, to make sure that all of our services and infrastructure components are all up and operational all the time. And if they're not, we're responsible for alerting the people who are responsible for the different components and parts. It's a pretty important part of our operational M.O. as we move forward, making sure stuff is up and running.

The performance has been fantastic.

How has it helped my organization?

Since I put this solution in, over the last five years, we have actually reduced the number of alerts that go out and wake people up in the middle of the night by 70%.

What is most valuable?

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.

What needs improvement?

Better integration with all the other products in the Agile suite of tools; anything they could do to make that less complex, would be great. They've made it less complex, it's getting better as time goes. It's just such a long road because different products were originally different companies that have been hooked together, acquired, and then assembled as their overall solution. And there's good and bad in that.

The good is they have all these capabilities in a one-stop shop. That's awesome. But, sometimes those were competing products that are now having to work together, and they have to come in and force them together. It adds to the complexity.

If nobody else has said documentation, let's go there. I understand, you can either write about it or you can do it. And most of us would rather they do it, but now that they've done it, those of us that didn't do it, we need to go and find: "Where did they write about this to tell us how to do it?" That's always lacking.

Some of the products are better than others at documentation. Some are them are very good and some of them are not as good. It's a little disheartening when you go in to find whatever it is procedure you need to do and it's just not there. Or it's wrong. That's my favorite.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales way beyond what we need. I can actually do everything I need to do on one server, even though I have multiple for redundancy. I'm not going to say that I've not had problems with failover and all, because I haven't had to do that; other than me forcing it to do it and switch around. It hasn't actually broken on its own so it hasn't needed to activate its redundancy.

How is customer service and technical support?

The support folks, that's another aspect of it; partnering with CA to make sure that our stuff is up and running. And if there is a problem with it, they have some really decent people that will get on and help you come up with solutions.

Tech support is great. I usually fill out the surveys when they help me. I haven't had many really bad experiences with support. The people I've worked with, if it's a critical issue, they are right on it. If it's more of a generic thing like, "How do I do that?" they get back to you within a reasonable amount of time with the answer.

How was the initial setup?

I did the architecture and implementation, soup to nuts; made the Kool-aid, served the Kool-aid, drank the Kool-aid, every day.

The nature of what we do in this space is complex anyway. There's only so much you can simplify at this level of complexity. And as much as it is complex, they've made it a simple as they can.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I think the short list for Spectrum was Solar Winds, Nagios, Spectrum, of course, and BMC.

What other advice do I have?

You look around and see there are a lot of home-grown things, and multiple different solutions from different vendors that just don't work together, or they can't work together for whatever reason.

One thing I like about the one-stop shop with CA is we don't have to have staff to be experts in 84 different things. If I need these two things to work together, if nothing else, I can call support and say, "I tried this and it's not working. Why is this not working?" And they'll get on the phone and WebEx and look and eventually you will get it working.

When it comes to my most important criteria for selecting a vendor, ease of use is always one of the top ones: How many people in wagons and trucks, and servers, how many things do I have to have to run this tool, this product? That is the key factor in my evaluation.

Of course, price, obviously, that goes without saying. 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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Stuart Weenig
Senior NMS Architect at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
I can use it to detect whenever things go wrong on my network, but I would like them to eliminate the Java console

Pros and Cons

  • "I can use it to detect whenever things go wrong on my network."
  • "We have had one support issue that's been open for a couple of months, and it is currently open."
  • "​I would like to see them eliminate the Java console. The user interface for this is a Java applet that runs on your desktop, and it is very problematic for us."

What is our primary use case?

We use it to monitor the fault of our network to make sure that the infrastructure that delivers our services to our end users is up and all the redundancy is up. 

It performs really well in these tasks. It is one of its core competencies.

How has it helped my organization?

Spectrum is heavily loaded with alarm configuration, so it can detect whenever things go wrong. Things that I didn't even know could go wrong on my network. It picks up on those. I have integrated it into my ITIL management, incident management, change management, and problem management systems, so it feeds right in to my existing processes.

What is most valuable?

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. 

What needs improvement?

I would like to see them eliminate the Java console. The user interface for this is a Java applet that runs on your desktop, and it is very problematic for us in a large organization where Java is looked at as the big, bad evil thing that we should never have installed on anybody's computer because of security reasons and all that. Also, Java has an old look and feel, and it is slow-performing, as far as the client application is concerned. That is the reason why a lot of applications have gone web-based. 

What I would like to see out of the next version of Spectrum is a web-based GUI that is completely incorporated into what we call the "Performance Center", which is an existing system that is kind of a manager of managers, a Mom, if you will. That manager of managers would be the perfect place. 

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a CA product. It is a mature product, but it does have issues. It does have issues that any product will have, but the nice thing is that CA does a pretty good job of addressing those issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is really scalable. When we were first installing it, it would have required nine servers on-premise, which was a pretty big ask for us. Then, right towards the end of our prep for deployment, they released a new version that simplified it down to one. This was incredibly useful for us because that meant that we could really scale it up and really bring a lot of the stuff together that was on separate systems before.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have used support. The only real downside we have seen with the support is sometimes it will take a while for them to get back to us. Most of the time when we run into a problem, it is a complex problem that Level 1 just can't fix. Because if Level one could have fixed it, we probably could have fixed it ourselves. 

We sometimes run into a situation where they are having to escalate back to somebody else who is on vacation who has had somebody else come in for him. There is slowness there, but other than that, they have been able to eventually address our issues. 

We have had one support issue that has been open for a couple of months, and it is currently open. It is a pretty tricky issue. It is incredibly difficult to replicate, which is the main reason that it is taking so long for them to fix it, because they can't really just go in, do what we do, and have it show up. When they do what we do, it does not show up, until randomly it does show up. 

I have been in a support organization before, and I know how hard it can be to troubleshoot random issues.

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

We did not have a previous solution. I came onto the scene to help clean up and modernize a lot of our operations. This was one of the things we looked at.

As one of my operation managers put it, we were driving down the road at 80 miles an hour with the windscreen painted black. Sometimes, we would roll down the windows and stick our head out the window, but we recognized it as a big gap. It was something that we needed: good fault monitoring. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex. We have an operations team who was responsible for doing it. They spent a lot of time working with CA on a couple of different issues that were not as straightforward. Mainly because our environment is significantly different than the typical environment that CA would have expected. 

It is the same problem that you run into with anybody who sells software. They think users use software a certain way, but then users do not use it that way. Or, you think the user's environment is going to be a certain way, so you build things it that depend on it being that way, but when it gets into the real world, you find out, "Oh well, you don't have it that way? Why don't you have it that way? Oh, I never even considered that you would have a reason for not doing it that way." So, those are the kind of things that we run into, because we are a company that does not do things your typical way.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at a lot of different options and Spectrum was the one that met all of our criteria. Scalable and expansive enough to capture everything that we needed to capture, and even things that we did not even know we needed to capture.

We were looking at some of the other giant, old-blood software companies. The main reason we chose Spectrum over any other solution was mainly because it was mature, but it was also going places. We could see the future of where Spectrum was trying to go. We could see where it was going to be and where we needed it to be in two years when we get there in two years. 

Wayne Gretzky said, "I skate to where the hockey puck is going to be." We saw that Spectrum was headed to where the hockey puck was going to be. That means that when we adopted it, it was not where the hockey puck was. We understood that when we were getting it that we would deal with those pains up front, then eventually, we would be ahead of the game.

What other advice do I have?

Every once in a while, you will run into somebody who will surprise you by being innovative or by showing you that they have a vision for something, and that they are working or striving towards acting like a startup within this big monolithic steam train that is CA.

I would look at the capabilities that Spectrum has to integrate with other solutions and be part of a bigger solution. When you are doing something like this, you have to have a bigger vision of what you are going to have across the board, then understand that this plays part of that, and it fills an important role.

It is better than your average bear. It is a good tool. It is a very robust tool. It has a lot of capabilities. I can't give it a 10 just because there are times when I will be working with the tool, and I will run across something that I do not like, some kind of feature that doesn't work the way I expect it to work, and it is not intuitive, and I will talk to CA about it, and they will say something like, "Well, nobody has ever tried to think about it that way," or, "Nobody's ever asked us that question." I'm like, "This thing is 20 years old. How has nobody ever asked that question?" 

More than likely, what I tend to believe is that they were not listening when somebody asked that question, which is actually something that has changed recently. I think Mike Gregoire has done a good job of changing the attitude of a lot of the stuff, and they have got some new leadership that has really made it so that they are now listening. Whenever I bring up something like this, they say, "Yeah, we know. You've brought this up before. This other guy has brought that same thing up. We understand it." It does not help solve the problem. There are pieces of the software that are still not intuitive. However, the fact that they are listening makes a difference.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: We do not actually select vendors. We select products. Really, I could care less whether or not the product comes from CA because we have other stuff with CA. In fact, we tend to frown on picking a product just because it comes from a vendor that we are already doing business with. It makes it so that we are not very agile. We have to really consider the solution very objectively. We only consider the vendor when it comes to their history of being able to perform, their history of being able to support and provide top-notch solutions. We frown on coupling the purchase of one tool, or the acquisition of a tool, just because we own another tool by that same vendor. So, we do not really select vendors.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
BA
Programmer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
I would like to see better scalability as we are currently using it for SNMP trap management

What is our primary use case?

Mostly SNMP trap management.

How has it helped my organization?

I am fairly new to the product end of the solution. We have not utilized it to its full capabilities yet. I think we are still trying to figure out how to get the most out of it. 

What is most valuable?

The network mapping functionality.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better scalability, and maybe, a more intuitive user interface. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It seems fairly stable. We have had some issues with the spec server and the high availability replication of data. It fails over well, but it does not come back very well. We get duplicated events. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It seems okay, but not great.…

What is our primary use case?

Mostly SNMP trap management.

How has it helped my organization?

I am fairly new to the product end of the solution. We have not utilized it to its full capabilities yet. I think we are still trying to figure out how to get the most out of it. 

What is most valuable?

The network mapping functionality.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better scalability, and maybe, a more intuitive user interface. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It seems fairly stable. We have had some issues with the spec server and the high availability replication of data. It fails over well, but it does not come back very well. We get duplicated events. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It seems okay, but not great. 

How is customer service and technical support?

Good, if you get the right people. 

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have looked a little into open source solutions.

What other advice do I have?

The product is not terrible, but not great.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user778590
Network Tools Engineer at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Great network discovery means we have high confidence in our inventory

Pros and Cons

  • "We can plan changes and replacement of end-of-life products in our environment very well because it's very accurate."
  • "Spectrum does such a great job of discovering our network that we have a high confidence in what our inventory is."
  • "It does correlation so instead of producing 20 alarms if a site goes down, it only creates one."
  • "Our consultant was four months on-site doing Spectrum setup and working through issues."
  • "There's a little bit of complexity to the initial install because you're dealing with operating systems. You have to make sure all the prerequisites are done, anti-virus exceptions, etc. Then there's the bringing it up and then there's discovery of the network and setting that up. It takes time."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is to monitor all of our network infrastructure. Spectrum can monitor any type of infrastructure, but for us it's our network infrastructure. We also use it for configuration management. We have alarm/event management, network discovery, inventory, things of that nature.

How has it helped my organization?

One of the improvements is that we have a reliable inventory. Spectrum does such a great job of discovering our network that we have a high confidence in what our inventory is and because of that we're confident in the reporting we get. We can plan changes and replacement of end-of-life products in our environment very well because it's very accurate. It's very strong.

What is most valuable?

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.

What needs improvement?

The only pain point I have is some issues with support and the timeliness of getting a resolution. Other than that, we're very pleased with the functionality. They're coming out with Spectrum 10.3 and I'm sure it'll have some additional functionality. For our environment there's not a pain point from a functionality perspective.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is good. The tool is a complicated tool. It's got a lot of pieces to it, databases, and you have to treat it well. You can't just turn it off randomly. There are pieces to turning it off, methods. As long as you know that then it is stable. 

We rarely have any issues with it. You have to make sure you follow the process correctly to shut it down, bring it up.

I don't have a lot to compare it to but I wouldn't say it's overly delicate. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We grow about 10% a year. We have about 5000, 6000 devices. Scalability is not an issue for us because Spectrum is 64-bit. The scalability is not a concern for our environment with this version of Spectrum.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. What I like about Spectrum is that they have a chat support. You can choose to open a regular case or you can try a chat support. It just depends on what your issue is. There are some things which are lower priority. 

We've had good success doing a chat support. It saves a lot of time. Usually you can get an answer pretty quickly. There are some cases where I've had a longer response because the issue is more complicated. 

Spectrum is a very wide product, the breadth of it, there's so many features and functionalities. I think it's a challenge for support, sometimes, because the person I may get assigned may not be as familiar with the feature I'm opening a case about. That would be maybe an area for improvements. I've worked with many different Spectrum support people. They may be real strong in one area but not so strong in another function of Spectrum. That's a challenge.

There are some cases where they may have to reach out to development to further diagnose your issue. That's where we do lose some time with support cases. Most of the cases are not severity-2 or severity-1 cases. Most of my cases are lower priority but it may be an issue that's a bug and it may take a little more effort to find out.

You have to adjust your expectations. If you come to Spectrum with a lower priority issue, depending on what happens, that may take a month, or it could be longer, to work through, recreate it. That could be a downside. I think you have to adjust your expectations to some of the support. I think there might be some room for improvement there because, when they have to reach out to development, that really slows things down.

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

Many enterprises have something called "tool sprawl." Over time you invest in tools and all of a sudden you step back and realize there is some overlap in the tool set that you have. You have tool X and tool Y and they each do some different things but then they do some of the same things as well. You realize you have some overlap.

We had a maintenance contract come to term. We paused and listed all of our tools and listed their functionality and made a matrix, then added to that what we wanted to look for in the future. Then we stepped back and we evaluated different vendors, and CA was one of those vendors. We looked at their offerings and from that process we decided to go with a CA suite of infrastructure management tools.

How was the initial setup?

We used CA Professional Services. I was along with them. I would say it's a little on the complex side. 

The initial install, there's a little bit of complexity to it because you're dealing with operating systems. You have to make sure all the prerequisites are done, anti-virus exceptions, etc. You have to have a service account. Then there's the bringing it up and then there's discovery of the network and setting that up. It takes time. It's not like where you set it up, here you go, hand it over. No. 

You can hand over a bare-bones install but after that you have to import your network, make sure it's modeled correctly, make sure all the dependencies are mapped. Once it's installed that's just step one. Then setting it up to get to a steady state, that's step two. Then there are other items.

Our consultant was four months on-site doing Spectrum setup and working through issues. Sometimes there are bugs and the consultants have to reach out to support, themselves, and work through things. It's a very sophisticated tool, it's a very powerful tool. It's vendor agnostic. It doesn't matter what kind of infrastructure you have. They give you the capabilities to do many, many things. 

It's more on the complex side. It's not like some tools come with a bunch of out-of-the-box reports and things like that. Spectrum is not like that in terms of a lot of out-of-the-box things. They give you the functionality to get what you need, but you have to spend time to set it up. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Riverbed was one of the other vendors we looked at. Part of the reason CA was attractive is, we did have them come out and set up a demo and a look through. We went through a checklist of what was important to us to evaluate.

The other vendor, we did not have them out. We did some demos with them; we already had some products from them. Honestly, we had a difficult time getting quoting and renewal for what we had. That was part of the reason. We did like the functionality that we saw from the CA. It didn't help that we couldn't get a good, invested communication from the other company that we did have products from.

What other advice do I have?

I think you have to be aware of what steps you follow when you shut it down and bring it back up. You have to make sure you check that you are getting current alerts when it comes back on. Make sure that you did not lose any functionality, because there are a few pieces of it that are running simultaneously. You have to make sure all those pieces are running, operationally. There have been a few times where I started it back up and the alarms weren't coming in and I had to go check that. You just have to be careful to check the pieces.

The most important criteria when selecting a vendor include:

  • the cost of solution can be prohibitive, of course
  • the functionality 
  • how long the company has been around is a factor, obviously.

I give Spectrum an eight out of 10, just because of the issues with technical support.

I would make sure you grapple with the amount of time that it would take to use the solution and invest in the solution, to get what you need out of it. It's a powerful solution. It does take a skill set and time to set it up properly. It can do what you need it to do. You just have to spend the time to configure it. It's very customizable, which means you have to have a person that has the time to spend to customize it and get the data, get the reporting, events, alarms out of it.

There are some products that have all the intelligence built in but they're not as customizable. Some companies may like that. Spectrum, I would say, is not like that. Spectrum has all the functions there, but it takes a team of people to get that value out of it. CA does Professional Services engagements and they have guys that are subject matter experts that can go in and create all that value from the tools.

I think you have to make sure you understand, for the long-term, the skills of the team and what training may be necessary to get them up to speed. 

If you have a tool set like Spectrum that already is similar in the complexity, you may not have as much ramp-up time to get value out of it. If you have a tool like CiscoWorks, it does a lot automatically for you. That's not the same case with the CA. It takes some investment and setup and configuration to get those nice reports you're looking for. It's powerful because you can customize any type of report but it takes some skill and time to do that.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user778896
IT Operations Manager at Delta Air Lines, Inc.
Real User
​Stability has been good, but orchestration has been a little bit of a challenge

Pros and Cons

  • "​Stability has been good. We really have not had any issues.​"
  • "We have a lot of different monitoring tools in the background, so orchestration has been a little bit of a challenge."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is eyes on glass, operations, responding to tickets, alerts, and incidents tickets. Performance wise it is good. We have a lot of different monitoring tools in the background, so orchestration has been a little bit of a challenge, but I think that is everybody right now. Overall it is a good tool.

What is most valuable?

  • The ability to quickly identify and isolate incidents.
  • Automate ticketing

With the service manager today, we are moving the service now into the future.

What needs improvement?

A lot of the filtering and orchestration of the background takes a lot of manual work. There are a lot of processes involved and it is hard to keep it up-to-date with a lot of moving parts. Making it more dynamic could be better. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability has been good. We really have not had any issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability has been good. 

How is customer service and technical support?

I have not personally used the technical support.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup.

What other advice do I have?

It is good, but there is a lot of growth opportunity in the space. I think CA and a lot of other companies are moving in the direction of orchestrating cross-platforms. Right now, the way we are using Spectrum is really only covering infrastructure and infrastructures out of the house. I think the future with APM and other tools, being able to see more holistically what's happening, is very critical. 

The most important thing is implementation, how it is implemented to enable the operations. In my current role, the operation's visibility and usability are the most important thing. So, making sure it is implemented in a way that it meets the requirement of the operation space. 

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user778845
IT Manager at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
You can customize it to your environment and make it meet your business needs

Pros and Cons

  • "It creates transparency and makes everything work by being more transparent."
  • "I would like to see CA move Spectrum, Performance Manager, and some of their other tools moved to a SaaS based model. You see a lot of other manufacturers which are moving toward SaaS based models."

What is our primary use case?

We monitor our network devices with it, therefore it performs well.

What is most valuable?

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.

How has it helped my organization?

We see events that we would not typically see. Thus, it helps us find things that we may not have known were wrong. It creates transparency and makes everything work by being more transparent.

What needs improvement?

CA is going in the right direction. What we want is more integration between the tools and it looks like they are doing more of that. That is probably the big thing. Better integration between the tools, being able to take all the data from the tools and having it available in one place, such as generate dashboards, analytical data, etc. 

I would like to see CA move Spectrum, Performance Manager, and some of their other tools moved to a SaaS based model. You see a lot of other manufacturers which are moving toward SaaS based models.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good. We have not issues in the two years that we have been using it. It is one of CA's more stable products.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good. We have not scaled it a lot. We are getting ready to add another SpectroSERVER to it for redundancy. But from a scale perspective, it has worked out okay for us.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is so-so. It depends on who you get. Sometimes you get the runaround. Sometimes, I am not sure that the people that pick up cases know the product well.

You open a case specifically for Spectrum support, but depending on who you get, some of the guys are really good or knowledgeable. Typically what you find out is those are kind of the higher level people. Then, sometimes you get people that you do not get really good answers from, who make you feel like you know more about the product than they do. So, it is hit or miss. 

Sometimes, you have cases that may stay open for weeks. These are not complex cases. These are just questions about how to do something or if you can do a certain thing. It seems like it takes a long time to get an answer. It just depends.

The communities are probably a bigger help than actual technical support because you have a lot of other people that can provide feedback. Therefore, it is not terrible.

How was the initial setup?

It was pretty straightforward. We actually had the CA Services guys come in and help us set it up. 

What about the implementation team?

We were involved in the the set up and everything, but CA Services did the heavy lifting. They were the experts, so we did not have to have a ton of knowledge. So, the setup for us was pretty easy because we used CA Services.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had HPE OpenView, SolarWinds, and OPNET tools. We chose CA because we can consolidate all of those tools down. This is why the integration is important. It has allowed us to eliminate a whole bunch of other tools, so we were able to consolidate, and that was a good thing for us.

What other advice do I have?

It is a really good product, though it is very complicated. You need to make sure that you have the staffing, because of the complexity of the product. You will need staff to be able to use it to its fullest extent. 

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

The biggest criteria are:

  • Functions
  • Features
  • Cost
  • The reputation of the vendor.

There are a lot of little vendors out there that are in a lot of these spaces, but you have never heard of them. Therefore, it is good to have a large company that you know and you trust. We have a good account team and good pre-sales people. They have really help us out a lot.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user778827
Network Engineer at Aerospace Corporation
Vendor
Enables us to be proactive with any sort of network issues, address problems up-front

What is our primary use case?

Network monitoring.

It has performed very well, as expected. It allows us to be proactive with any sort of network issues, address the problems before they become critical problems.

What is most valuable?

Allows us to be proactive.

How has it helped my organization?

If we can be proactive, we maintain maximum uptime of our network infrastructure. It allows us to address issues before they take a network down, for example.

What needs improvement?

HTML5. Right now, it is a very Java driven application. We have lots of issues. If we do have any issues with the front end side of it, it would be Java. Dealing with Java and all the changes that are constantly happening with Java.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability has been very good. I've never noticed any issues. I've used the product on a 2000-node network and on a 10,000-node network.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support is very good. I've never had any issues.

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

We weren't using anything before Spectrum. We needed a product to monitor our network equipment for these type of things.

How was the initial setup?

I'd say it's medium. You need to know how to tailor the product to your environment.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at a couple of different products; I can't remember which ones, exactly.

What other advice do I have?

When we are selecting a vendor, what is important to us are

  • stability
  • proven background of actually doing it 
  • cost to actual functionality.

I would say to seriously take a look at Spectrum. It is a very stable and good product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user778554
Systems Engineer at Charter Communications, Inc.
Consultant
Scalability is one of the best factors of the product, because it scales horizontally

What is our primary use case?

The use case for Spectrum is to perform fault management for our managed services infrastructure. We are monitoring around 150,000 endpoints with the tool. 

What is most valuable?

The root cause analysis, fault isolation engine, and the overall event management that Spectrum brings you.  

How has it helped my organization?

It drives topology based views. It gives us network visualization, and lets us detect faults. 

What needs improvement?

Definitely the way this product needs to go is more web-based. They need to put more emphasis in the web technology. There is some there, and it is being developed, but it is not all the way there. There is a Java fat client that they have not moved all the support from the Java client into the web and that is what they need to do.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a very stable product. No software probably is without any downtime. There has been downtime here and there, but we have maintained well over 98% uptime with the product, and I have been using it for over 10 years. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is one of the best factors of the product, because it scales horizontally. 

How is customer service and technical support?

The CA support is pretty good overall. They get behind what your company is trying to do with their tools. Therefore, they try to understand your use cases and just be there as a partner to help you out.  

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the initial setup. It was pretty straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution.

The event management that the tool provides is extremely powerful, but with that comes a bit of complexity. For beginner type users, the event management might be a little overwhelming, but as you work with it over time, you can really see what the solution provides for you. With a little bit of time spent, you can get a lot of value out of the product, but it takes a bit of time and understanding.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user778728
Senior Systems Engineer at GEICO
Vendor
Does all we need it to do as a fault-management tool for our networking devices

Pros and Cons

  • "The quick notification of issues, quick alerting because timeliness is always valuable, it's very important for us."
  • "It was somewhat complex to implement."

What is our primary use case?

We use it as a fault-management tool for our networking devices.

It's performed very well. We're still somewhat in the infancy. We've got a new deployment of Spectrum so we aren't 100% fully deployed with it. We have it integrated with CA Performance Center, which is what our initial experience is with, and we're just now bringing CA Spectrum into the fold.

What is most valuable?

The quick notification of issues, quick alerting because timeliness is always valuable, it's very important for us.

How has it helped my organization?

Again, that's a little tough because we aren't using it to it's full potential right now. We're hoping for greater visibility into our network, not just for us but for our customers as well.

For how long have I used the solution?

Still implementing.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been very stable and very easy to work with.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, we've managed to discover just about all of our devices. We're still working with configuring, so for what we're using it for, which is very bare bones right now, basically just up-down, it scales fine. As we add additional capability to it, that may change, but I haven't seen that yet.

How are customer service and technical support?

Support has been very good. They've answered all the questions that we've had. 

We've had issues that were a "severity-one" so they hopped on it immediately. For issues that have not been as urgent, they've been very timely in their response as well.

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

We were using CA Performance Center, and CA Spectrum is a logical extension of CA Performance Center. Between our management and CA themselves putting on the full-court press for sales, we decided to go that route.

How was the initial setup?

It was somewhat complex, but that's also a little difficult to evaluate because we had a consultant that was the primary resource for the setup, and he had some challenges. I think if we had had a different resource it might have been more straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did consider two other vendors. We considered SolarWinds, and I can't remember the other company but that company didn't last very long. It was somewhat close between CA and SolarWinds, but we decided to go with CA.

What other advice do I have?

In the vendor selection process what is important to us are

  • reputation
  • reliability. 

It also helps if you have a current relationship, and we have a long-standing relationship with CA. That made it rather easy for us.

I give it a nine out of 10 so far but I have to qualify this answer. It's done everything that we need it to do. Again, until we do a deeper dive and explore it to its fullest potential, that could change.

Whoever you have do your deployment and implementation, make sure they know what they're doing.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user778524
Director IT at CNO Financial Group, Inc.
Vendor
It has become a notification before the business lets us know the system is down

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "I would recommend AI capability built-in so it becomes more predictable and we jump ahead of the curve. This is the one really important feature I would really like to see in any product that provides alarms."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for monitoring our applications. Mainly, it open systems to make sure that the databases are up and running, and also the service is up and running. It has become a notification before the business lets us know the system is down. We get to know the system is down first, so that is its main purpose.

It has been performing well. We have had some kinks here and there, but overall it has been good.

What is most valuable?

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.

How has it helped my organization?

It is mainly trying to avoid disasters that might be coming, especially with service degradation.

It has improved the way our organization has functioned over the last 10 years. It has had some positive impacts.

What needs improvement?

Once something goes down, that is when we get alerted versus we need more predictive analytics in place so we know a case based on patterns putting AI in place, or something along those lines, so we know that there is a pattern growing that the systems going to go down. Therefore, it becomes preventative versus reactive, so that is one area of improvement that I can suggest from a product perspective.

I would recommend AI capability built-in so it becomes more predictable and we jump ahead of the curve. This is the one really important feature I would really like to see in any product that provides alarms. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been pretty stable. We have had no problems with Spectrum. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has been maximized in terms of the usage. We use if for every possible application, from an application server or to be put on the server itself, monitoring the server, database, etc. You name it we have used it everywhere. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We are a kind of managed services, so I do not have that information.

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

This was before my time at the company.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

This was before my time at the company.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend Spectrum.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

  1. The product needs to meet our needs. 
  2. It has to pass Enterprise Architectures conditions and be secure. The product should not have a lot of holes, because if you're going to buy a product, you are going to look at the product first, then the vendor. 
  3. From a vendor perspective, it is always associated with what the licensing terms are, and obviously, money matters. Also, looking at the contracts, how flexible they are in terms of working with us on working towards a contract. Whether it be subscription or it is a SaaS product. How we license that product is what I am mainly looking at.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user778638
Manager Of Monitoring Service Delivery at American International Group
Vendor
It handles scalability well as we have one of the largest environments and we have not had issues

What is our primary use case?

Spectrum is our correlation engine and an integration point of external monitoring tools. Also, we send UIM traffic to it, then we forward it onto SOI.

What is most valuable?

The correlation The integration point

What needs improvement?

The biggest issue is our integration right now between UIM and Spectrum is lacking. It does not allow us to pass all the details. There is a new integration, which has the new version of UIM. I hope it clears up everything.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Spectrum has been very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I do not think we had any scalability issues with Spectrum. We have one of the largest environments, and it is handling it just fine. 

How is

What is our primary use case?

Spectrum is our correlation engine and an integration point of external monitoring tools. Also, we send UIM traffic to it, then we forward it onto SOI.

What is most valuable?

  • The correlation
  • The integration point

What needs improvement?

The biggest issue is our integration right now between UIM and Spectrum is lacking. It does not allow us to pass all the details. There is a new integration, which has the new version of UIM. I hope it clears up everything.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Spectrum has been very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I do not think we had any scalability issues with Spectrum. We have one of the largest environments, and it is handling it just fine. 

How is customer service and technical support?

For Spectrum, it is good. For other things, we have had some issues. We had a six day outage once on SOI, but we worked with CA to try to improve that. 

The negative is they have a tendency to ask us to do things that basically we have already done, like balance a service or disable all the policies or something like that. You can tell, they are just walking down a script. This not going to help; logic says this is not going to help anything. 

It would be helpful if they would try to look at the situation and decide this is something that really needs to happen or not. Instead of just doing it to say they have done it.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup. However, the biggest issue is setting up some of the custom traps is a little complicated. So, you have to have someone that really knows the tool. It could be a little more intuitive overall.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Daniel Alejandro Zuleta Zahr
Developer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Some of the valuable features are event configuration, event correlation, and topology view.

Pros and Cons

  • "Allows us to have a single console/notification point, with the alarms of all the tools that we use for monitoring."
  • "It doesn’t give you performance metrics: You need CA eHealth for this."

What is most valuable?

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.

How has it helped my organization?

Reduces the false positives, by creating our own business logic with the Event Configuration.

Allows us to have a single console/notification point, with the alarms of all the tools that we use for monitoring.

What needs improvement?

It’s like having a Ferrari, without a professional driver. Most companies don’t use all the good features. The out-of-the-box features are just too poor: (Ping, CPU, Disk and Memory, Process, and File Systems). CA Spectrum is an infrastructure monitoring tool, that comes with a few easy to configure metrics, such as Ping, CPU, Disk & Memory, Process and File Systems. However, these metrics are really basic, actually we can do better with Nagios or any other open source tools in the market. In my experience, most big companies, that have CA Spectrum only use it for monitoring these basic metrics, i.e., where the real benefit is not there. If you only want it for this purpose, then there are better and cheaper options available.

It’s mostly for SNMP.

It doesn’t give you performance metrics: You need CA eHealth for this.

Some of the benefits of this solution (also mentioned above) are:

Event Configuration: It can easily (for an expert) create any business logic such as it can alert first, if you receive 2 events from Type A. If you already alert this kind of alarm and it happens again, then do it only, once every hour.

Event Correlation and Root Cause Analysis.

Service configuration (model a service).

Southbound Gateway integration – It can integrate with any other solution and dynamically, create models on CA Spectrum.

Alarms (impact, root cause, symptoms, etc.)

Watches – It can create custom metrics, besides the basic ones that I have mentioned before.

InfoView – It can create custom reports.

Topology view – This one is really difficult and time consuming, but awesome, if you can do it right.

Most companies spend money on the license, but they don’t have a good administrator, to make use of all the good features. So they end up with a really expensive tool, that does only the basic things, which any tool in the market could do probably better. But, the good features of CA Spectrum, only a few monitoring tools can actually do.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution since 2011. I got the CA Spectrum Professional Certificate in 2011.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. It rarely fails and you can have a high availability implementation.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability and performance are great. We use both Nagios and CA Spectrum. We can say that Nagios needs around four times more servers than CA Spectrum needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

I can’t really tell in regards to the technical support. It depends on the guy that answers the phone (Latin America). They have a really excellent technical guy who helped us a few times, but most of the times, the guy that answered the phone knew less than we did.

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

It was the first solution that we used when I started working. Right now, we are trying Naemon (Nagios). Here is my comparison:

Raw monitoring:

Naemon has a lot more flexibility, i.e., you can script and monitor anything with it, giving you more options than CA Spectrum.

Performance:

CA Spectrum is a lot better. The way they have for consulting SNMP in bulk is great, thus reducing the load a lot. It has around four times more performance with CA Spectrum.

Administration:

CA Spectrum offers you templates, Discovery tools, menus, etc.

In Nagios, we had to develop our own administration tools in order to discover and maintain over 10K devices. This needs a high understanding of the solution.

Business logics:

Here, it is a big win for CA Spectrum. With the events, you can make any of them interact with each other, even with different devices. I can’t think of any business logic that I wouldn’t be able to implement. (I am not saying it is easy, but with a lot of thinking, most of them could be done).

In Nagios, each service runs as an individual check.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is complex for a big environment such as primary servers, slave servers, high availability, and fault tolerance.

If you have a small environment, it is very straightforward. You have the SpectroSERVER, OneClick, and database on the same server, although the recommendation is to split them.

However, the out-of-the box features are very poor for the price, since you are paying per device. You need to use the other features to make it worth it.

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

It’s a great tool, but an expensive one. Learn how to use it properly.

What other advice do I have?

Try to learn, at least, the following:

Event Configuration

Device Certification

Watches

Alarm Notification Manager

Services

SLA

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Lead ,Managed Services at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
The alarm and root cause analysis features are the most valuable to me.

What is most valuable?

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.

How has it helped my organization?

It has helped to accelerate issue resolution.

For how long have I used the solution?

I supported a client running this solution for about four years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues. It integrated easily with the other third-party solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

CA support was good.

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

The client had always used CA Spectrum from its inception.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was pretty straightforward, as with most of the monitoring tools. The setup's implementation and the support were straightforward, with the documented support provided.

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

CA Spectrum is expensive. CA should really consider this factor, as smaller companies would prefer to go for cheaper monitoring tools instead.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The customer considered SolarWinds. They eventually opted for CA Spectrum because it proved to manage and monitor their large infrastructures more effectively.

What other advice do I have?

The recent versions of the CA Spectrum, such as version 10, have new added features that give organizations a good ROI.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Head of Data Science at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
The valuable features are topology discovery, configuration management, and service management.

What is most valuable?

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

How has it helped my organization?

  • Reduces system fails
  • Reduces time to resolve issues
  • Gives a clear picture about device usage: Not in terms of performance, but in terms of roles

Sometimes customers use network equipment which does not solve any business tasks and can be simply switched off.

What needs improvement?

It's a mature product for a classic network.

New areas (NFV, SDN, APM) are covered by new technologies. As such, products should have tight integration with modern data science platforms.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution for over ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's the most reliable product I have used.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not encounter any scalability issues. However, we don't have a large number of devices. We only have 10-15,000 devices for a distributed arch, which is normal.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

4

Technical Support:

The technical support is professional.

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

I work as a System Integrator and we sell all known NFMs. Spectrum is the best.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

Implementation fully ourself

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

I don't have any specific advice regarding this.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated Comarch, EMC, HPE, IBM, WANDL and TEOCO.

What other advice do I have?

Don't freeze your selection. This product is mature and is the best. Start your project and move forward to solve business issues

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are business partners.
Luis Miguel Goez Mora
Big Data Architect en Seguros SURA at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
The Network Configuration Manager and Southbound Gateway features are valuable

What is most valuable?

  • Network Configuration Manager
  • MPLS & VPN Manager
  • Southbound Gateway
  • Event Rules
  • Event Procedures

How has it helped my organization?

By using event rules and procedures, we got an improved event management process. CA Spectrum is very useful for event handling and brings us a robust “manager of managers” console.

What needs improvement?

SpectroSERVER fault tolerance (FT) functionality: The OneClick console should have a native HA or FT functionality. Actually, the only way to get this is by using a load balancer.

SpectroSERVER is the core component in CA Spectrum architecture which polls devices into the network. You can use multiple servers to build some kind of "cluster" to provide continued device polling when some server fails. A OneClick console (web server) is front-end of CA Spectrum, and it does not have an option to provide continued user access when a OneClick server fails (High Availability). You can use a Load Balancer, but is very expensive.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

SpectroSERVER and reporting databases can grow quickly. If you don't take care of trap storms, this can cause SpectroSERVER crashes and performance issues in the reporting.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No scalability issues were encountered.

How is customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is very good. I would give them a rating of 10 out of 10.

Technical Support:

The North America technical support team is excellent, 10 out of 10.

The LATAM support team has some things to improve, six out of 10.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex because it requires a deep knowledge about tool architecture and proprietary software. In some cases, if you make a mistake during the installation or the initial setup, the better solution is to reinstall or reinitialize some DB.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented the solution through a vendor team. Their level of expertise was high, nine out of 10.

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

Licensing is usually expensive, but cost efficient.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated IBM Tivoli Monitoring.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend the use of CA Spectrum mainly to monitor network infrastructure. Use this tool like a “manager of managers”. Event monitoring is a very powerful functionality.

If you want to monitor servers, apps, and databases, then use CA UIM probes.

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
Review about CA Spectrum

What is most valuable?

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.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps our customer in managing the events , correlations & creation of auto tickets with CA Service Desk. Eventually it helps customer in automation.

What needs improvement?

Its not performance management tool for Network Performance Management you need to have CA UIM or CA eHealth.

For how long have I used the solution?

12+

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We encounter multiples issues , difficult to list all. Some of them far beyond out of the box implementation. Other CA Support helps us to resolve it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Not at all .

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer complains it lags for performance management which CA has other solution of it.

Technical Support:

4-5 No good technical support from CA

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

CA NSM, Solarwind

How was the initial setup?

its depend on the scope of project. But initial setup is not difficult for this solution.

What about the implementation team?

We are solution implementer , and we had implemented across various ent. customer.

What was our ROI?

Different customer has different.

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

Pricing generally is high but you need aquire multiple products in order to accomplish complete infrastructure management. Cant get everything with CA Spectrum alone when it comes to network monitoring. Netflow is not there too.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user676368
Infrastructure and Application Surveillance Specialist at a hospitality company with 201-500 employees
Vendor
Some of the valuable features are root cause analysis, fault isolation, and customization.

What is most valuable?

Root cause analysis, fault isolation, customizations, and CA support tech access.

How has it helped my organization?

It decreased our downtime.

What needs improvement?

Interop between server/agent based monitoring (UIM).

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this since the early 90s.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is the best in class.

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

We used many, including HPOW, NetView, and Nagios.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward to install. Then it’s a rather big leap between basic usage and pro-usage. Spectrum is VERY tech advanced in its core, compared with other tools on the market. But that doesn’t show up until you do a more advanced type of monitoring.

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

Maintain a good relationship with CA.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

My role does include a continuous monitoring of other products on the market, but none are near Spectrum’s root cause engine, which really is what it is all about.

What other advice do I have?

Try to see through other product’s GUIs and focus on backend core features. How does the product isolate faults? Do different modules have to work together to triage root cause?

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
IT Infrastructure Manager at a government with 11-50 employees
Vendor
It helps the infrastructure team know about problems when they occur.

What is most valuable?

Actually, the whole network is monitored with this product.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps out the infrastructure team to be more proactive. We know about the problems at the moment when they occur.

What needs improvement?

It's very difficult to use and customize. In order to maintain the software, we need specialized help. The usability is an issue for us.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution since 2012.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We lost our database at the end of 2016, and we spent weeks trying to restore it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues, as such.

How are customer service and technical support?

We don't use the CA technical support itself. Instead, we use the partner's support. The word that best describes it is insufficient.

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

I used another solution in another company, but in my current organization, the solution was already installed.

The great aspect about the CA Spectrum tool is not what it does, but the integration that it provides with the other CA monitoring tools, such as CA APM.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was complex. The installation is complex with CA products. They involve a lot of steps and customizations.

I really don't recommend it for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

It is absolutely necessary to hire the installation service, along with the license.

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

Again, this solution is not for SMBs. Look at Gartner Magic Quadrant, as there are other options available that are more reliable.

However, if you have a complex scenario with lots of integration with other monitoring tools, namely IT service management (ITSM), project and portfolio management (PPM) etc., then this is the right one for you.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated other solutions, namely OpManager, Zabbix, Nagios, Ipswitch, and WhatsUp Gold.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user401589
Business Analyst Level 3 with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Some of the valuable features are event correlation, policy creation by events, and attribute monitoring.

What is most valuable?

  • Event Correlation
  • Relationship between the services delivery infrastructure
  • Policy creation by events
  • Root Cause
  • Attribute monitoring
  • Integration with other tools

How has it helped my organization?

It helps to detect the exact root cause of the element that is causing an incident in the infrastructure.

What needs improvement?

There is a need for the separation of monitoring models as a log, Windows service, etc.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a very stable tool, even in distributed environments.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is at a high level.

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

We have not used other tools. This solution gives more stability, capacity, quantity and quality, in regards to the monitoring configurations. Besides that, it is an excellent event manager.

How was the initial setup?

The initial configuration is simple. It becomes complex, as the monitoring is more specialized.

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

The price is high, as compared to other solutions.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at other free products, namely Nagios and Zenoss.

What other advice do I have?

It is an excellent tool for monitoring, managing event correlation, and providing integration with other tools.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are partners.
it_user558537
Head IT Operations at ICBC Argentina
Vendor
It helps us understand the impact of IT services within the business. Technical support in Latin America is good.

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "From the users perspective the looks and feel of dashboards of Spectrum would be easier to use and for understanding as APM will be in 10.5 version which we saw in CA World."

How has it helped my organization?

With Spectrum, we are implementing a unified monitoring system. We have also purchased CA APM and Agile Central to complement Spectrum and have an ambitious plan to integrate these systems. This will increase the effectiveness of the IT department and will give us the comprehensive view we want to make better decisions that support our business needs.

What is most valuable?

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.

What needs improvement?

From the users perspective the looks and feel of dashboards of Spectrum would be easier to use and for understanding as APM will be in 10.5 version which we saw in CA World.

Also, from our point of view, It´s necessary that CA people in charge of Spectrum tool, work more in order to better integration between Spectrum, with APM, SOI and UIM.


What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had some stability issues at the first, but CA resources in Argentina assisted us in to solving these problems. They also helped to fine tune our configuration to support the solution. In the early stages, we implemented a simple configuration of Spectrum, so sometimes we faced up-time problems. But that was due, in part, to the design we implemented. So, now we have implemented a more robust design with more servers and more robust databases. The solution is now stable enough to support the challenges we want to monitor.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not experienced any scalability issues, because we used a step-by-step approach. First, we implemented Spectrum at a pilot with branches. We use a dashboard that allows us to monitor the components at our 110 branches to support our products. Next, we applied the same idea to our strategic and critical challenges in website and mobile applications, as well as in our retail and corporate business.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Very Good, from CA and from Partners

Technical Support:

Technical support is very good. In Latin America, they have good technicians, particularly in Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Whenever we need support on a difficult to solve issue, CA brings in specialists to solve the problem quickly.

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

Before choosing Spectrum, we used an open-source solution called Nagios. We also used a monitoring tool from BMC called PEM, Patrol Enterprise Management. In 2009, our bank decided to implement the complete suite of tools for IT management and delivery from CA. It's a strategic decision that we took six or seven years ago and we're happy with the switch.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was easy, but in the initial stages we need more support from CA and our CA partner in order to understand the capabilities of Spectrum and how to take advantage of all of this.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, from IBM

What other advice do I have?

When we evaluate vendors we look at technical skill and background. We want them to be able to understand our business objectives and our needs. This is the most important. We want them to be more service oriented than product oriented, because the main objective of the IT department in a bank is to maintain up-time regardless of the challenges we face. This is critical to our business.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
TEM Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Some of the valuable features are NCM, REST API, and distributed landscapes.

Pros and Cons

  • "Discovery: Scheduled, on-demand, synchronized with eHealth."
  • "The GIS map feature needs to be enhanced and synced with topology views of containers and global collections."

What is most valuable?

  • 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

How has it helped my organization?

CA Spectrum allowed our client, a Tier 1 TELCO, to manage their E2E network infrastructure. The distributed architecture and eHealth integrations enabled a powerful solution for providing Hosted Managed Services to an Enterprise customer. It proactively monitored Enterprise: GMPLS, IPVPN, ISDN, LTE and Leased Line services against set SLAs and maintained a top quality of service.

The easy integration of topology views to a web portal allowed the client to expose actual real time performance and health status of enterprise infra setups. This greatly benefited the client by providing a "wow" factor to their consumers/customers.

What needs improvement?

  • NCM: Needs to be more user-friendly and refined. The ability to quickly see changes across various time configured backups helps to quickly identify changes which could be a root cause to a prevalent problem due to incorrect configurations.
  • MRTG graphs need to be more intuitive.
  • The GIS map feature needs to be enhanced and synced with topology views of containers and global collections.
  • The probable cause database needs to be enhanced.
  • As Cisco and Alcatel lose out to cheaper competition like Huawei, ZTE, etc., device certifications need to be updated.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Scheduled discoveries with modelling of large numbers of multi-element devices like switches, MUX, SAN, IP-DSLAM used to freeze up the SpectroServer in r10, although such issues were not faced in r10.1.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We didn't encounter any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

CA Spectrum Technical support is very good, especially the ready availability of extremely skilled technicians across the globe, 24/7.

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

I am not aware of any previous solutions.

How was the initial setup?

The setup of the distributed SpectroServer is complex for large environments, including the integrations with distributed eHealth environments.

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

It is very pricey. With the current trend of enterprises moving towards cheaper and more modern looking solutions like ManageEngine, SevOne, ServicePilot, and Paesller.

CA needs to cut down its pricing strategy.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

HPE OV and CA IM2.0 were tested, but were found either lacking in scalability or user-friendliness, including the lack of a modern, crisp UI.

What other advice do I have?

It is a great product. It is easy to setup if technically strong resources are available. It reduces the cost of underlying hardware due to the higher monitoring capability per server. Always stick to a distributed approach as it helps in fault tolerance due to the unavailability of HA/DR.

1. NCM – Network Configuration Manager – It is very helpful in maintaining the configuration backups of network devices in a multi-vendor ecosystem involving large number of devices. Device configuration changes can be identified on real time and helps administrators to identify unapproved changes and recover from faulty changes leading to device downtime quickly. Reference configurations are helpful in setting a device configuration and naming convention benchmarks and enables admin teams to work without dependency on resources, as the proper and standardized configurations can always be referred to during making changes to devices.

2. Discovery – CA Spectrum’s discovery utility allows IT/NOC teams to find and model the network and view the topology in the Universe and Global Collections views. Bulk discovery is possible to be run using seed files providing the device IP address and using pre-configured policies containing the list of SNMP community strings. This way large networks can be discovered and modelled in one go. It allows us the flexibility to choose the elements to be modelled and how to model them. The inventory data can be exported in desired file format for further review and distribution to key stakeholders. Device changes can be re-discovered into CA Spectrum using the scheduled discovery feature, ensuring that device changes do not place a device model in risk of getting out of live monitoring and avoiding incorrect alarms.

3. Spectrum Integrations –

a. CA BI – CA Spectrum uses CA Business Intelligence (CABI) for reporting purposes. The flexibility offered by CABI to design user defined reports and display data in a variety of info graphical formats lets admins design reports which can display to management in a glance the state of entire network/ sections of the infrastructure. CABI leverages the powerful SAP BO technology which offers a complete suite of information management, reporting, query and analysis tools in a user friendly and intuitive UI.

b. eHealth – CA Spectrum – eHealth integration offers functionality to map existing eHealth elements with the Spectrum device models to allow eHealth generated performance based alarms to be shown on Spectrum alarm dashboard against the relevant device element model. This creates a single pane of glass view for the NOC teams to view all fault and performance alarms in a single dashboard and helps in reporting and carrying out triages to determine RCA of faults. Also, detailed OOB designed eHealth reports are made available to users of Spectrum on a single click and discoveries can be scheduled on eHealth using only CA Spectrum system. Thus, it eases the system administrator’s job while providing a in-depth analysis of the entire network’s state and performance in real time.

c. SOI – Integrating CA Spectrum with CA SOI is now easy using the CA SOI connector. It helps to collect CA Spectrum data into CA SOI, convert it to a common format and expose the data for visualization, analysis,, management and reporting to organizations senior management. It helps to get a management view on a distributed and large network into a single dashboard view including Cis and alerts consolidated into a single frame. The entire infra can be broken down into logical business services and thus impact of faults can be analyzed on services running / hosted / provided by the underlying infrastructure easily.

d. EEM – This integration enables SSO feature for CA Spectrum. Single Sign-On (SSO) lets CA Spectrum users integrate with LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) and Active Directory user management systems.

e. API – CA Spectrum provides web based and REST API for integrations. We found it very useful in creating a custom solution to monitor dynamic IP based devices. It can also be used in embedding CA Spectrum information in web sites or third party apps and fetching data into CA Spectrum especially updating custom attributes of device models with data from external systems.

4. Dynamic Global Collections – Global Collections allow us to model network views from any modelled elements in Spectrum. By specifying rules based on device naming convention/IP address/device type etc. we can dynamically add models into various global collection views as and when they are discovered and modelled in Spectrum. These views are very helpful in breaking down the entire network into logical segregated views based on any criteria which fulfills your business use case.

5. Interface Information - You can view information about the interfaces of a device model by selecting the model and selecting the Interfaces tab in the Component Detail panel. The Interfaces tab displays a list of the configured interfaces and sub interfaces for the selected device, along with the parameters of the interface models. The % utilization (In/Out), packet, errors/discards (%) rates can be viewed in graphical format and thresholds can be set to generate alarms.


Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a preferred Global Partner and a major vendor of CA products.
it_user643890
Enterprise Systems Management (ESM) Engineer at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
In most cases, monitoring uses device models that match the actual device.

What is most valuable?

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.

How has it helped my organization?

A good example would be our world map. This organization is international. We built a zoom-able world map in Spectrum depicting every company site in every nation and US state. The maps provide a true “at a glance” view of issues across company sites. Roll-up is user-definable. The maps are also very popular with visitors and customers since they are attractive and it is obvious at a glance what they depict. The fact that Spectrum provides the ability to build and link these maps is a real plus.

What needs improvement?

CA works continuously to upgrade this product, adding new abilities and fixing bugs. They do a very creditable job. The areas I am aware of that could use improvement are fairly minor; for example, the ability to sort lists in the Discovery Console. Things like that. CA provides a good customer feedback mechanism they have dubbed “the idea wall”. Suggestions for improvements, expansions, etc., can be posted there. These ideas are often incorporated into CA products.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this product for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Occasionally, usually after an upgrade, we see a few issues but these are almost always cleared up quickly by opening a case with CA. The only “stability” issue would be very occasional problems with the “Archive Manager” component (manages the event DB) stopping and requiring restart. I would characterize stability issues with Spectrum as rare.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We had no scalability problems at all. Spectrum is a supremely scalable product. The recent upgrade of Spectrum to 64-bit has dramatically increased the already very good scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support for CA Spectrum is excellent and seems to me to be in a state of continuous improvement/refinement. I would rate the technical support as 95/100.

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

This organization previously used the IBM Tivoli product.

How was the initial setup?

Setup is relatively straightforward and with the support of the CA technical staff, it proceeds very straightforwardly. Spectrum can be implemented entirely on virtual devices, as it is here. Training is available and purchase usually includes a certain amount of training credits.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated IBM Tivoli and BMC Patrol/TrueSight.

What other advice do I have?

This is a very good, refined product that, in the fault-tolerant configuration, approaches being bulletproof. Allow extra time for installation, setup and familiarization. This is not due to installation and setup complexities but more due to the richness and extensive capability of this product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Telecommunications Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
The most valuable features start with the core feature fault management. I like the fact that it is fully customizable.

What is most valuable?

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.

How has it helped my organization?

CA Spectrum as a fault management tool from a service provider perspective, turns your network management team from reactive to proactive, minimizes the network management staff number requisite, and gives you a centralized view of all your network faults. From a customer perspective, it assures you about your network health and availability. The configuration management feature relieves you the burden of manually saving all yours devices configurations. It allows you to massively upload standard configurations to a group or to all your network devices. The service manager feature allows you to look at your network devices as a collection of assets that plays a role on a service instead of looking at them as an individual network asset. I could give you much more examples.

What needs improvement?

There's always room for improvement! In order of importance, I would say that CA should start to get rid of Java on the OneClick console. They could highly improve the Configuration Management feature, the schedule manager and the watch's allowed types and formulas.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used CA Spectrum for eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The most stable version I've worked with was the 8.1 and the 9.1.3 running on Windows Server 2003. Every versions running on Windows Server 2008 (R2) that I've worked after that (versions 9.2, 9.3 and 9.4) have had some issues either with OneClick/Spectro Server communication (hanged alarms for instance) or with global loss of SNMP communication with network devices, or DDMdb increasing indefinitely or with some unexplainable SSDB crashes. I haven't worked yet with version 9.10 but I am pretty sure that the 64-bit architecture was a huge improvement for the platform performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The DSS (Distributed SpectroServer) deployment is quite good for scalability. The only issue with it is when you need to discover connections between devices that stand in different SpectroServers (different pollers). You cannot find relations between them at all! The only workaround I know is to duplicate the devices that are doing the bridge between whatever you have in one poller and the other poller in both pollers!

How are customer service and technical support?

Although they behave differently depending on the zone you are in (US, Europe or West Asia), for basic and common issues they are good. For more advanced (models database issues for instance) or specific issues (monitoring interfaces running HSRP for example), they will struggle with it and most likely won't be able to give you a solution! If you want to fully explore the features of the platform, you will need to dig it by your own. One curiosity detail about CA regarding CA Spectrum is that as they released new versions of CA Spectrum, they start to hide the deepest features, such as the creation of different model types in the catalog database. You can still do it but, if you want documentation of it, you need to go to look for it at Aprisma and/or Concord documentation (these are the previous vendors of CA Spectrum). If you start with customization issues, even if they are well documented in the manuals, the support will most likely advice you to contact the CA Special Services and close your issue.

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

I didn't use a previous solution. I've always worked with CA Spectrum.

How was the initial setup?

Depending on the operating system, you may need more or less pre-install tasks (installation user privileges, hosts file configuration, then in Linux you need specific packages, disable or configure IP tables, or in Windows disable UAC, DEP, firewall, etc.). The platform installation is straightforward. Always use dedicated servers for CA Spectrum and if you have the chance to, install the platform in virtual machines making snapshots at important checkpoints. It will spare you a lot of work and troubles.

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

In my former company we had a per device licensing. I'm not aware of the values.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I've been working with CA Spectrum since my first work day. I was never in a position where I could take that kind of decision.

What other advice do I have?

Try to test and tune every feature you want to implement in a controlled environment. CA Spectrum is a powerful solution that will allow you to do almost everything you ever needed to monitor your network infrastructure. Due to its many features, there are always multiple ways of achieving the same goal. Picking the most efficient is the hard task. For every monitoring/management challenges that you face, you have always the last resort alternative, which is using your own scripts/programs to interact with CA Spectrum Web Service, VNMSH, or even adventure yourself (re)writing Java code using the CORBA API.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
IT Analyst / Technical Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Detects minor, major and warning alarms by showing different colors.

What is most valuable?

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.

How has it helped my organization?

The response detection of an incident was very low, that is, I could work more efficiently and effectively in my incident management. Many times, the customer did not even notice the unavailability of the service.

What needs improvement?

I did not see the best level of usability.

For how long have I used the solution?

We used it from August 2014 through May 2016.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not encounter stability issues. Even when the client disconnected because of a network problem, there was a change of state that would allow me to do some troubleshooting.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support level from Vectra Consulting and Services was highly specialized.

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

Recently, I opted for an open-source tool, due to the budget constraints of the place where I currently work.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was complex because the client's infrastructure was very complex. Besides, we had another supplier that did not pass along complete information to the Spectrum configuration.

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

I am not aware of the pricing and licensing, since this information was kept by Vectra Consultoria e Serviços or with the client (a public body).

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we did not evaluate alternatives, but I already knew how to listen.

What other advice do I have?

I would say that if you have the financial budget to get this solution, you would be well taken care of.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Fabio Andre M. Sant' Anna
Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
The topology and design features are valuable

What is most valuable?

  • 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.

How has it helped my organization?

I work in a data center with more than 2000 assets to be monitored. We were able to clearly identify the root cause of incidents visually and with specimen alerts with the topology design.

What needs improvement?

There is room for improvement in the integration with other non-CA tools and databases. With some items that I scored, I have noticed that there have been significant changes in version 10, such as the WebClient.

We have some information collected by proprietary tools and some data stored in applications with our own development and we have difficulties in integrating/importing/exporting data to update and maintain the data.
Regarding the functionality of version 10, even though it is still in the stage of deployment and maturation, we realize the WebClient functionality already attends to much of the need following the occurrences without depending on the implementation of the Java client.

Another improvement I noticed in the new version was the greater capacity of absorbing devices in the same SpectroSERVER, facilitating the administration/maintenance of the tool and reports.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used the CA Spectrum solution for about 7 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not encounter any scalability issues. In version 9, we had to scale up due to the expansion of the assets to be monitored; however, there were no problems. With version 10, we had improvements since it supports more assets in the same Spectrum Server.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical Support is essential for monitoring activities. We use it frequently, as well as consulting hours, to identify improvements and best practices.

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

We tested other tools to see how well they met our needs; however, we did not see satisfactory results, and they had the same functionalities as what we already used.

How was the initial setup?

As we operate in partnership with CA, we have had more input regarding implementations. The greatest difficulty is to understand the topology and to design the best possible way of implementing it to identify the connections.

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

As I am from the technical area, I do not have much to say about the financial aspects.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The company tested tools to verify functionalities and possible integrations, but has always adopted market tools with a quality standard to be able to provide it as a service in our portfolio. We have been unsuccessful in testing other tools for the features we are looking to serve with CA Spectrum.

What other advice do I have?

Planning is key. Identify the topologies and design to be implemented and rules to be conducted for problem identification and alarms. Ensure that you have good support as a partnership for difficulties.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is a CA partner.
Nuno
Solution Architect at Infosys
Real User
The event and fault management features are valuable. It supports NFV.

What is most valuable?

  • Event management
  • Fault management
  • NFV support

How has it helped my organization?

The companies in which I have deployed this solution have benefited in several ways. From the technical perspective, they have a clear picture of their monitored systems and their dependencies. From the business perspective, they have improved MTTR significantly, creating an elevated ROI ratio.

What needs improvement?

The GUI needs to be changed from Java to HTML5. This includes its integration with CA UIM, and the ability to dynamically move objects around.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution for 12 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did not encounter any issues with stability when the solution was properly scaled.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not encounter any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the technical support at 7/10.

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

We did not previously use a different solution, but I have done many migrations from other vendors. At the moment, the only thing which doesn't make CA Spectrum a market leader is its price.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is quite straightforward.

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

I've worked with many environments, and price varies depending on how large the environment is. For small/medium companies, it is still too expensive, making the ideal candidates large enterprises, which would certainly benefit from the ROI within a year.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Nagios, SCOM, Zabbix, the Tivoli suite, and Infovista.

What other advice do I have?

If they have a large environment to monitor, CA Spectrum is certainly the better option, being ideal for OPS rooms, highly scalable and with very high availability.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user516528
OSS Manager at Telefónica UK / O2
Real User
It has a REST API and is customisable using standard features.

What is most valuable?

  • 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.

How has it helped my organization?

The REST API work has allowed us to fully automate our deployment process, user creation, exception reporting, and much more.

The device support is very comprehensive and vendor agnostic. Device certifications are added almost quarterly or more frequently. This allows us to use Spectrum to manage new devices.

CA Spectrum is a good for network management (CMDB). While not a CMDB in it's own right, it is a good tool to use as the source of data for what is being monitored. Once Spectrum has the devices discovered, you get a lot of additional information such as software versions, serial numbers, interface info, module info, etc.

We also feed all of our alarms to it. You can feed traps/alarms from all over the place into Spectrum for that 'single pane of glass' functionality.

What needs improvement?

CABI was a major issue for us, but the newly added Jaspersoft is a better-suited reporting toolset, so this has already been addressed.

The OneClick UI is a little dated, but still very functional. They are also addressing this with the new web client. It's not quite where it can be, but it shows promise and looks pretty good for their first attempt at it.

One thing I would like to see is that all the IM products look similar in terms of UI design/widgets, etc. We are an MSP and would like our customers to have a seamless experience and not be able to notice moving between the various Infrastructure Management products.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it since 1998, 17 years or so (since 5.0).

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I have not encountered any deployment issues at all.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There was an issue with the REST API and a memory leak, but this was addressed very quickly and communicated via the CA Communities.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues. Since 64-bit capability was added in Spectrum 10.x, we can add a lot more devices. However, we only populate up to about 60%, as we do quite a bit on the servers.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is very good. CA Support do a good job with communication and are always keen to assist. The CA Product team also continuously ask questions and look at the ideas posted on CA Communities. I don't think I've seen anything similar anywhere else. In most other cases, communities are run by users with little or no involvement by the vendor. CA are also always looking to include us with testing/new announcements.

Technical Support:

I rate technical support very highly. Most of the tickets I've logged are API questions and these are answered fairly quickly, even though they are only P4's. I think I might have raised 2 or 3 Priority 1 cases in the 17 years I've been using it. It's a very robust product and has most certainly stood the test of time.

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

I've never had to switch from another product to CA Spectrum. Most places I have worked either already had Spectrum or I've recommended it/implemented it as a new tool.

How was the initial setup?

The installation has always been simple. When I initially started using it, it was on Windows or Solaris. More recently, I've always suggested Linux. The move to Linux also didn't pose any issues and I've since done installations using custom scripts using the unassisted install. It just works!

What about the implementation team?

Most implementations were done by myself but for some projects, we've used CA Professional Services and they are very professional. They usually have people with various skills (technical/management) and tap into their internal support structure very effectively (e.g., access to product managers/development team, etc.).

What was our ROI?

The automation we have in place saves us some head count and data is now more accurate. In some organisations I've worked before, we also used Spectrum as a sort of scaled-down ticket management system; that also saved time and the reporting we were able to generate was very good.

The other good thing about Spectrum is that it works out-of-the-box. You can run a discovery and once devices are added, you already begin to see value. The root-cause analysis is also one of the big pluses. I've used other tools from other vendors and I think CA Spectrum's root-cause analysis is the best one I've used across the most devices. The CA Spectrum team also keep adding more features and most of these don't come at any additional cost.

Additionally the API allows us to implement custom attributes so we can import data from a CMDB so NOC Operators, or other users can have all the information they need in one tool. Integration with other CA IM tools and Service Desk tools improves the workflows and saves a lot of time.

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

Work out exactly what you need and negotiate. CA are very flexible and are always happy to help. They are not very 'Big Brother' in terms of going over the license usage. They give you some play but expect you to be honest and report any additional licenses you use. E.g., if you go over 100 licenses, they don't mind that you go over but you need to let them know if you plan to continue using them. They don't necessarily want to do audits like other companies.

Renewals are also a good time to re-negotiate, especially if you plan to use more features or even other products in their portfolio.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I've used HP OpenView, Netcool, EMC Smarts and some others, and whilst specific products might have some 'better' or more-specific features that CA Spectrum might not have, CA Spectrum seemed to be the most vendor-agnostic solution and one that was pretty much ready to go, from install. It also seemed to provide a well-rounded set of features that didn't necessarily cover everything the others did but had essential capabilities and more advanced features too.

What other advice do I have?

The CA Infrastructure tools on offer from CA work well with each other and are being more and more closely integrated every release. They use the Agile development methodology, so updates are frequent enough to keep up to date with new trends in technology. If you are not inclined to update too often, it is OK, as they do have a good support period. (I think it's 2-3 years or more in general, so you don't have to upgrade every time a new version is released.)

Invest in time and resources to utilise the REST APIs for their products; it will save a lot of time if you are an MSP or provider of any kind. Also, utilise your CA representative; they have a lot of experience with different industries (and technologies) and are valuable, fair and friendly.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is a MSP and we have chosen CA as a strategic partner due to the range of products and their close integration (CA Partner).
it_user572898
Software Engineer at Charter Communications, Inc.
Video Review
Consultant
The topology view, host configuration, and the NCM are valuable features.

What is most valuable?

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.

How has it helped my organization?

When I started working, we only had 35,000 devices in there. Because of the scalability and all that, we have over 100,000 in Spectrum right now. All of them are SNMP managed.

We have a DR site. We are testing the latest release right now. In our production, we have 9.3.3 and it's running good. With our requirements as they are expanding, for example, one of the issues that we have is the global collection, the real-time global collections. For example, let’s say, just the southwest region has 15,000 devices, and that group wants to have interface global collection; that's going to be over 300,000-400,000 interfaces, and they wanted real-time interfaces. That really bogs down the database, so we are looking at 10.1. In there, the scalability is going to improve a lot with that.

What needs improvement?

There are certain attributes that we would like to be able to send northbound to different applications or different API calls that we can use. That is one area for improvement.

Also, I would like to see a unified poller, which they have already talked about. If I have Performance Center in Spectrum, I don't need to have separate servers for those same applications. I could have one unified poller, which is getting the traps and also polling information.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a very stable solution. Once you launch it correctly, you barely have to manage it.

How are customer service and technical support?

The level-one support is the same as the support you get everywhere with every vendor, but the layer two and above, they are very good.

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

I am not sure how they knew they needed to invest in a new solution, but when I got in, Spectrum was on the rise of being implemented. Before this, we had NetCool.

When I select a vendor, first, I look at the product; how viable it is. Second, I look at the support that I'm going to get from the vendor. Those are the two major things that I look for.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup complexity depends on how big your environment is. If you're doing a distributed setup, then you need little bit of architecture help on how it's going to be built, but on a scale from one to ten, with one being easy and ten being hard, initial setup is between six and seven.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

My company, they looked at vendors before Spectrum, but now Spectrum is the primary vendor for fault management.

What other advice do I have?

My rating reflects its scalability and reliability. There are some minor issues, but that can be resolved.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user96264
CA Technical Support Engineer/Fujitsu Regional Service Delivery Manager for PZ Cussons West africa at a tech company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Root-cause analysis and modelling pinpoint the exact cause of problems. Technical support is a 6/10.

What is most valuable?

Root-cause analysis and modelling pinpoint the exact cause of problems, which makes life easier.

How has it helped my organization?

It was implemented for a customer and it helped reduce turnaround time.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for 3+ years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

It was very easy to deploy and configure.

How is customer service and technical support?

I rate technical support 6/10.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward installation and setup.

What about the implementation team?

An in-house team implemented it. A complete implementation requires a certain level of hands-on training.

What was our ROI?

CA Spectrum provides value, but it can be very expensive.

Which other

What is most valuable?

Root-cause analysis and modelling pinpoint the exact cause of problems, which makes life easier.

How has it helped my organization?

It was implemented for a customer and it helped reduce turnaround time.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for 3+ years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

It was very easy to deploy and configure.

How is customer service and technical support?

I rate technical support 6/10.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward installation and setup.

What about the implementation team?

An in-house team implemented it. A complete implementation requires a certain level of hands-on training.

What was our ROI?

CA Spectrum provides value, but it can be very expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I played around with SolarWinds and some others, but CA Spectrum gave me a more detailed analysis for fault identification.

What other advice do I have?

The newer versions are easier to deploy and they have more features.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is a CA Gold partner.
Luis Miguel Goez Mora
Big Data Architect en Seguros SURA at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Useful for event handling and offers a manager of managers console.

What is most valuable?

  • Network Configuration Manager
  • MPLS & VPN Manager
  • Southbound Gateway
  • Event rules
  • Event procedures

How has it helped my organization?

Using event rules and procedures, we improved our event management process. CA Spectrum is very useful for event handling and offers a robust manager of managers console.

What needs improvement?

Like SpectroSERVER's fault tolerance (FT) functionality, the OneClick console should have a native HA or FT functionality. Actually, the only way to get this is by using a load balancer.

Spectroserver is the core component in CA Spectrum arquitecture that polls devices in to network, you can use multiple servers to build some kind of "cluster" to provide continued device polling when some server fail. Oneclick console ( web server) is front end of CA Spectrum it do not have an option to provide continued user access when a oneclick server fail ( High Availability). You can use a Load Balancer but is very expensive.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for seven years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No deployment issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

SpectroSERVER and reporting databases can grow quickly if you don't keep track of trap storms; this can cause SpectroSERVER to crash and performance issues with reporting.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No scalability issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is very good (10/10).

Technical Support:

The North America support team is excellent (10/10). The LATAM support team have some things to improve (6/10).

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

We did not previously use a different solution.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was complex because deep knowledge about tool architecture and proprietary software is required. In some cases, if you make a mistake during installation or initial setup, the better solution is to reinstall it or reinitialize a DB.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it through a vendor team. Their level of expertise is high (9/10).

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

Licensing usually is expensive but cost efficient.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we evaluated Tivoli monitoring.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend you use CA Spectrum mainly to monitor network infrastructure. Use this tool as a manager of managers. Event monitoring is a very powerful functionality. If you want to monitor servers, app and databases, use CA UIM probes instead of the CA SystemEDGE agent.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user558300
Senior Service Delivery Analyst at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
We use it for fault management, to make sure the company network is doing what it's supposed to do.

What is most valuable?

It makes sure that the company network is doing what it's supposed to do.

How has it helped my organization?

The way our network is structured, CA Spectrum seems to be able to deal with problems that we have coming up in real time. There are parts of the product we are still not using yet because we are still kind of green, so I know there is more that it can do; but right now it's the fault management side of things.

What needs improvement?

I am not sure I can address areas with room for improvement because right now, it is doing everything we need.

See my tech support comments below.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable for a Windows product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales pretty well especially with the new 10.1. We are actually going to be able to consolidate and shut down some of the servers just because they've increased capacity.

How are customer service and technical support?

I used to do support for Spectrum, so I know it really well. Sometimes the front-line people need to push it up to the second-level quicker. But because I know people on the inside, I can usually get it moved up when I need to.

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

I don't believe they were using anything prior to this. I think it was on an "on-call, this-is-down" basis.

What other advice do I have?

Definitely demo it. Have them PoC it for you. Once they show you what it can do, it can really make a person's decision a lot easier.

Our most important criteria when selecting a vendor is definitely supportability. Obviously, it needs to do what we need it to do. If it didn't, we wouldn't have picked them to begin with; but for me, it's supportability.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user558210
Systems Architect at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Automates inputs and outputs of a closed system. Provides critical data about our infrastructure performance.

What is most valuable?

The valuable features of this tool are its scalability and ability to automate inputs and outputs of a closed system.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution provides critical data to our network engineers about performance of our infrastructure.

What needs improvement?

I’d like to see better access to data elements via the API as well as better elements for the UIs. The UIs are somewhat inflexible and we'd like to see that improve.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The tool is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The tool scales very well.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have used technical support and I would give them a rating of 3 out of 5.

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

We were using another CA product. We had to integrate that system with other systems, but it lacked the API. We decided to upgrade to APM for that reason.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the setup and it was straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The alternatives that we considered besides CA were EMC, SevOne, and a variety of other products.

What other advice do I have?

When selecting a vendor, I look for stability, the ability to meet our needs, and the ability for their products to integrate with other products that we use.

If you are looking for a product, make sure that the solution you chose integrates well with your other systems.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user558102
Senior Manager at Allscripts
Vendor
It gives us a visual representation of what's going on in the network.

What is most valuable?

It's a mature product and has been around for a long time. The technical support is up to speed and it has been well designed.

How has it helped my organization?

It gives us a visual representation of what's going on in the network. It hasn't helped me personally but it has helped the network. We haven't moved on to the latest version yet but integration with UIM will be one of it's benefits.

What needs improvement?

It is not so much in regards to the product itself. In my opinion, it's the documentation that I find is not up to the mark. Instead of reading 400 pages, if they could just give me one simple example, it would make things a lot easier because it's a very complex product that does a lot of complex things. I would like to have illustrations on how to do the simple things as opposed to sending me a link that refers to 400 pages of a manual; it doesn't help. Saying “select the criteria” is meaningless if I don’t have the basic knowledge of what the criteria means or why I’m selecting it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product is very scalable as well.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have used technical support. It's hit or miss. Sometimes you get people who are really good and sometimes you don't. However, you can usually escalate quite quickly.

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

Our company was partially using CiscoWorks before this product.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend this product to others.

The most important criteria whilst selecting a vendor is reliability.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user558144
Senior System Engineer at Northwell health
Vendor
It has fault root-cause analysis and picks up things before end users call about them.

What is most valuable?

It's a very mature product. It has a lot of features. It has fault root-cause analysis, so you can see a fault and know that those 10 or 50 additional faults are all related to that one. You don't get 50 messages. You just get one root cause.

How has it helped my organization?

It’s given us a faster response time. It’s been able to pick up things before end users call about them. It provides us with a lot of extra information about how the network health is.

In the latest release, they've added 64-bit performance. They've added several enhancements to integrate with other products. It's compatible with other products, and it gives us more information that way.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more integrations with other products.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It’s been very stable for us. We don't experience many problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very scalable.

How is customer service and technical support?

Support has been doing a good job. There have been no problems or issues.

What other advice do I have?

Definitely consider Spectrum. It's one of the top solutions for its market space. It's not very hard to set up. It does a good job.

When selecting a vendor, we want something that’s been around awhile. It should be a mature stable product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user558237
Capacity Planning at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
We use it primarily for network monitoring, alerting, and ticketing. I'd like more dynamic weather map capabilities.

What is most valuable?

Network monitoring is the most valuable feature. I'd like to be able to leverage it more for capacity planning, which is my area. We use it primarily for network monitoring, alerting, and ticketing.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows us to manage alerts, schedule downtime and maintenance, as well as triage documentation for our support teams.

What needs improvement?

I'd like to have more dynamic weather map capabilities and network mapping tools. I'd like to be able to scale some of the applications within Spectrum and I'd like to be able to add some functionality. But overall I'm happy with it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven't had many stability issues other than during upgrade and maintenance windows.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales very nicely to our environment, which is very, very large. I'm not sure that I'm very well-versed on how to make large-scale changes to it if we want to reorganize how we monitor an alert using Spectrum.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't used technical support, but I don't own support for the application within our company. I'm more of an end user.

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

We've been using Spectrum as long as I've been with the company.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were already committed to Spectrum before I came along.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user558357
Chief Of Staff at Aig
Vendor
We like the monitoring and integration capabilities. Customers can be alerted and be proactive.

What is most valuable?

It is helpful from the monitoring perspective and can be integrated with other tools, so that's what I find it good for.

How has it helped my organization?

This tool makes it more transparent to the customers. They can be alerted and be proactive based on the data we are getting.

What needs improvement?

They are looking at other CA products and I'm sure they are happy with Spectrum. We were looking at AXA (CA App Experience Analytics) and some of the tools you can integrate it with. In our company, we have Spectrum and SOI (CA Service Operations Insight) that we integrate with other tools. So, maybe they can combine the features into one product which can help.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. Our company has been using this for a long time. It does crash sometimes. We also encountered issues in regards to integration with some of the applications that are not using the latest version. So, there were issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

It's good. I personally have not used technical support. We are premier partners and we've been talking to CA about a lot on these issues.

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

We have used no other solution prior to this one. We've been using the same thing for a long time.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the setup process. From what I have heard, it was straightforward. CA helped us to do the basic setup.

What other advice do I have?

We have a good solution but it is not the complete solution for all the issues.

The most important criteria while selecting a vendor are quality and cost. We are happy from both perspectives.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user558132
Application Performance Analysis/Migration Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Post-merger, it provides visibility into both company's networks.

What is most valuable?

Most valuable to us are the alerting capabilities and the topology information that Spectrum provides, as well as additional services such as device updates and the ability to launch them. These are typical network management services.

How has it helped my organization?

It provides us complete visibility into both company networks with one tool, which we didn't have.

What needs improvement?

I'm not familiar with all the current features and all its capabilities. I only know what it can do now. It suffices for what I need.

Spectrum already collects system information as SNMP data. What I additionally would like to see is utilization information. I only get alerts when the CPU reaches certain thresholds. I believe it does the same thing for links when links reach a certain threshold. I'm interested in statistical gathering. My primary job function is to determine why applications are slow, why customers experience latency, and related issues. I need to diagnose quickly whether its utilization, device failures, or if it's something beyond that. If so, that requires another tool altogether and I need to take a look whether Spectrum provides that type of information.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven't seen any problem. I'm a user, I'm not the administrator.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We will have to wait and see if Spectrum can handle both networks. Together both networks consist of about 6,000 to 6,500 network devices.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not used technical support.

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

Our company merged with another company, and since the merger, our company has outsourced all our LAN and WAN management. All our network tools have been at our vendors and we have had no access to them. Pre-merger, the second company did everything internally and used Spectrum as their network management platform. Now, with the integration of both networks, network management is coming in-house.

I recently attended a conference primarily to take a look at the CA Spectrum product and its capabilities regarding what advantages it's going to have when they bring in it.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Riverbed Technology has a similar product that does network monitoring and gathers statistics. The classics, such as HPE OpenView and other similar products were considered.

What other advice do I have?

Define what you need and talk to the various vendors. You don't need multiple platforms. The ideal situation is where you have a single platform and a single company that provides me with all the features and functions that I need. You need to have a very clear idea of what you are doing before getting into it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user558123
Sr. Monitoring Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Good utility for fault tolerance. I would like to see easier integration and implementation of device MIBs.

What is most valuable?

The feature that I find most valuable, but I don't see used often enough, is really applying the fault tolerance. In the last two companies I've worked with, they always categorized or contained different type of devices. There were routers in one box and firewalls and other switches elsewhere. They really shoot themselves in the foot because you need to be able to understand in the grand universe what's breaking down where and why. Where on the path is the issue occurring?

Even though this seems to become a very strong part of the application, it's not really being applied because people want to categorize and put everything into little boxes. They don't really understand global collections. That's where you would categorize devices by types or something of that nature. That's something I've been trying to promote in our own company to really get a better sense of a more organic view of the network. We can then see if the problem is with a server, a switch in between, a router, or a firewall. We want to know where along the path is the issue occurring.

How has it helped my organization?

We are using Spectrum as a conduit for other tools. For instance, we are bringing in SystemEDGE to send traps. We are going to use that to replace NSM, which is an old tool that is not supported by CA anymore. This is our replacement for auto-ticketing, and things of that nature.

When I joined the company a few years ago, they were looking for significant ways in which we could reduce incident tickets, severity tickets, with the different severities, to monitor the duration and improve repair time. With the implementation of the “shallow water” approach, we've been able to significantly cut down on the number and duration of outages and the number of severities in all the categories.

The biggest benefit is really getting away from Java, because of the way Java is a tool that needs to be updated all the time. We found a lot of issues with users not being able to log in because the Java version on their PC got updated and is no longer compatible with Spectrum. Getting away from Java was a nice touch. We'll be integrating UIM, and we're probably going to be putting PM into Spectrum, as well. We will be integrating all those into that particular tool. I like that aspect, as well.

What needs improvement?

They really need to work out some bugs. Getting away from Java is a good step. I'm looking to see how well we can integrate performance manager (PM) and UIM into that, and see how they all play together. I've got a distinct feeling that there's going to be difficulties that are beyond what they're advertising as to how nice and easy it's going to mesh them together. I think there's a lot of work that still needs to be done in that aspect.

I would like to see easier integration and implementation of device MIBs. I usually find that, whenever we go to add a new device, the MIBs haven't been certified yet. This is a painful process to get them working in order to find alerts, associate cost codes with event codes, and things of that nature. If they can make that process easier, that would be fantastic. That's probably the biggest challenge I found; when I'm dealing with event codes and making sure that they are processing things as necessary. We need them to understand what's coming from the end boxes that are throwing the traps.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability could be improved. I find on a regular basis that those of us on-call tend to usually have to go in and restart or reboot a Spectrum server because the landscape's gone down. Then we have to worry about rebuilding databases whenever there's patching. This has gotten better with the latest releases, but we've still got to resolve that issue. For quite a few years, we'd have to go and sit there and wait for patching to occur, so we can go and repair all the databases after the fact because Spectrum couldn't shut down the database fast enough before the reboot.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The stability is a lot better than eHealth. I noticed that eHealth was not being talked about a recent CA conference. I like the fact that they doubled the capacity, apparently, and they're going to be doubling that again pretty soon from what I heard. eHealth is obviously being put out to the pasture. I agree with that because it is old technology and needs to go away. This is why my company's actually looking at PM and that kind of stuff to replace it.

I like the scalability for sure. It's definitely helping out because we're growing in a huge way. We could go from 10,000 to 20,000 devices, and then that might even go up to 40,000 devices. This solution might be able to keep pace with the growth that we're seeing. As far as end-user equipment work setup goes, I don’t think it will be scalable.

How is customer service and technical support?

I tend to be on call on a rotating basis, so whenever there are issues, I am one of the folks at the repair site on my weekend. I try to fix problems and issues. In terms of CA Tech Support, I'm sure I've got a reputation because I didn't really like it when they decided to push a lot of off-shore tech support on us. I really fought against that, and thought that it was not appropriate for the kind of contract that we had with them. I let them know that I don't care for how often they want to push professional services on us as a “fix it issue”.

How was the initial setup?

I came to this company when the tool was already in place, but I was involved with the latest upgrade. I was not a lead engineer, but I offered support. I was involved with the project that upgraded all the tools.


Which other solutions did I evaluate?

CA knows about the difficulties with eHealth when going through the upgrade process. I pushed myself to look at my company’s other options because across the board, we're looking for some new implementations. I've been looking for eHealth replacements from other vendors even though our company is CA-centric. As an engineer, I can't really narrow the scope so that we only look at what CA gives us because that's really not to the benefit of the company.

What other advice do I have?

I know CA might not like this but I would suggest looking at other vendors in the market and really see what the completion has to offer. CA has got a large footprint and that's fine, but as an engineer, you should always be looking for what's best for the company regardless of the vendor.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user558009
Monitoring Engineer at Interval International
Vendor
It consolidates all of the traps, alarms, and issues that arise from any device or network equipment.

What is most valuable?

Spectrum is the total alarm management utility. All event alarms are displayed in one place. We use it as a complete infrastructure management tool. All our third-party tools report into Spectrum. That's probably the most valuable part of this software that we use.

How has it helped my organization?

It consolidates all of the traps, alarms, and issues that arise from any device or network equipment, to a central location. This makes it really easy to find problems that arise, narrow down their source, and then escalate to the right people to fix them.

Everything being centrally located in one infrastructure management tool allows anyone anywhere, between the IT help desk, to Windows teams, Unix teams, or the network team to see exactly what devices are causing the issue, as well as the severity of those issues. They can then prioritize and work on those issues that need to be worked first, allowing them to manage their time in terms of what they're working on.

What needs improvement?

Integration with third-party vendors could be improved by adding more trap solutions for third-party devices. These are now supported somewhat and I know that they're working on it, but people have a wide variety of different devices, servers, and equipment. It'd be nice to see all of that included into the software.

I think it still has room for improvement as far as the application, but support could also be improved. Third-party integration and other features have been requested over the years. I feel their support staff could work on these a little bit more, but as far as the application goes, I'd give it an 8/10.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far I've had no issues with stability. I've used it for about two years. Like any other software, it has a few hiccups here and there, but for the most part, it runs really efficiently.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Companies from our size to larger organizations use Spectrum, so the scalability is there. I have never seen an issue with performance or the need to add more servers or scale to a larger environment. That hasn't been an issue.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is not bad, but I find that I generally resolve the issues before technical support can. Generally, I don't use their support too often. It's not about their support. The higher up you go in their support structure, I feel that they're very confident. But, I'm just a self-thinker and I'll figure the issue out before they do most of the time.

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

When I started, we were already using the solution and, as far as I know, it has been with us for 5-10 years. We've used it for quite some time.

When looking for a vendor, the application is most important. That's what stays with you the longest period of time. Again, you may not have to call support and you may not have to deal with sales very often, but the application is the one thing that you're constantly involved with.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in reconfiguring the environment. I guess you could call it an initial setup. Everything was pretty straightforward. It's easy to install and easy to setup. I haven't had any management issues or issues from configuration.

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

For what you're getting with the product, I don't think price is a downside. I don't know if it would be possible in the future to have a lite version, but something that smaller companies could work with as well would be a benefit to them. At current prices, for small businesses it's a downside. For bigger companies, I don't think it's too much of an issue, because otherwise they wouldn't use the product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There weren't really other options. I've looked at other vendors. This is what my company went with, what we've used for a while, and we know it works. So, don't fix what's not broken, basically.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend the product to anyone looking for an infrastructure management application. I do know that for smaller companies the cost seems a little high, so it may not be for everyone. But, if you're looking for a total package that’s easy to get started and get it working, and something reliable and scalable, I would recommend the product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user558375
Lead Network Performance Engineer - Engineering Performance Services at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
We have removed all the duplicate tickets from our ticketing system. The Checkpoint feature maps and checks for all checkpoint connections.

What is most valuable?

Event Correlation and Topology features are by far CA Spectrum's strongest point. That means with its Topology, we can map out the architecture, and then with Event Suppression, if we lose an event upstream, all those downstream events that go through that path, they are suppressed.

How has it helped my organization?

We have removed all the duplicate tickets from our ticketing system. For example, if we have a store that is down, we get 20 tickets. Through CA Spectrum we are down to 1. So in the long term what we've done is less tickets, less people, more savings, etc.

With the latest release, the greatest benefit is the Checkpoint feature as we can now map and check for all the checkpoint connections. That's the biggest benefit to us.

What needs improvement?

Right now it's a Java-based application and we want everything moved to Web HTML5. The second big feature we want is log correlation. Currently, we can't do either of these features.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In my opinion, the stability is improving and getting better. Initially, we have had issues. Now, we are quite stable with the correct architecture.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales well. We have one of the largest implementations and it has done well.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is average. We've had better support from other companies and also worse support from other companies.

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

We didn't have any other solution before. We were using some supplemental products. We knew we were missing that managers tool. As we looked at other products, we decided to make sure we had the funding for this one.

We chose this product because of its scalability and also we had confidence in CA, which we didn't have in any of the other vendors.

The most important criteria when selecting a vendor were scalability, stability and support.

How was the initial setup?

I was part of the initial setup. We leveraged CA Professional Services to help. It is complex in a way that we have a large infrastructure and we wanted to map it out correctly from the start. If not, then you're going to have problems in the future.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at other vendors, namely, EMC, SevOne, Riverbed, and HP.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to design the correct architecture up front and that shall save you time in the future.

The logs are difficult to set up and we would like it in the HTML5 since Java is a very buggy product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user558063
Network Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
The ability to receive and correlate alarms and determine impacts when outages occur is valuable.

What is most valuable?

The ability to receive and correlate alarms and determine impacts when outages occur.

How has it helped my organization?

As a user of it, it's been fantastic just because it does so many things all in one configuration section. The alarms monitoring of the correlation of events is valuable. It’s been a great experience.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see easier use in some things, such as trying to configure certain correlations I've been working on. It's been a little bit of a hassle, because I'm not super familiar with their products and the best way to go about things.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability has been great once you get it up and running. I've had issues getting new installs to work, but once it's finally going and all set up to go, it's been fantastic.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in a couple of installations. It was very straightforward. It was just a matter of installing the package, doing the extraction, running it, and it seemed to work.

What other advice do I have?

In terms of choosing a network management applicationsvendor, look for stability and ease of use. I've seen that with the other applications. We have issues happening all the time, although I haven't seen it with CA. I would suggest getting your hands on a product in a lab and play around with it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user558423
Manager IT at New York Presbyterian Hospital
Vendor
Its ability to alert us on network issues before they become critical is a great benefit.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is it’s ability to monitor our network. We have a fairly sizable network with over 4000 nodes. Ultimately, at a hospital, network integrity is a patient care issue, so you want to make sure that the network is up as close to 100% as possible, 24/7 365. Hospitals don't close, so it needs to support that.

How has it helped my organization?

Its ability to alert us on network issues before they become critical is a great benefit. For example, say one of the power supplies on a device that has more than one goes down. Spectrum alerts us so we're aware of it, we can go and take care of the issue. If there are temperature issues, like if closets are hot, or something happens in the data closet, we are forewarned that there could be an issue happening. We can go and address it before anything happens.

The latest release I think is 10.2, and that may still be in beta right now, but we're on the newest version of the software. I don't necessarily know if there's anything in the latest release that has helped us, because we've been using Spectrum for about 5 years now. All the new releases do have their own advantages. I just don't know if we're leveraging any of those in relation to the latest release.

What needs improvement?

The web-based client that Spectrum has needs to be able to use multiple landscapes and multiple alarm filters. Right now, if you choose a landscape and then choose an alarm filter, you can have one or the other, but you can't pair them, which is a major problem because we have more than one landscape. That's one example.

Another example would be to have the ability to leverage Spectrum into Performance Center regarding topology maps. In Performance Center, we cannot see a topology map with drawn out nodes or take a picture from Spectrum and put it into Performance Center to see the nodes and links between the nodes. That would be something that we would like to see. At a recent conference, we spoke to CA about that; you never know. I hear the latest version fixes this, but I have yet to see it. If they can give me that in the web-based client, I would give Spectrum a 10/10. Then my team would be able to use it. Right now, with Java OneClick, it's a problem, because people would like to be able to launch it.

I would also really like to see a mobile Spectrum app. I know they have one, but it's really not very good. I don't know how much money and time they put into building it, but that would be great. If they had mobile, I have on my phone what they have. But it's really not very good. Again, if I could get the same view from my phone that I get from OneClick that would be awesome.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Spectrum itself is stable. I think some of the other applications like the reporting solution tends to be a little bit of a problem for a manager. Whenever we apply patches and upgrades, it basically breaks reporting and we have to rebuild our reports. I have a whole bunch of automated reports that go out, and every time there's some type of an upgrade we have to rebuild those supports from scratch.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Spectrum is very scalable. We presently have three landscapes and a number of alarm filters running on Spectrum. We are probably a mid-range sized customer. There are some customers that have 50,000 nodes on the network.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have an MSO with CA, so they're constantly engaged with us all the time. They do a very good job. They support us with requirements that we are not really geared for and can't really support, so we'll ask them, "Hey, can you do this for us, and get this result?" We have that across all of the CA applications that we use.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved with the original setup at this particular company. I was involved with the initial setup at a prior company I was at.

When I started at the hospital, they already had it. I've been involved in building the Spectrum and Performance Center from the beginning, because when I started there they weren't really leveraging it at all.

It's been somewhat complex. More complex than I think it should have been, but I think that was more due to the original implementation being done by a third party. It wasn't done by CA and I think that was a problem. I think there was a lot of disconnect between what was actually being done and what was said was being done, and it wasn't very transparent, because the people that were overseeing it didn't really understand it. They were given a whole bunch of smoke and mirrors.

What other advice do I have?

I would say that Spectrum is a great network monitoring tool, and it has a lot of features that most people probably don't even use. They just use it kind of like an up-down tool, but there's a lot more to it than that. I would say, if it was something that they were thinking about implementing into their environment, they should get somebody that knows the product well to explain everything and make sure that it's implemented correctly the first time.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user558534
IT Planning And Control at ICBC Argentina
Vendor
We use it to monitor 400 ATMs and 300 self-service terminals for alarms and other events.

What is most valuable?

As a bank, we use CA Spectrum to manage about 400 ATMs and 300 self-service terminals. We monitor this equipment network for alarms and other events. With Spectrum, we can determine how well the equipment is working and what services are available. Many of the issues are related to printing or paper supply.

How has it helped my organization?

Spectrum has given us the agility to solve problems faster. We are able to search our infrastructure so that we can isolate the problem and solve it fast. The first thing customers see when they enter the bank lobby is the ATM, so it's important that they be working properly.

The greatest benefit from the most recent release has come from redesigned dashboards. They make it easier for our technicians to discover faults and configure alarms that describe the problem in a clear manner. This allows us to go deeper into the zone or the equipment and isolate the problem. That is a real benefit for us.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see Spectrum dashboards more oriented in users necessities with an UX point of view. Also, I would like to see a more proactive approach to help managers to predict issues. Today with Spectrum we work in a reactive way where we notice problems after they occur. I would like Spectrum allowing us to prevent problems before they affect our Infrastructure.


For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Spectrum for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

At first, Spectrum was really difficult to configure properly. Today we are in a mature stage and the stability is really good. I think that the last version was more stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Spectrum is able to scale really well. Whenever we add equipment, such as when we open new branches or we replace old equipment with newer technology, we have no problem with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

We work with a CA parner in Argentina called Netnix that helps us with first level support. They help us with the application on a day-to-day basis.

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

For many years, we used Navios to monitoring our infrastructure. Then, when we started to work with Spectrum, we had some cultural difficulties trying to get used to a new tool and getting the technical people to use it. For a while, we were running Spectrum and Navios at the same time. Today, we only use Spectrum with the ATMs and self-service terminals. There is also a cultural transformation in relation to the digital transformation, so we are working on moving to UIM.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup. Six years ago, when we first implemented Spectrum, I was in another role. Now, I'm responsible for the IT budget.


Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Mainly, we work with IBM and CA. They are our two main vendors. The most important criteria in selecting a vendor is the level of integration between the different tools. We work with several CA tools, such as SOI, UIM and APM to give us a total view of our infrastructure.

What other advice do I have?

I think that the applications are great. The most important factor is who is going to be the partner helping you to implement this solution. Choose a good, trustworthy partner. I think that CA Spectrum is a really good tool.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user558489
Associate UEM Technologist at Sheetz inc
Vendor
They have added an HTML5 web console. By building topologies, we can tell which port went bad on which device.

What is most valuable?

What I like about the latest that they came out with is that 10.2 looks like it's going to be better, and they added a web console. I like the HTML5 fact of it, because it's a lot easier for me to get to my admins and other elements like that so they can look at their own stuff without having to sift through a bunch of stuff. I really like the web console addition, and from what I see from the 10.2, the whole thing is going to be HTML5. I really think that that's going to be real beneficial as far as me getting people convinced to use it and to actually look at it, instead of coming to me all the time for help.

How has it helped my organization?

It helped, basically, because we are working on root cause analysis. If we were to have outages, we really didn't know what the problem was, we just knew we had a server down. With Spectrum, we can do a root cause analysis by building topologies and we can actually tell you what port went bad on what device. Instead of just knowing that the device went down, we can know why it went down and exactly what happened.

What needs improvement?

If 10.2 goes completely to HTML5, I think that's going to be awesome. Just give everybody a website and tell them to log in and it'll be single-sign-on login, too, so they don't even have to remember another password. There is value in that alone, just trying to get people to log in and use it themselves, see it, and monitor it. They can monitor their own stuff and if something is wrong, I can do the tweaking, but at least they could see what's going on. I don't have to sit there and look at a dashboard and call everybody up and say, "Hey, your server's got an alert" because they don't want to mess with the Java console. They don't want to install whatever they have to, in order to do it themselves. I don't know, I call it laziness, but they're busy too. If it could fix it itself, that would be great! I think the way they're headed now with the roadmap and the visions that I saw. I really think that any improvements that they're going to make will be made in this next release. Basically, what I'm seeing right now, I think the improvements are happening..

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't really had any stability issues with it, now that they've actually did some more upgrades. The biggest problem we had with it at the beginning was just the Java console. You had to have an older version of Java and then you had to go in and actually set the library up in the Java for another one. You had to make a lot of changes and a lot of people didn't want to go through that. That is the reason why I really like the web console on it now because you can get away with not having to install the Java console. If you have to add three more steps to a process, they just don't want to use it.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have used technical support and they are very good. I've never had a problem. Usually I'll open up a case and I'll hear something back from them the same day. They're very knowledgeable with their products and very helpful, too. If I just don't have time to research something and I need it fixed, I just tell them "I need this fixed" and I never have an issue. They take care of it. They'll even connect remotely and do it themselves sometimes.

What other advice do I have?

Be patient. In its current state, I would have a representative from whoever your partner is help you with it. From what I can see, when we implemented UI, it took 2 weeks of on-site representation from our partner to help get it up and running. I think it's something that it would be less painful if you did have somebody that knew what they were doing, one of your partners or something, come and help you install it and get it installed. Then after that, start running with it. Do not do it by yourself.

I choose a vendor based on their knowledge of the product. I need them to be able to tell me what I need to know and where I can go to get information. Don't try to sell me something and then tell me you don't know how to use it. I've had that happen with some stuff. For example, by saying something like, "I'm new at this". I need the knowledge. That's what I want from you to help me to succeed, because we pay good money for this stuff. We have MSOs and everything we pay for yearly, and I really do use it. I don't have time to sit there and always research something and read something, so if I call you with an issue, I really hope you know what I'm talking about and you can help me fix it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user558648
Engineer at a construction company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Configuration is simple. We can do root cause analysis to correlate events.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that after setup, using it is very straightforward. Configuration was very simple, and the technical support was also good.

How has it helped my organization?

The greatest benefit is the kind of alerts that we get. We can do root cause analysis to correlate events. Instead of getting 100 emails when the core is down we get an alert.

What needs improvement?

I would say integration between performance monitoring and CA Spectrum, as well as improved graphing capabilities.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think the scalability is good. Right now, we have about 1,000 devices. The good part about Spectrum is that you don't have to worry when you want to expand.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good.

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

Previously, we were using open-source solutions.

How was the initial setup?

With the help of the support and the documentation, setup was straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated SolarWinds before going with CA Spectrum.

What other advice do I have?

Stability and support are important to us. We want to have the confidence that the vendor is investing in their product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user558627
Senior Enterprise Operations Manager at a individual & family service with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Provides a topographical map of our infrastructure. Captures SNMP traps from non-network devices

What is most valuable?

Some of the most valuable features are:

  • The ability to have a topographical map of our infrastructure
  • Downstream suppression
  • The ability to capture SNMP traps from non-network devices

How has it helped my organization?

It allows us to resolve issues faster when they occur in our environment. We're able to easily detect and alert when something goes down almost right away. We can be more proactive, and we're trying to reduce the number of incidents that our users experience. The graphical user interface has improved, so it makes it easier for our technical team to use it. It is a little easier than Spectrum was five years ago.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see a better, more simple web interface. Getting rid of the Java requirements would be awesome. We have a lot of different applications that use Java. Sometimes there are conflicts. For example, we have some web based applications that are proprietary to our company, which use a different version of Java than Spectrum, and this creates a conflict.

The Java requirement to run the console causes issues in some cases. It is possible to update the JAVA_HOME path, but requires knowledge of client operating systems. Having an HTML interface which does not require Java would be ideal.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Out of all of the CA products that we use, I would say this is the most stable. We very rarely have issues with it, which is great because it is monitoring almost 10,000 devices for us.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've had no issues with any sort of scalability. We grow through mergers and acquisitions, so the ability to just roll out another server and have fault tolerant servers is great.

How are customer service and technical support?

My team uses technical support and it's been great for this product.

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

We were using SolarWinds previously and it just did not offer a lot of the features that CA Spectrum does. CA worked really hard to create a strategic partnership with us which is very important. Being a large company, we have a wide range of products that we use from various different vendors and we need that support. We chose CA over IBM, and also SolarWinds. So again, the scalability of the product, the ease of implementation, and the account team was way easier to work with than any of the other vendors.

How was the initial setup?

Spectrum installation was pretty straightforward. We had our primary servers acting as our fault tolerant servers. We were able to import a lot of our information from our old tool, which made it a lot easier to get up and running quickly.

What other advice do I have?

Take into account more than just features. Look at the way that the organization provides support, the way the vendor provides support, and also if they're willing to work with you for the long term on adaptation within your company.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user492783
Monitoring Consultant at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It helps us to be proactive by monitoring the entire network (data and voice) in real time.

What is most valuable?

We consolidated multiple enterprise monitoring tools into a single toolset (using UIM and Spectrum integrated) that provides a vision of services, topologies, network configuration backup, network configuration scripts to configure devices in groups, MPLS vision, VPN vision, global collections to give a vision of branches, and ability to group network devices by priority.

How has it helped my organization?

Besides the technical benefits described, CA UIM and CA Spectrum were the key factors in increasing the SLA from the IT environment to 99.99%, from the 99.5% achieved without CA solutions. This achievement completely changed the way how LoBs see and recognize IT as their partners, avoiding the blame game and finger-pointing. After improving the SLA metrics, the next step was to get closer to the LoBs and provide relevant dashboards, punting together business views and emphasizing how it is related to IT, and vice versa.

After several weeks, this partnership and closer communication between IT and LoBs resulted in some dependency of LoB on UIM dashboards (i.e., every hour executive and tactical dashboards are sent to the senior executives). It is impressive how important it is to be connected with LoBs using simple, visual and intuitive dashboards that remove the roadblocks between IT and the entire organization.

What needs improvement?

  • Integrations with other CA products 
  • A better way to create reports

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I’m a CA beta tester and found all issues that need to be solved in this program. I have no stability issues in my production environment.

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

I did not previously use a different solution.

What other advice do I have?

This is a very stable product. It helps us to be proactive and prevents the company from losing money and business, by monitoring the entire network (data and voice) of the company (head office and branches) in real time, showing exactly where errors occur.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
ITCS user
Services Consultant at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
With CA Spectrum Southbound Gateway, it is possible to receive alarm data and turn it into events.

What is most valuable?

With CA Spectrum Southbound Gateway, it is possible to receive alarm data and turn it into events. With events, it is possible to correlate ICs, other events and shape any function to its will.

The southbound gateway can receive data from third party sources, other monitoring products, like SCOM from Microsoft, using the Southbound Gateway you can centralize all Management in one view, you receive SNMP data from other tools and turns in events, events in CA Spectrum turns in to Alarms, QOS or reports.

How has it helped my organization?

With CA Spectrum, we are now able to monitor more proactively network assets, reduce the total downtime of these and prevent money from being lost for device stoppages. The tool also gave us an event integrator for all other solutions, including non-CA solutions, forming a consolidated view of all information sent. From customized polices, we can standardize device nomenclature, facilitating the opening of external tickets and improve tracking them.

What needs improvement?

The EventDisp Logic (Code) is too complex.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for one year.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I have not encountered any deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is excellent.

Technical Support:

Technical support is an expert team.

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

I previously used Nagios and Zabbix, but CA Spectrum is more efficient.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is easy, but configuration properties and EventDisp is quite complex.

What about the implementation team?

A vendor team implemented it, but I participated.

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

CA Spectrum have a good model of licensing; the prices are based on types of models. If you understand the event processing code (Southbound Gateway), you will reduce the licensing price by more than 50%.

What other advice do I have?

CA Spectrum is a powerful product for monitoring network ICs; if you master the EventDisp logic and the Southbound Gateway Toolkit everything, becomes easier.

It is important to remember that with the size of product, some caution should be taken.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is a CA partner, working with CA solutions to support our own customers.
Fritz Buetikofer
Senior IT Manager at a university with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Works well with heterogeneous networks and there are lots of add-on products.

What is most valuable?

  • Works excellent for heterogeneous networks (lots of different vendors)
  • Error correlation
  • Root-cause analysis
  • Service intelligence
  • Lots of add-on products for Spectrum, e.g., VMware integration
  • Local extensions/developments for special needs, e.g., new vendor xyz

With the object-oriented design of Spectrum, from its very first version, we had very important issues, such as fault isolation and root-cause analysis implemented by default!! Which means that we had through all these years very precise fault indications on where to look for the error and were not overwhelmed by long lists of alarm, which were only effects of the real fault.

So we then concentrated on building a virtual picture of the complete real IT infrastructure inside Spectrum. This includes today a very wide range of devices, which are modelled inside Spectrum and interconnected in the correct hierarchy as in the real environment. And, as the big buzzword today is IoT, this means for us as a service provider to our university users to deal with MoT = Monitoring of Things!!

The “new” things include devices such as coffee machines, fridges, temperature sensors, worktime badge systems, door opening scanners, house automation systems (for light, sun blinds, climate, etc.), smoke and fire detectors, etc. This list increases every year with new “things” popping up on our network radar!

Of course, the real IT devices like routers, switches, firewalls, servers, storage devices, WiFi access points, IP phones, and, importantly, printers, form the base of the big “virtual” Spectrum picture.

And last but not least, Spectrum by design can be expanded in its function by a series of add-ons, such as VMware integration, which reads out automatically the virtual servers in the vCenter and models all VM’s inside Spectrum in the corresponding physical servers. Another example of an add-on is the integration of a performance probe with scenarios that run periodically (i.e., log in to a webmail portal, check for the existance of a message xyz, lookup the calendar, etc.) and map those scenarios to objects within Spectrum, which can be handled like devices, so you can put thresholds on them and get alarmed when violated!

How has it helped my organization?

Thanks to Spectrum, we are able to monitor (and send out alarms for) our whole IT infrastructure 7/24 without having more than a minimal number of technical persons.

What needs improvement?

  • Reporting
  • Full web-based topology view
  • Path view

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it since fall 1990. We’re a simple - but extremely long-term customer.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I only encountered stability issues in very rare situations; mainly when we used our own extensions for private management modules.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues so far!

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is excellent - 9.5 on a scale 0-10 - but this also includes support from the local Spectrum partner here in Switzerland.

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

I did not previously use a different solution. At the time (fall 1990), there were only very few products available, where just two or three of them had a graphical visualization.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was completely straightforward, as the product already included a discovery and an auto-connect function.

What other advice do I have?

Start small and include as much of your IT infrastructure as possible, so that at the end you have a picture of the “big” total.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Joao Evangelista
Presales Consultant at a tech consulting company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
The Service Dashboard provides a service-oriented view of infrastructure without having to use another tool.

What is most valuable?

The product is rich in features, so a lot of them are valuable.

Network Configuration Manager - Backup network device configuration, enforce policies, enforce configuration and correlate configuration changes with network status. Also has an approval workflow for changes on devices.

Certification - You can certify devices in several levels. The most complex ones give you great results for your efforts, such as a certification using a Model Type Editor for a customized model type along with Event Admin to receive alerts from another source and redirect to your new models based on Name (this allows for creating virtual environments to monitor devices without IP if you have a manager with IP/SNMP for them) or IP, creating Dynamic Alarm Titles. This gives great value, because it becomes really easy for your operations team to know exactly what is happening by just looking at the alarm console, instead of searching for the problem in the alarm description.

Event Correlation - Great to map events and to correlate them before generating alarms. It works with event pairs, event count, event series and other methods; really useful.

Condition Correlation - Great for correlating alarm conditions with devices. For example, you have a router redundancy, and you don’t want two different alarms for Device Down. You can create a domain and rules to specify that if only both of the routers are down, it will generate a new alarm with the possibility to use whatever name you want for that new alarm.

Service Dashboard - This one is particularly great, because customers love it. It allows you to give them a service-oriented view of their infrastructure without having to use another tool for that. Because it’s part of CA Spectrum, the service is affected immediately after an alarm occurrence.

How has it helped my organization?

It allowed us to move from an open-source solution using six servers to an enterprise solution using two servers to monitor the same number of elements. Also, of course, the product offered a lot of features ready to use that we didn’t have before.

What needs improvement?

The Systems Performance Agent is powerful, but, for example, if you want to run a sql query and set a threshold against the returned value, you can’t directly. You need a script with the threshold set in the script and an exit different than zero (0) to generate an alarm. This is something that almost every monitoring solution on the market has built-in. CA UIM, for instance, does that really well. What you have ready to use is the ability to execute the query and get the value for how much time it took to execute.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it since January 2009.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues so far.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good.

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

We previously used a different solution, and we switched mainly because the company needed scalability.

We were using Zabbix, a similar product, at the time, and we had a custom poller written in C and six servers to make it run. However, to get it past 12k elements (the break point for this solution), we would have to redo the entire file system using GFS from Red Hat to allow simultaneous write for a shared storage area. So, when we presented the project, the company realized it was time to invest in an enterprise solution. CA Spectrum was the winner after a series of tests and PoC process with the suppliers.

To install CA Spectrum and discover the network, it required half a day, back in 2008. Some of the competitors couldn’t complete the PoC after one week.

And CA Spectrum offered also a variety of OOTB features such as an easy certification process, VLAN discovery and other stuff.


How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was very simple; as simple as Next - Next – Finish. The complex part isn’t the setup, but the planning (architecture and such).

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

Right now, it’s device based, so count what you have and estimate your total growth for at least one year. CA works on a trust-based method.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

At the time we decided to switch from an open source to an enterprise solution, we evaluated HP OpenView, IBM Tivoli, EMC Smarts.

What other advice do I have?

Don’t try to do the planning without consulting a CA Partner or an expert. You will need help in other matters also; must have a good knowledge of SNMP protocol. Always read the documentation, which is very rich, and use the communities for extra help besides the support.

CA Spectrum is awesome for networks, but when paired with CA UIM, you can have everything: datacenter, networks, virtualization and on.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is a CA Partner.
it_user378384
Solution Architect EMS Practice at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Its integrated automated fault management and fault isolation features helped us reduce MTTR.

What is most valuable?

  • Auto discovery helps us reduce manual efforts. CA Spectrum automatically discovers all network Cis, including LANs, WANs and all the connected assets and creates the actual topology view.
  • Network configuration manager (NCM) help us configure capture. It helps detect unauthorized changes and delivers immediate notification.
  • Root-case analysis (RCA) helps us correlate the symptoms and probable causes for the events. It helps the MTTR and save engineers’ efforts.

How has it helped my organization?

CA Spectrum helps our organization improve network service levels. With the help of Spectrum’s integrated automated fault management & fault isolation features, it helped us reduce MTTR by 50% and costs as well.

What needs improvement?

Reporting & network bandwidth monitoring features needs to be improved. When we generate the outage report, the alarm title does not appear correctly in the reports. Also, sometimes events are not synchronized and are missing from the reports.

Spectrum needs to include historical reports for network LAN/WAN performance utilization and bandwidth utilization.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for eight years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I did not encounter any deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not encounter any stability issues. Spectrum has built-in fault tolerance options that helps us build a high-availability setup.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is 10/10.

Technical Support:

Technical support is 10/10.

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

We previously used lots of tools, such as PRTG and IBM Tivoli. CA Spectrum helped our organization automate fault management across multi-vendor and multi-technology infrastructure. Spectrum integration with service desk helped us reduce manual effort.

How was the initial setup?

It was very easy to set up, install and configure Spectrum.

What about the implementation team?

An in-house team implemented it.

What was our ROI?

Our ROI is 100%.

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

It's a very cost-effective tool. It is a device-based license.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated SolarWinds, NPM & Nagios before choosing this product.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company has a global alliance with CA.
it_user496368
IT Coordinator at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
The network monitoring features are the product’s most valuable features.

What is most valuable?

The network monitoring features are the product’s most valuable, due to the lack of these capabilities in any other monitoring tool. No other application monitors networks as well as Spectrum.

Free tools are available to do what its other features do, such as server monitoring (CPU/memory/disk).

What needs improvement?

We are not using the latest version of the tool yet, but as far as I know, I think an improving reporting of data would be a good idea. The report area is very poor and we cannot work properly with additional information and the custom reports. We just use the default report for information that we have inside the database for these reports.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with this tool for eight years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

To be honest, Spectrum is one of the most stable and less problematic solutions that we work with. It’s easy to scale and to deploy. The only time we’ve had problems with it was with some upgrading processes. It is not so intuitive and you have to make sure everything is correct.

How are customer service and technical support?

The CA support team is really capable and efficient when it comes to Spectrum. Most of the time they help us surprisingly fast and correctly.

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

I’ve worked with free tools such as Zabbix / Nagios. Right now, we only work with CA products and, as I’ve written, Spectrum is the way to go when you need networking monitoring.

How was the initial setup?

Setting up general monitoring is straightforward. However, if you need something different than the standard setup, some customizations need to be done. Thus, it becomes more complex as a whole.

What about the implementation team?

We have an ongoing vendor support team and we have an in-house one. For implementation advice, I would say to always plan your monitoring according to what you really need to monitor on your environment. Most of the problems we find today are related to operation process issues and not the tool at all. People have to know what they want before implementing the solution.

What other advice do I have?

As I’ve written, not only for Spectrum, but for any monitoring tool, you need to know what is critical in your environment and think how exactly you should monitor and treat it. If you have done that, everything will work just fine.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user37836
Director - Enterprise Technical Computing at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Root-case analysis helps us correlate the symptoms and probable causes. Network configuration manager help us configure capture. Auto discovery helps us reduce manual efforts.

What is most valuable?

Auto discovery helps us reduce manual efforts. CA Spectrum automatically discovers all network Cis, including LANs, WANs and all the connected assets and creates the actual topology view.

Network configuration manager (NCM) help us configure capture. It helps detect unauthorized changes and delivers immediate notification.

Root-case analysis (RCA) helps us correlate the symptoms and probable causes for the events. It helps the MTTR and save engineers’ efforts.

How has it helped my organization?

CA Spectrum helps our organization improve network service levels. With the help of Spectrum’s integrated automated fault management & fault isolation features, it helped us reduce MTTR by 50% and costs as well.

What needs improvement?

Reporting and network bandwidth monitoring features needs to be improved. When we generate the outage report, the alarm title does not appear correctly in the reports. Also, sometimes events are not synchronized and are missing from the reports.

Spectrum needs to include historical reports for network LAN/WAN performance utilization and bandwidth utilization.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for eight years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I did not encounter any deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not encounter any stability issues. Spectrum has built-in fault tolerance options that helps us build a high-availability setup.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is 10/10.

Technical Support:

Technical support is 10/10.

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

We previously used lots of tools, such as PRTG, IBM Tivoli, and SLMO. CA spectrum helped our organization automate fault management across multi-vendor and multi-technology infrastructure. Spectrum integration with service desk helped us reduce manual effort.

How was the initial setup?

It was very easy to set up, install and configure Spectrum.

What about the implementation team?

An in-house team implemented it.

What was our ROI?

Our ROI is 100%.

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

It's a very cost-effective tool.

It is a device-based license.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated SolarWinds NPM and Nagios before choosing this product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Edgar Parra
Senior Technical Consultant at The Instillery
Real User
The topology view, Global Collections and Fault Isolation algorithms pinpoint the exact point of failure.

What is most valuable?

The topology view, Global Collections and Fault Isolation algorithms pinpoint the exact point of failure.

How has it helped my organization?

It gives you a proactive approach. It is almost like it can foresee what's coming fault-wise speaking, and the key is the proprietary Inductive Modeling Technology that it has that gives it that edge ahead of other products.

What needs improvement?

I think the interface needs a bit of a revamp. They need to adapt it to the new app world that it is now ruling (iOS, Android Apps), and it needs to offer more. Also, the Sizing tool is a bit old, and the last time I used it the CPU recommendations for our SpectroSERVERs given by the tool were Pentium IV. I can see that now there is an online updated tool that can assist with your design which is good.

For how long have I used the solution?

I’ve been using it for almost eight years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

In earlier versions, the installations were a bit clunky and troublesome, but after v8 this improved dramatically, even installing large deployments were a breeze to do.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

v6.6 had few hiccups, but in general it is a very mature product. It's been around since 1991 when it was owned by Cabletron.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

When properly designed and you have your base installed, to scale it up or out is a walk in the park. You just need to introduce the new server, what role it has, and whether it's part of the FT environment and you’re done.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Pretty good. I must say, CA is an excellent company and their client always comes first. Every time I have worked with CA support, they were very insightful and had deep knowledge of the solution and how to tackle the issue.

Technical Support:

Back in 2005, when I started working with Spectrum, the level of support engineers they had in the L2 was amazing! They provided deep knowledge and exact root cause solutions when I challenged them.

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

I tested different products before Spectrum. Tivoli was one of them, but it was too complicated and troublesome to configure and maintain. I didn’t like the interface of BMC Patrol as it wasn’t very intuitive, and HP OpenView was the same with a very unappealing GUI, and the algorithms used to keep track of changes in the network and root cause analysis very basic. I didn’t switch, it was only that I worked with these tools before working with Spectrum.

How was the initial setup?

It’s not very complicated, just by following the manual guides were good enough to do a basic installation

What about the implementation team?

It was an in-house implementation but I did training in America which helped me dramatically to fine tune the post-installation.

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

The pricing could be a bit steep if you are a mid-sized or small company, this is an enterprise product, designed and built for huge environments. Licensing used to be easy, and CA had a template depicting all the possible combinations for licensing, I don't know how easy it is nowadays.

What other advice do I have?

Think big, and look to exploit all this product has to offer around Fault & Service Management. When I was the Enterprise Administrator in a big data center in South America, my motto was: if the coffee machine has a network card, we can monitor it and see if we are out of coffee. Spectrum is capable of doing this and more.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user415401
Systems Software Programmer III at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It provides several valuable features, including Spectrum Core, Report Manager, and VM Manager.

Valuable Features:

It provides several valuable features, including Spectrum Core, Report Manager, and VM Manager.

Improvements to My Organization:

Our team has been able to maintain over 99% availability across the enterprise.  We've also been able to proactively detect four major client-impacting outages over the past nine months.

Room for Improvement:

I would like to see improvement in the ability of the user to configure the maintenance mode more efficiently.

Deployment Issues:

We haven't had issues with deployment.

Stability Issues:

We haven't had issues with stability.

Scalability Issues:

We haven't had issues with scalability.

Valuable Features:

It provides several valuable features, including Spectrum Core, Report Manager, and VM Manager.

Improvements to My Organization:

Our team has been able to maintain over 99% availability across the enterprise. 

We've also been able to proactively detect four major client-impacting outages over the past nine months.

Room for Improvement:

I would like to see improvement in the ability of the user to configure the maintenance mode more efficiently.

Deployment Issues:

We haven't had issues with deployment.

Stability Issues:

We haven't had issues with stability.

Scalability Issues:

We haven't had issues with scalability.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user405477
Owner at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Powerful fault management platform which integrates with CA's other products.

Valuable Features:

I like the flexibility CA Spectrum offers to model networks with devices and different locations and technologies. 

It is easy to use and offers a lot out-of-the-box features (i.e. multi-vendor support, network discovery). 

If necessary there are also APIs to develop our own integrations.

Improvements to My Organization:

Spectrum admins mostly enjoy having a powerful fault management platform which also lines up and integrates with the other software products they are using, i.e. trouble ticketing system and performance management solutions.

Room for Improvement:

There is still room for improvement for mobile clients like tablets and smartphones. Most of the functionality can only be used with the Java client.

Deployment Issues:

We've had no issues with deployment.

Stability Issues:

We've had no issues with stability.

Scalability Issues:

We've had no issues with scalability. Especially with the latest release, the scalability was improved which allows support for huge networks with a small number of CA Spectrum servers.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Our company is a business and integration partner of CA.
ITCS user
Global Network Operations Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
It can operate on a cloud with load balancing capabilities which doesn't occupy much memory. ​​During deployment, there were space and storage issues, loading for a long time during updates.

What is most valuable?

Monitoring window, graphical representation of devices, automatic updating of databases, high scalability, high robustness, and user-friendly options are some of the most valuable features for us.

It can be made to operate on a cloud with load balancing capabilities which doesn't occupy much memory. The application can be modeled to support users from different teams to intercommunicate.

How has it helped my organization?

CA Spectrum is an important tool for our organization in that it manages loads of server capacity in a single platform and deploys different kinds of windows for device management, database storage, graphical representation of devices, and highlights fail-overs in realtime.

What needs improvement?

While deploying the tool, there were space and storage issues since the application loads for a long period each time there is an update.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for about 2 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There were long loading periods during deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

A device can't be 100% stable and robust. However, CA Spectrum is one of the most stable systems to handle at medium to high-level operations.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The tool is designed to enhance operational scalability, and hence it was updated according to the customer and market needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customers have found the tool really useful because it is user friendly and lets them to login to their devices manually to check the health of any site.

Technical Support:

I would give an eight out of ten for their level of technical expertise with reference to this application. They have been amazing in their service.

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

It was the first ever solution I tried and it worked so I never had a chance to work on other solutions. This applications works best on medium to large-sized organizations.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was to download and install the software, which takes a few minutes for installation. It is a straightforward process and is not rocket science.

What about the implementation team?

The initial implementation was through a vendor and I would rate them 8 out of 10. The vendor management team has a very good technical expertise .

What was our ROI?

Return on Investment matters are known mostly to management and in my experience it is found to be effective. ROI provides a profitability ratio.

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

It's a licensed software and internationally certified. It is priced at a median level for any organization to start using the software and tool.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did not try any other option. It was my first ever option and it worked. The application is well-suited for network monitoring.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise any engineer to use the application because it is user friendly and secure. I would recommend any organization that requires network monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities all in a single platform.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user201036
Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
A Complete Infrastrucutre Management Product That Will Answer Most Of The Network Related Requirements Of Any Organisation.

What is most valuable?

There are many feature which are really good for business, and a few among them are

  • Fault isolation which helps to control the unnecessary flood of alerts
  • NCM (Network Configuration Manager) - To capture the configuration backup of the network, devices which have out of box features for Cisco devices
  • Out of box integration with other CA products like Nimsoft(UIM), APM, eHealth to provide CA as a complete solution in the environment
  • Integration with Service desk (ITSM) tool for ticket automation in an environment
  • Integration with 3rd party tools as it can receive the traps and then can be converted into meaningful alarms.
  • Ability to import MIB"s for different Vendor devices.

How has it helped my organization?

It has really helped to create a complete solution so that clients can see their whole IT network in one complete console/solution.

What needs improvement?

CA keeps on enhancing the product time to time, taking enhancements from users like us, as we make maximum use of their products.

I think they should improve or add advance performance reporting in the reporting part of Spectrum, they have recently replaced CABI with Jaspersoft in new version as a reporting integration.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for four years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues with deployment for me as i have been deploying/upgrading this product frequently for different clients.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Great, we try to resolve issues of our own, but when required CA support is well versed in technical expertise and documentation to help their clients.

Technical Support:

4.5 out of 5

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

No, I have been using CA products for almost 4 years now.

How was the initial setup?

It's a bit complex on Linux box but straight forward for windows, but you need some hands-on experience to start on production.

What about the implementation team?

In-house.

What other advice do I have?

Read the documentation first before implementing, CA has a very well managed documentation and also good articles on their KB support site for known issues.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Member of the CA Global Partner Program
ITCS user
Senior Software Engineer with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
It supports integration with different applications from other vendors.

What is most valuable?

There are several features that are valuable:

  1. Fault management of different devices from various vendors;
  2. Integration with different application from other vendors is supported; and
  3. Various features to configure/customize/scale as per business requirements.

How has it helped my organization?

  1. It has a highly scalable architecture that is designed to ensure accommodation of the growing network setup for our client.
  2. The improvised fault management reduces the time to detect faults and to get required teams to address issues by email or ticket.

What needs improvement?

The documentation of this product is not very easy to understand without any screenshots or application windows.

It's also expensive for the company.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for five years now.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

If prerequisites are followed, there will not be major challenges during deployment.

In case there is/are any problems during deployment, CA has 24x7 support.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

If database size is large and any corruption occurs, it takes a considerably large time to fix the issue.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've had no issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I'd rate customer service 8/10.

Technical Support:

I'd rate technical support 8/10.

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

We did not use a previous solution.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it through a vendor team. I'd rate them 9/10.

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

It's worth investing in if monitoring of critical assets is a priority for your organization.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Deputy Leader/Network management specialist of cNMS at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
It is the perfect monitoring solution for customers' devices but the incident management needs to be improved.

What is most valuable?

It is the perfect monitoring solution for customers' devices. Searching and locating of the reported device is very easy. The Discovery option is very great and fast solution to model a very huge network and also small networks.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved our reaction time for incident management.

What needs improvement?

ITIL -

  • Incident management
  • Automation
  • Connection between Spectrum and some standardized incident tools

For how long have I used the solution?

Currently I have been working with this product for five years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Not really. Every tool has some strong and weak areas and they need to be tuned up from the beginning.For this we have the vendor support.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No, I don't think so. Every unstable state has been caused by an incorrect configuration, by overloading, or by hardware failure.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is a network infrastructure management software for device monitoring. I didn't meet with issues regarding the scalability as everything could be set up or configured.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

8/10 as I am well informed about any changes with the software or training as I am a technician.

Technical Support:

7-8/10 but sometimes I think that technical support could be more flexible.

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

No, I didn't use a different solution. I just have some skills with other umbrella tools, where I was able to see a behaviour and processes which are needed for operation.

How was the initial setup?

It's hard to say as every time it is a big challenge to implement any kind of the tool on our systems or improve them once in production. During the whole process we are faced with many more different situations. For this reason we have a testing environment. After the initial setup in the testing environment is complete, we are able to proceed onto the production process which is easier to do because because of the experience in the test environment.

What about the implementation team?

Yes, the first time we have implemented it we used our vendors support, and I am rating the person as 10/10 as they performed an excellent job!

What other advice do I have?

I see many advantages for using this software except if you need it as a home solution.

When I started many years ago with the Spectrum, we did an initial screen of the application with a picture of my ca, Means the customization is possible with many ways.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user354864
Tier 3 Technical Support Engineer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
We can respond to network events and our surveillance department can get people dispatched right away. It'd be nice to have a trouble ticket feature added to the software release.

Valuable Features

The most valuable feature for us is that we can model a large variety of devices and receive SNMP traps from them.

Improvements to My Organization

It allows us to respond to network events, and we have a surveillance department that monitors all these inbound reports and we can get people dispatched right away.

Room for Improvement

A lot of things are internal development, like we'll have a network alert and we've got it configured so that it can open a trouble ticket and service management system. You know, a lot of features like that are the ones that we can develop internally without necessarily having it added to the software release, but it would be nice to have it added nevertheless.

Stability Issues

Not really on the CA site itself. We may have put under-powered servers running the application or things like that and those are some issues that we're working on internally to actually make it supported by CA. A lot of it really has to do with how much time you invest in setting it up and having the right hardware.

Customer Service and Technical Support

I haven't personally called them.

Initial Setup

I didn't do the initial setup as far as installing the application. I've done a lot of tweaking of views of what the user should see and things like that and that's not difficult.

ROI

It's really tough to say because it really does have a lot to do with how much time you put into it. If we had a crew that just completely dialed in everything and set it up, had the right hardware, it's kind of a totally different question than if, internally, you developed it on unsupported hardware, didn't spend much time setting it up.

Other Solutions Considered

We've had a few previous competitors over the years that I've worked with the company. Spectrum can do SNMP inquiries and alert you that a device is totally unreachable. With some of our previous platforms it was a one way process.

Other Advice

Go for it. Try the best you can to start out fully within specifications and that kind of thing. We're going back and fixing all that now, which we might not have had to.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user353325
Senior Software Engineer at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It brings to the table the ability to do vault isolation, alarm suppression, and more quickly find and focus on the areas that need to be fixed. But, the console should be using HTML5, not Java.

Valuable Features

For me, as a deployment person and support person for the product, the most valuable feature is the scalability of the product. We started out with a fairly ambitious goal of managing about ten thousand devices. That over a couple of years became about one hundred thousand devices. Without completely crashing our original architecture, we were able to scale up to meet that requirement rather easily by just horizontally adding more servers.

Improvements to My Organization

It met a really critical need inside of my company because just before I was hired, they had about a two-day outage in one of their data centers. They didn't really understand the scope of the outage because they lacked in their existing monitoring environment the ability to see the topology of the network. They thought they were fixing the problem over here for a couple of days until they finally realized, oops, they probably really made it worse. So that is one of the key things that Spectrum brings to the table, that ability to do vault isolation, and alarm suppression, and more quickly find and focus on the area that needs to be fixed.

Room for Improvement

A big problem for us now is the Java requirement for the console. It really should be using HTML5. Our personnel use a multitude of enterprise and network management tools, each of them with different Java requirements. They, as cleverly as they can, have devised a means of trying to make those things sort of work and play nicely together on their glass. But it's an issue. Every time we do an upgrade, the Java version changes for Spectrum.

The new web client is a fairly basic sort of operator-level solution at this point, but it's going to expand into a full-blown one at some point. One of the questions that I'll have for product manager is, what's the timeline for replacing Java?

Stability Issues

From time to time we have issues with Spectrum. When we do, they are generally easy to recover from. I am very impressed with the stability of this product. I've been doing network management tools a long time and I know of what I speak.

Scalability Issues

In Spectrum, the concept is really two tiered. It's a solution with a web client application. Initially, we had nine servers doing the polling and, I think, two one-click servers serving the buoy. Then management came to us and said we need to do a whole other part of the enterprise, so add another nine servers. We just quickly added them and pointed them to the devices and the main location server, which is the one that ties all of the polars together. As more users were added, we just added more one-click servers.

I think we are one of the larger Spectrum deployments in the western hemisphere. There are some things we would like to request for product enhancements in terms of supporting a horizontally-scaled set of one-click servers.

I was very excited to see the presentation yesterday that told us where they think the product is, where it's going, and we are going to hear more of that today with the roadmap presentation. Things are looking very good.

Customer Service and Technical Support

It has been very, very good. We sometimes have to more carefully explain our problem to the person that is assigned to us. But once we get that fully understood, we quickly get the right focus. I have been very impressed a number of times with the quality of the person on the other end of the phone. They've actually helped us with some things beyond the actual current problem when they've taken a look at our system and said, oh by the way, do this or do that. It has been very good.

Initial Setup

Installations went smoothly. Customizations were pretty straightforward.

Other Advice

If you like to sleep at night and not be disturbed on the weekends, get Spectrum. It's a really robust, mature product, but still with newer and newer features being added, and it's very, very stable.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user353238
Enterprise Development Manager at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It's beneficial because we can actually look at alarms and events. We can control those alarms and events, and provide them to our towers or silos.

Valuable Features

With Spectrum, you have a complete insight into your entire infrastructure. You can look at your network system applications and pinpoint issues and problems for analysis. It's one of the premiere products that are out there.

Improvements to My Organization

It's beneficial because we can actually look at alarms and events. We can control those alarms and events, and provide them to our towers or silos. Also support -- it's an essential depository for traps, SSMP, network systems, and applications.

Room for Improvement

The OneClick MIB tools are a little complex, and I've seen other MIB tools that are a little simpler. I'm used to it, but I know if somebody's not familiar with it, it can be a little bit challenging. But overall, I have experience with it so I know what works and what doesn't work.

Stability Issues

The stability of Spectrum is fine. We're just waiting on a new release to be put into play. We're excited about that because we're in 64-bit architecture, and the new release will be more stable and feature-rich. So, I'm really excited about delivering that to our program business unit’s infrastructure.

Scalability Issues

We can distribute it as far as we wish. I have no issues with Spectrum's scalability. I've seen it in multiple locations, including ours, where it's very stable.

Customer Service and Technical Support

9/10

Initial Setup

I wasn't involved in any of the implementations that were put in there. I became the new caretaker in some ways, a shared investor in this solution.

Other Advice

I don't think you're going to go wrong with Spectrum. It's going to provide all of your needs and if you have to customize something in Spectrum, it's a customizable SMI, so it's very straight forward. You bring in all your events and you can integrate it with various other solutions.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user351225
Principle Engineer at a media company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It gives us insight in to our overall network communication, and it has joined groups together within our company to share information.

What is most valuable?

Without a doubt the most valuable feature of this solution is its scalability. This is what Spectrum is known for and it's delivered on this for us.

It's also flexible and is able to manage all device types.

How has it helped my organization?

It gives us insight in to our overall network communication, and it has joined groups together within our company to share information.

What needs improvement?

I'd like to see cross-landscape correlation. Right now, things are in individual nodes, and we'd like to be able to have them integrate or work together better.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

After the complex setup, we've had no issues with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is extremely stable, and it has proven this across years of use.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service has been outstanding. They are always there when we need them and we appreciate them.

Technical Support:

Technical service has been outstanding. They are always there when we need them and we appreciate them.

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

There were three companies we looked at. Spectrum was chosen for its flexibility, for its ability to manage all device types, and ease of growth for our environment. Nothing scales like Spectrum.

How was the initial setup?

It’s complex, we had consulting on site for several years.

What was our ROI?

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also looked at IBM.

What other advice do I have?

We are very pleased with it. Plan, learn your environment, and plan the implementation. This is essential for success. Also, get CA support to help you document your environment before you start.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user345651
Software Engineer at Simac Techniek NV
Consultant
You can add scripting and export results to an external database, which makes it easy to use and sort the information in a way that can be helpful to you.

What is most valuable?

It's easy to implement. I've used it for 15 years so I may be biased, but that's also a testament to how easy it is to use.

It's also very configurable. You can add features as you'd like. For example, you can easily add new alerts and watch lists. We can easily certify new devices and watch the behavior of these new devices out of the box.

How has it helped my organization?

You can add scripting and export results to an external database. It makes it easy to use and sort the information in a way that can be helpful to you. I could go on for a week about it.

What needs improvement?

Currently I'm happy they went to 64 bit, which has just finished. I haven't thought about other improvements; maybe better reporting. Currently, it's using BOXI/CABI, which is terrible as it’s unclear and I don’t like this.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for 15 years. We use Spectrum on the network infrastructure for five to six clients. We also sell it as an integrator to other clients as well.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It’s very, very stable which is the core benefit, and it’s also very easy to maintain. It doesn’t need much maintenance once it's set up. The strongest point of the product is it's stability.

Last year they didn't do a lot of development, and when they did it, it wasn’t secure enough. Each version took a long time to be stable, but it's gotten much better. Now it's totally stable, but 9 wasn't stable. 9.4.0 wasn’t stable, but 9.4.1 is. Overall, version 9 has been great.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's quite scalable. You can easily set up a distributed environment with more than one central server. We currently have it scaled up to 5000 devices on one central server (high for Belgium), and once they release v10.1 it'll be even higher, I've heard.

How are customer service and technical support?

We're very happy with the technical support. Once, I wasn't that happy, but now I've taken technical sessions with them and they've been helpful. Many technical engineers who are assigned to me actually know me to some degree, but this is for their product. Performance management wasn’t as good, and their service for this is superior.

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

Before we were using the HP solution, but then CA bought them. We like this vendor becuase of the strong network management system. So, what’s important to me is particularly the product more than the vendor. Vendors that integrate would be a nice plus. That’s the main reason we initially actually stayed with CA because the products can talk to each other, which has a good flow.

How was the initial setup?

This is my job – to start form nothing and then help others set up. I also help others use it as well, so I scale it up for myself and others, and CA has been helpful.

What other advice do I have?

Get an overall perspective. CA is helpful and you should be willing to talk to them.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Solution Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Our clients can monitor their infrastructure at a deeper level, more detailed and technical specific view, and at different levels (IT management, IT ops, etc.).

What is most valuable?

  • Root cause analysis
  • Configurations management
  • Device compatibility features (buit-in, MIBs and device self-certification)

How has it helped my organization?

Not from my organization, but for our customers. They managed to monitor their infrastructure at a deeper level, more detailed and technical specific view (NOC-like and NOC-compliant features), and of course at different levels (IT management, IT operational etc.). Also, by integrating with other products like CA Unified Infrastructure Management or CA Service Desk Manager, you can achieve a greater value.

What needs improvement?

The graphical interface is still designed in an old fashioned way, and they should include some management views in a much more modern manner.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been implementing it for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Spectrum is a very stable product. It is a mature product, with a long life time in CA’s portfolio, and even before.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Spectrum is a very scalable product. You can add more than one SpectroServers for balancing and availability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

It's very good, 10/10.

Technical Support:

Very good, also for device self-certification, development. There is also a very strong community (actually multiple communities) – 10/10

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

I have used and implemented the old product, CA Infrastructure Management, which included Spectrum, but also I am implementing CA UIM.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward, and after the initial setup you can start the device discovery. You can configure multiple discovery profiles and schedule them as you please. After discovery, you can see devices and servers in the universe and you can start to manage them.

The configuration is easy, but it depends on the device’s technology. The discovery is very easy to do and the topology view is customizable.

What about the implementation team?

Although Spectrum is an easy to install and have it ready to use product, it is a very complex solution and it can be customized in so many ways. So, for large environments or NOCs I would definitely recommend specialized implement team like from CA’s partners or CA Services.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The other option from CA is CA Unified Infrastructure Management, but it lacks for configuration management feature. It is positioned differently on the market.

What other advice do I have?

I do not know any other product better for NOCs. When you start researching for this kind of solution, you should have prepared a list with all your devices you want to manage, and features you want from this solution. Usually the number and type of the devices is important.

Don't consider this product a service desk product. It is an infrastructure management product with some light features for incident management. Spectrum is great for what it does as a management tool. You can monitor your infrastructure, manage events and alarms as you please (aggregation, alarm suppressing, thresholds, rules, etc.), manage configurations for network devices (depends on the management capabilities of the device), monitor SLAs and other great stuff like these.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're a CA Partner.
ITCS user
Consultant at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
A Complete Network Management Product that will answer most of the network related requirements of any Organisation.

What is most valuable?

There are a number of features that make this product to standout from other competing products:

  • Easy implementation with scalable architecture
  • Seamless HA capabilities with no issues
  • Integrations with other products including both north/south bound capabilities
  • NCM - Network Configuration Manager for Device level configurations
  • Expert CA support for the product.

How has it helped my organization?

In our environment, I have implemented CA Spectrum in HA. There is also Spectrum SOI integration for alert forwarding. We have created global collections to group the infrastructure with policies applied as per requirement. Also the SANM (Spectrum Alarm Notification Manager) has proven to be very useful for managing critical devices and immediate action to be taken with email notification etc.

What needs improvement?

The only area which I found that can be improved is that sometimes issues come up with alert clearing i.e. alerts don't clear when triggered and clear events occur too fast. CA should come up with ways where the alert is not valid, Spectrum should be able to re-verify and take action accordingly.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using CA Spectrum for more than four years now. These four years include:

  • Implementation of the solution in production environments
  • Setting up of failover (High Availability)
  • Integrations with other CA products like CA BOXI (for reporting), CA Service Desk (for ticketing), and CA SOI integration through connectors

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues with deployment.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Never faced any issues with scalability. As the network infrastructure grows, to add new Spectrum servers is very straight forward with almost zero defects in existing architecture.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

With expert CA Support, issues with the product can have a quick resolution so 4.5/5.

Technical Support:

CA Spectrum is one of the products from CA which has great technical expertise to support it.

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

I have been working on Spectrum from day one but I have experience with other similar products. I found Spectrum as being a complete network management solution with a great user friendly GUI.

How was the initial setup?

The best feature of this product is the simplicity of its architecture, which, once understood, makes the implementation very easy. I have never ever faced any issues with the initial setup.

What about the implementation team?

I have implemented the complete initial setup myself. I have also done implementation with failover (High Availability) and integrations with other EMS products.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There are other similar products from IT majors IBM, and HP but we found Spectrum to be the most suitable for all of the major requirements of my organisation.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend going ahead with the product. It will able to answer most of the network management related requirements of any organisation.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Performance & Capacity Analyst with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
You can find exactly where the bottlenecks lie, but decommissioned servers show up in the availability and outage reports.

What is most valuable?

Availability and outages reporting is valuable.

How has it helped my organization?

It gives an depth report of availability and outages, and by using it you can further analyze and find exactly where the bottlenecks lie.

What needs improvement?

A lot. Decommissioned servers availability and outages keep showing and that is annoying because it's ultimately contributing to the final availability (actual) which it should not.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for two and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: I've never had to use it.…

What is most valuable?

Availability and outages reporting is valuable.

How has it helped my organization?

It gives an depth report of availability and outages, and by using it you can further analyze and find exactly where the bottlenecks lie.

What needs improvement?

A lot. Decommissioned servers availability and outages keep showing and that is annoying because it's ultimately contributing to the final availability (actual) which it should not.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for two and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I've never had to use it.

Technical Support:

I've never had to use it.

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

I didn't use a previous solution.

How was the initial setup?

It's a bit complex.

What was our ROI?

55%-75%.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No other options were evaluated.

What other advice do I have?

It's not the best product for availability and outages reporting.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Network Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The application is not well written but the WAN modeling is a valuable feature.

What is most valuable?

  • Alerting via SNMP traps
  • Inventory
  • WAN modeling
  • Serial numbers, etc.

How has it helped my organization?

Before this product we used a simple product that just used ping to verify devices were up.

What needs improvement?

  • MIB database needs to be more up to date
  • The software needs to be more tunable
  • CA has a one size fits all model
  • The application is not well written. You could throw 10 CPU’s and 20 Gig of memory at a database server and it will only use so much. This is running on Windows 2003 Server 64-bit and the CA Spectrum application is supposedly a true 64 bit application

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for 10 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Yes, in a large environment working with CA engineers we ended up doing it three times. They had a different vision of how it should be done.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In the beginning very much so, we are now at a point where it’s pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales, but each time you up scale it, more or less, you need to rebuild it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

It's poor.

Technical Support:

It's poor.

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

The previous product did not scale and it was very basic. If you need enterprise network and server monitoring & alerting there are very few options out there.

How was the initial setup?

It's complex for an enterprise. For example, we have three database servers and one web server for our environment.

What about the implementation team?

CA support sent a field engineer out for the initial installation, and then a different one to fix it because it kept crashing,

What other advice do I have?

This product requires, in larger environments, one full time employee dedicated to it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user216501
Associate Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Multiple issues were encountered with the deployment but the NCM backup is a valuable feature.

What is most valuable?

NCM backup Ease of going through the event history

How has it helped my organization?

The product was underdeveloped at our organisation for various reasons, so I am unable to comment.

What needs improvement?

Mainly testing on CA's side!

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for 18 months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Yes, multiple issues were encountered. Most were related to the lack of testing and inadequate documentation.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes, IM was very shaky and it seemed like CA were throwing hotfixes at us to fend us off until the next release.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues were encountered.

How are customer service

What is most valuable?

  • NCM backup
  • Ease of going through the event history

How has it helped my organization?

The product was underdeveloped at our organisation for various reasons, so I am unable to comment.

What needs improvement?

Mainly testing on CA's side!

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for 18 months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Yes, multiple issues were encountered. Most were related to the lack of testing and inadequate documentation.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes, IM was very shaky and it seemed like CA were throwing hotfixes at us to fend us off until the next release.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues were encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

5/10.

Technical Support:

8/10 but 10/10 when they were pushed.

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

Yes, we used Nagios, and SCOM. It not my decision to switch and I don't know why.

How was the initial setup?

You either know how to deploy such a system or you don't. the manuals were 5/10.

What about the implementation team?

We used an in-house team.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated HP Openview.

What other advice do I have?

Spectrum is designed for large infrastructures, anything less than 4000 devices and it is probably a waste of money

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user217680
Information Security Manager at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
It has the ability to discover your environment and devices easily, however, the ability to import new MIBs needs to be improved.

What is most valuable?

  • The ease of discovery of managed devices into the tool set
  • The ease of placement of managed devices into the tool set
  • The integration with CA Service Desk
  • Email integration

How has it helped my organization?

Since Spectrum is integrated with our Service Desk, implementation alerts generate a USD request which then fire off notifications to the responsible engineers.

What needs improvement?

The ability to import new MIBs and manage new devices.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for nine years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Only if the server that hosts the application is restarted without bringing down Spectrum. If this occurs it corrupts the database and has to be restored from the backup.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

8/10.

Technical Support:

8/10.

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

Yes, we used TNG, which was impossible to manage.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward. It has the ability to discover your environment and devices easily.

What about the implementation team?

We used a combination of an in-house team and a vendor team. The expertise of the vendor team was good.

What other advice do I have?

For network management, this application is by far the best.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user205827
Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
We have never faced any issues but it took a while to understand the product

What is most valuable?

The one-click console.

How has it helped my organization?

We use this as part of our infrastructure monitoring and it's done through a console. With the timely alerts that our MTTR reduced, we could determine the impact of the outage as well as the root cause of the issue.

What needs improvement?

It took a while to understand the product, but once we went hands on, it's great to work with. I have previously used Tivoli Enterprise console which doesn’t need any expertise and is easy to learn.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have never seen an outage of the tool.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

My organization is rapidly growing with servers being added to the data center and we have never faced any issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never used customer service.

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

Using the tool comes as part of my job because my company uses CA Spectrum for their infrastructure monitoring. Previously, I have used Tivoli Console.

How was the initial setup?

Setup was very straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

It was done in-house.

What was our ROI?

I have used the product to monitor our company’s infrastructure.

What other advice do I have?

I would strongly recommend it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user202602
Network Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
It has a simple GUI but occasionally it looks like your infrastructure has gone dark.

Valuable Features

The ability to monitor your WAN and LAN infrastructure in a simple GUI.

Improvements to My Organization

We keep this product up and monitoring 24x7 for fast and simple availability.

Room for Improvement

Really unsure of any, quite pleased with product.

Use of Solution

Going on two years.

Stability Issues

There are a very few occasions when the system "barfs" and it looks like your infrastructure has gone dark, but it bounces back quickly (the system).

Scalability Issues

None so far. We are one of the largest networks in America and it hasn't so far.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service: 8/10. Technical Support: 9/10.

Implementation Team

I believe it was done in-house.

ROI

Not sure of the exact number, but our clients…

Valuable Features

The ability to monitor your WAN and LAN infrastructure in a simple GUI.

Improvements to My Organization

We keep this product up and monitoring 24x7 for fast and simple availability.

Room for Improvement

Really unsure of any, quite pleased with product.

Use of Solution

Going on two years.

Stability Issues

There are a very few occasions when the system "barfs" and it looks like your infrastructure has gone dark, but it bounces back quickly (the system).

Scalability Issues

None so far. We are one of the largest networks in America and it hasn't so far.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

8/10.

Technical Support:

9/10.

Implementation Team

I believe it was done in-house.

ROI

Not sure of the exact number, but our clients charge $50,000 a minute so every second counts.

Other Advice

This is a good product, just be sure to train the ones who are setting it up because this is based on manual data entry and/or SNMP.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user201033
CA Management Consultant at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Centralized console to manage network and systems. We had minor stability issues which CA fixed.

What is most valuable?

IT Infrastructure Monitoring Fault Management Topology Views

How has it helped my organization?

Clear picture of all network and server pictures Centralized console to manage network and systems All backup for router configurations

What needs improvement?

Network Servers

For how long have I used the solution?

For eight years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Just minor but CA provided support to resolve the issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: 10/10. Technical Support: 10/10.

Which solution did I use previously and why

What is most valuable?

  • IT Infrastructure Monitoring
  • Fault Management
  • Topology Views

How has it helped my organization?

  • Clear picture of all network and server pictures
  • Centralized console to manage network and systems
  • All backup for router configurations

What needs improvement?

  • Network
  • Servers

For how long have I used the solution?

For eight years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Just minor but CA provided support to resolve the issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

10/10.

Technical Support:

10/10.

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

We didn't use a previous solution.

How was the initial setup?

It's straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We used both an in-house team and a vendor.

What was our ROI?

10/10.

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

Just day to day operations.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, we also looked at HP OpenView, SolarWinds, and ManageEngine.

What other advice do I have?

This product is for all network and systems monitoring.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are Solution Partners
it_user202551
IT Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Few issues with stability. Overall it's very stable and effective.

What is most valuable?

It is an excellent product. It is probably one of the best we have seen in terms of being able to do mass configurations in the network.

How has it helped my organization?

Timing is always important when a network loses connectivity. It has allowed minimal downtime with the ease of being able to quickly isolate and resolve any outages.

What needs improvement?

I really can't say there are any at this time. We are happy with the product.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used this product for seven years. We were looking for a tool that could both monitor and provide additional tools for configuration updates.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Deployment was not an issue. Support was fairly good.

What do I think

What is most valuable?

It is an excellent product. It is probably one of the best we have seen in terms of being able to do mass configurations in the network.

How has it helped my organization?

Timing is always important when a network loses connectivity. It has allowed minimal downtime with the ease of being able to quickly isolate and resolve any outages.

What needs improvement?

I really can't say there are any at this time. We are happy with the product.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used this product for seven years. We were looking for a tool that could both monitor and provide additional tools for configuration updates.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Deployment was not an issue. Support was fairly good.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been few issues with stability and overall it's very stable and effective.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are not a large corporation. Yet the product was able to scale very well.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

The customer service was quick in response and thorough. No complaints.

Technical Support:

9/10.

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

No previous solution used.

How was the initial setup?

Creating the infrastructure did not prove extremely difficult. It was organized and detailed. It fully represented out network on all levels.

What other advice do I have?

Definitely recommend it. It's a good investment.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user198924
Engineer at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The tool fails to launch sometimes but we can act immediately on alarms.

What is most valuable?

Alarm Monitoring

How has it helped my organization?

It was used as a tool to observe critical alarms on network nodes and act immediately.

What needs improvement?

The tool fails to launch sometimes, and this was a frequent occurrence.

For how long have I used the solution?

Seven months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Latency in access at times.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Never attempted scaling.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: 6/10. Technical Support: 7/10.

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

No I haven't.

How was the initial setup?

What is most valuable?

Alarm Monitoring

How has it helped my organization?

It was used as a tool to observe critical alarms on network nodes and act immediately.

What needs improvement?

The tool fails to launch sometimes, and this was a frequent occurrence.

For how long have I used the solution?

Seven months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Latency in access at times.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Never attempted scaling.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

6/10.

Technical Support:

7/10.

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

No I haven't.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward setup.

What about the implementation team?

We used a vendor team.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Not many others.

What other advice do I have?

We also use CA eHealth tool.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Andy Quaeyhaegens
Security Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It is invaluable in fault resolution but the topology features need improvement.

Valuable Features

Scalability Customizability

Improvements to My Organization

Automatic alerting Integration with incident systems Integration with reporting tool eHealth

Room for Improvement

Topology features need improvement, namely - Weight of links Less critical links High critical links weighing

Use of Solution

I used it for seven years, but not for the last nine months.

Deployment Issues

There were some issues with deployment.

Stability Issues

Sometimes a restart of the Tomcat Daemon was required, and sometimes the archive manager ran out of resources.

Scalability Issues

No issues with scalability.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service: We used the mailing list as a support forum - which was very alive with skilled professionals…

Valuable Features

  • Scalability
  • Customizability

Improvements to My Organization

  • Automatic alerting
  • Integration with incident systems
  • Integration with reporting tool eHealth

Room for Improvement

Topology features need improvement, namely -

  • Weight of links
  • Less critical links
  • High critical links weighing

Use of Solution

I used it for seven years, but not for the last nine months.

Deployment Issues

There were some issues with deployment.

Stability Issues

Sometimes a restart of the Tomcat Daemon was required, and sometimes the archive manager ran out of resources.

Scalability Issues

No issues with scalability.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

We used the mailing list as a support forum - which was very alive with skilled professionals and their invaluable experience.

Technical Support:

We did not consult them, as we used the forum.

Initial Setup

It's straightforward - install, and run.

Implementation Team

We implemented it in-house.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

I can only say that we had three engineers working full time on the system.

Other Solutions Considered

Smarts was a challenger.

Other Advice

It will aid in troubleshooting and daily operations, and is invaluable in fault resolution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user198879
Network/System Engineer TL at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
It needed an old version of Java for deployment but its a stable product.

What is most valuable?

Reliability Stability These are valuable because of the integration with CA Service Desk and the application of incident and event management in our environment.

How has it helped my organization?

Reports and alerts give us the correct KPIs.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for five years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

It has a limitation in that it needed an old version of Java.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: 7/10. Technical Support: 7/10.

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

What is most valuable?

  • Reliability
  • Stability

These are valuable because of the integration with CA Service Desk and the application of incident and event management in our environment.

How has it helped my organization?

Reports and alerts give us the correct KPIs.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for five years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

It has a limitation in that it needed an old version of Java.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

7/10.

Technical Support:

7/10.

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

Yes and I switched to this product as its visualization is better.

How was the initial setup?

Utilizing all the needed features for our environment made our initial configuration complex.

What about the implementation team?

We used a vendor team who were OK.

What was our ROI?

It is a good percentage.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes we also looked at Microsoft SCOM.

What other advice do I have?

Try to utilize it well.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user204822
System Administrator at a government with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
I used to use it but switched to Nimsoft for server monitoring. The network admins still uses Spectrum.

Valuable Features

I used to use it for the server but switched to Nimsoft because it's much better for servers.

Room for Improvement

It's deployment tool is horrible.

Use of Solution

2 years

Deployment Issues

Yes, there are issues - detecting servers is impossible.

Stability Issues

We've had stability issues with the database and clients not working.

Scalability Issues

Not that I've experienced.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service: 7 out of 10 Technical Support: 7 out of 10

Implementation Team

We used an external vendor team.

Other Advice

I switched from Spectrum to Nimsoft because it's a better product for me. The network admin still uses Spectrum.

Valuable Features

I used to use it for the server but switched to Nimsoft because it's much better for servers.

Room for Improvement

It's deployment tool is horrible.

Use of Solution

2 years

Deployment Issues

Yes, there are issues - detecting servers is impossible.

Stability Issues

We've had stability issues with the database and clients not working.

Scalability Issues

Not that I've experienced.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

7 out of 10

Technical Support:

7 out of 10

Implementation Team

We used an external vendor team.

Other Advice

I switched from Spectrum to Nimsoft because it's a better product for me. The network admin still uses Spectrum.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Technical Analyst at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Code is very complex but overall the solution is easy to use.

What is most valuable?

Functionality of the tool is awesome and it is easy for customers to use. It is a very good solution for monitoring network and servers of the organizations.

How has it helped my organization?

0% outage and I have a detailed view of root cause analysis for any unavailability of the servers/network/applications.

What needs improvement?

Code is very complex.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using CA eHealth, Spectrum, SOI, EEM, Nimsoft, and ITCM, for six and a half years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Yes sometimes we have issues, but with the help of CA E2 level engineers, we get fixes for bugs that are encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

The best, 10/10.

Technical Support:

The best, 10/10.

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

We used to have Nagios, OpenNMS, etc. but they are not very efficient monitoring tools when compared with Spectrum and eHealth.

How was the initial setup?

Not complex. CA technical guys were there to help if there were any issues and technical documentation at support.ca.com helps a lot.

What about the implementation team?

We used a vendor whose expertise was 8/10.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend CA tools for monitoring the entire infrastructure in an organization.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Network Support Analyst with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Good overall network views, but overly complicated to configure

Valuable Features

Overall network topology views. Device connection status. Alerting on multiple provider devices.

Improvements to My Organization

CA Spectrum enables us to have an overall view of the state of our network. We are able to view device health and be notified of issues prior to the user reporting a fault.

Room for Improvement

There appears to be no intelligence within Spectrum itself, for example if we were to move a network device to a different switch port, it will see the neighbor as being available, but the link / switch port as down. Configuration of new events and alerts is overly complex.

Use of Solution

4-5 years

Deployment Issues

I did not deploy this product.

Stability Issues

We have a memory leak on one of our landscapes.

Scalability Issues

No

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service: GoodTechnical Support: Average
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Consultant at a tech consulting company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Very powerful but requires expertise and training to use and customize.
We use it, it is very powerful but requires expertise and training to use and customize.

We use it, it is very powerful but requires expertise and training to use and customize.

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