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Justin Lowery
Front-end Architect at Rack Room Shoes
Real User
Top 10
We utilize User Sessions Query Language in combination with Session Replay to gauge the impact of a problem

Pros and Cons

  • "The User Sessions Query language has definitely been the most helpful with its key user actions and user session properties. Using those together, that has completely transformed how we're able to identify customers and their problems on our site. It has made a very big impact over the year."
  • "We ran into a problem where the Dynatrace JavaScript agent is returning errors, and it's very apparent that there's a problem. However, the customer support will ask us for seemingly unnecessary details instead of looking at our dashboard through their account to see what the problem is. They ask us for a lot of details not really related to solving the problem. As a result, we still have a few issues that were never resolved. They're not major issues, but they're kind of frustrating."

What is our primary use case?

We have several uses for Dynatrace. Most of the time, we use Dynatrace for looking into potential site problems, investigating reported issues, and trying to replicate those problems in a test environment using the information provided by Dynatrace. 

We use Dynatrace for performance monitoring. Quarterly, we will specifically see if there's anything that we can optimize on the front-end of our website, so that's what you see and interact with on the web page. 

We also use it to get ahead of any potential problems in our stack. E.g., if Dynatrace is indicating a problem, we will look into it and determine if it's affecting users. Depending on its impact, and usually if it's impacting customers, we can use that information to decide on what we need to work on next to benefit the customer experience.

I use the tool as more of an analyst. I will use Dynatrace to show where systems need to be fixed, etc.

This solution is SaaS. We use Google Cloud Platform, where we just use their compute engines as far as our hosts. We also have a few services that are on-prem. Dynatrace works fine with both of them. 

How has it helped my organization?

The solution helps our DevOps to focus on continuous delivery and shift quality issues to pre-production. We recently got a staging environment implemented with Dynatrace. We are mainly using it for load testing at the moment. Dynatrace has been detecting failures, letting us know immediately what types of failures are occurring so we can catch them before releases. Our developers have been able to identify bottlenecks and other types of problems that they would not have been able to before by just using standard logging and analytics tools.

The solution give us 360-degree visibility of the user experience across channels, which is a great benefit. We're in eCommerce as a retailer. We are selling across multiple channels and platforms. We have a mobile app and a website. We even have other services which we may instrument with Dynatrace in the future. As far as our website and mobile app that we have instrumented with Dynatrace, it has all been very positive. 

The solution has decreased our time to market with new innovations/capabilities because we have been able to quickly identify areas that we can improve for new features and gather that data from Dynatrace. Then, we have been able to verify that our new features and releases are working as expected.

What is most valuable?

The User Sessions Query language has definitely been the most helpful with its key user actions and user session properties. Using those together, that has completely transformed how we're able to identify customers and their problems on our site. It has made a very big impact over the year.

Using synthetic monitors, we monitor our websites. We have two main domains. There are several plain HTTP monitors, then there are actual browser based monitors that emulate browser behavior. We use both of those types. We have several mobile browsers emulated under synthetic monitors that we use. Those ping our website every 15 minutes. On some of these synthetic monitors, we use multiple data centers to get an idea of geographic availability. We also monitor some of our third-party providers using our synthetic monitors. We monitor our customer support live chat server, which is hosted by a third-party, where we are given alerts if that system were to go down. We are also monitoring an email capture API that's a part of our website.

With user session queries, the main thing that we use that for (and the most valuable), is when we get a problem. If we get some type of a report, obscure problem, or Dynatrace reports a problem, we go straight to using the User Sessions Query Language to find sessions with Session Replay, then we replay those sessions to figure out exactly what the customer did and what conditions may have caused the problem to gauge the impact of the problem itself.

We also save user sessions queries into dashboards, then create different dashboards based on different projects to try and gather data. E.g., last year, we redid a part of our website and used Dynatrace sessions queries and Session Replays to verify that our customers were not having any problems or being confused by their experience. We wanted to verify that, which is one way that we've used the User Sessions Query Language along with the dashboards. We've also created some other dashboards that return custom metrics for us, which goes along, in some cases, with user session properties and user action properties. In that way, we're able to get a very granular look at certain statistics where it would be more difficult to get those numbers from our traditional analytics suite. 

What needs improvement?

The solution’s ability to assess the severity of anomalies based on the actual impact to users and business KPIs is a bit off. I have found that even though Dynatrace detects a problem and gives you a count and estimate of impacted users, this number is usually much higher than is actually the case and not fully accurate. E.g., I recently noticed an error. Every time someone would experience this error, Dynatrace would create a new problem and it would say, "Several hundred people were impacted." However, using Dynatrace's own tools (user Session Replay), then going back and actually tracing through these requests, we found much fewer people were actually impacted. In some sessions that Dynatrace said were impacted, when you view the Session Replay videos, you could see that the customer was not impacted in any meaningful way.

The solution’s ability to visualize, understand our infrastructure, and to do triage is helpful. I wish that you could do user session queries with those host level metrics and be able to create custom graphs the same way you could with user session data. They're both part of Dynatrace, but they don't feel like they're integrated together well. E.g., we're having an issue that has to do with just HTTP codes and we would like to marry that up with a user session query turning that into a dashboard. We can't currently do that because the User Sessions Query Language does not have access to the HTTP errors or HTTP status code data that is part of the hosts and infrastructure package. Otherwise, if you're just focusing on the infrastructure part it, I think it does a good job.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Dynatrace since February 2019.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have noticed a few times where data collection did get interrupted. It was two or three times within the past year. Obviously, it's our monitoring system and we don't want that to go down at all. However, three times for no more than 30 minutes each time is pretty good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability has been able to meet all of our needs. We have not encountered any limitations when scaling Dynatrace with the Google Cloud Platform.

In the past 365 days, we have two websites that we monitor with Dynatrace, including mobile apps. We've recorded over 23 million sessions for Rack Room Shoes and 8.1 million sessions for Off Broadway Shoes. 

There are three users who are active users of Dynatrace:

  1. The user experience architect, who is designing new interactive features and studying customer behavior
  2. The product owner, whose focus when using Dynatrace is on the metrics, dashboards, and the user experience as far as using user sessions, queries and Session Replay. They may troubleshoot or look into problems as well.
  3. The back-end architect, who looks into certain problems and figures out with Dynatrace where they're coming from. They use information from Dynatrace for writing more detailed support tickets.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have noticed a few problems with the service before. I reached out to support and the system did appear to resolve itself on its own (after there was a problem). Then, the support staff couldn't see any further issues. The solution’s self-healing functionality works.

We ran into a problem where the Dynatrace JavaScript agent is returning errors, and it's very apparent that there's a problem. However, the customer support will ask us for seemingly unnecessary details instead of looking at our dashboard through their account to see what the problem is. They ask us for a lot of details not really related to solving the problem. As a result, we still have a few issues that were never resolved. They're not major issues, but they're frustrating.

The technical support is below average. They've solved some of the problems that we had, but it took several weeks to resolve almost each problem we had when they probably should have been fixed within a day or two.

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

There was an initial implementation of AppMon (another Dynatrace offering) before the current Dynatrace SaaS offering.

Dynatrace has definitely made an impact. We were never able to get granular data with any of our other solutions. They were all very disconnected and separate, whereas Dynatrace seems to have good integrations with our entire stack. There haven't been any problems getting additional data now that we have Dynatrace,

How was the initial setup?

It is very easy to use and set up. It did take some customization to get it working for our sites, but after that, it's been pretty easy and straightforward.

The initial setup is complicated, but it's much less complicated than similar systems that I have used in the past. For Dynatrace's setup, maybe there were problems with how our web application was initially developed before I joined Rack Room, because there were a lot of features related to error reporting. It would report errors for things that weren't actual problems, etc. You have to configure it to get around those types of problems, but it's usually fine afterwards.

Over the past year, we've been tweaking Dynatrace. It's been a slow phase-in rollout as far as how much we rely on the data it's giving us back. 

What about the implementation team?

I was involved in the initial implementation.

What was our ROI?

The solution has decreased our mean time to identification by about three days.

The solution decreased our mean time to repair by around a week.

There has been a huge increase in uptime. It's hard to say by how much for certain because we've made other development practice changes.

What other advice do I have?

It is a great platform. We found a lot of value in setting up user session properties and user action properties, then being able to use them to identify individual problems/customers. We use that to sort of streamline the whole process of finding and fixing problems.

Biggest lesson learnt: Customers do not always behave as expected.

I would rate Dynatrace as an eight (out of 10).

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Google
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.
JB
Software Developer at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Easy to manage with nice dashboard but has a steep learning curve

Pros and Cons

  • "Technical support has always been quick to respond."
  • "Due to the fact that you doing a lot, you have a problem with the learning curve. We're really looking for ways to make this product more accessible."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is primarily used for user happiness monitoring. Basically, we look at how well we'll use it to run some arbitrary metrics over the website's behavior. I'm trying to understand how the user experience is going. Therefore, we're doing user experience monitoring. We're also using it for monitoring and listening, where we fire off specific test cases against that site with it. 

Typically, it does quite a lot. We can also do health monitoring of the actual service hosts, and servers, and dependencies.

Dynatrace provides us with the ability to actually map out the whole ecosystem and our websites and services that exist within it. You have that whole picture even though it's now a distributed network of products and things. We use Dynatrace to just monitor the health of that ecosystem and manage, and identify where the dependencies are. In doing that, we can also look at hotspot monitoring, so that we can determine bottlenecks within our system. We can use it to follow metrics to help us figure out how fast things should occur, to identify slowdowns of speed - or potential slowdowns - which can cause us to have those little mysterious bugs where suddenly the user experience drops out because something three or four levels down is not behaving itself.

Basically, it's a lot of use cases based on the user experience. There's lots of user monitoring. Lots of looking at where they're entering the sites from, where they're exiting the sites from. The behaviors can sometimes help us detect failures in our overall user experience. It's a lot of user experience management that's assisted via AI. We can use AI to develop, identify, establish, buy, and build trends so that we can look forward to purchasing requirements. Ideally, the AI will make it that we can identify where the system is going to fail in the future. We're still working on that side of things, but we're getting there.

What is most valuable?

The ability to play back individual user sessions is very helpful. I can look at what people actually do when they interact with our product when I use that website.

The solution has a lot of use cases based around the user experience that helps us make a better product.

The AI is great. In the future, we hope it will help us predict problems before they arise.

They provide a lot of quite useful training equipment for training materials for it. 

The initial setup is pretty straightforward.

The solution is very easy to manage.

You can set access fairly easily so users can see only parts that are relevant to their roles.

The solution is quite stable.

The product scales well.

Technical support has always been quick to respond. 

It does do nice dashboards.

What needs improvement?

Due to the fact that you doing a lot, you have a problem with the learning curve. We're really looking for ways to make this product more accessible. That comes back to training and also having the information within the system presented well. Right now, quite a lot of time is spent learning the idioms of the system.

That said, they work very hard on taking the edge off it. However, the reality is that it will take time to learn. It does take time to come up to speed with this product. Most of the problems I've had are just a lack of familiarity with the product so far.

I haven't pushed it far enough to discover that my answers are not met by the product fully. I still need time to explore it before giving it a full review. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've personally been using the solution for about seven months or so. It's been less than a year so far.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the product is very good. It's rock-solid. there are no bugs or glitches. We haven't had any issues at all. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale quite well.

Basically, the way it works is you put in it, you put an agent into each of the deployments you're using it to monitor, and then it just gathers data. It doesn't really impact the operations of things. The majority of its work is actually done by the parent in the cloud.

We have one or two administrators and various people in the company have various levels of access. We have quite a fine-grained control over what people can see, however, at the same time, we can provide some useful information to them to know what they need so that they can know what they actually do need to know to do their jobs.

How are customer service and technical support?

We haven't been in touch with technical support lately. However, when we have contacted them in the past, they have been helpful and responsive. We're quite pleased with their capabilities so far. 

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't actually involved in the deployment itself. It was a case of just coming in and seeing it was available for various use cases.

However, looking back, it's a relatively straightforward process. It's often as simple as installing an agent with your deployment, and it takes off from there. My understanding is the deployment was very seamless and quite quick.

There's definitely a maintenance contract with it. It's a case where you subscribe to it, and they provide regular updates. You've actually subscribed to a service and there's regular maintenance happening organically.

What about the implementation team?

We got a lot of support from the vendor. There was a lot of ongoing support from the vendor at that time.

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

The solution is a SaaS. If we were to stop paying the subscription entirely, the service would end shortly afterward, based on the contractual arrangements we have with them. Assuming we were not to renew our contract, the facility would just go away.

I was not a party to the actual license negotiations or costings. I can't fully answer to the exact cost, to any degree of certainty, other than to say it's not a free product. It's a business. I believe that we have been getting value for money. We do have to watch how we use it. We have to watch that the costs are not substantial. We do restrict where it's actually deployed and how it's deployed. That's part of our management strategy and that's kind of informed by a budget. That said, I'm not aware of the actual budget numbers.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

App Dynamics is a product in a similar space. 

It compares well to other instrumentation tools such as Prometheus and Grafana.

What other advice do I have?

We're a customer.

We tend to use the most up-to-date or stable version of the solution. 

I would recommend Dynatrace as an application performance management tool. It does its job quite well. I am able to see a wide range of the application I'm looking at, and what other applications it is interacting with. We do get quite a lot of information, which allows us to better understand what's going on. I would recommend exploring an IPM tool. I haven't used one of the IPM tools yet. 

I'd be interested to see how it handles a security event or security incident and event management. That is a bit of a gap for me at the moment. I'd love to know if it does that. There are other tools available, however, it is kind of nice to be able to sort of stop in one spot.  

I need to learn more about the tool. I was kind of running up against my limitations with the tool, rather than the limitations of the tool itself.

I'd rate it seven out of ten, simply due to the fact that I still need to explore it more. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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RF
Senior Product Manager at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Our performance test teams are more aware of how product features are performing. This helps to prioritize our testing.

Pros and Cons

  • "The user experience allows us to be able to gauge customer experience and understand the performance impact of our platform."
  • "The real-user monitoring is mostly used to gauge the difference in performance for multitenant applications, This is so we can discern if there are any local network or client-facing issues when we do a comparison between each customer. It is quite important for us to be able to identify a client-side issue, as opposed to a feature managed problem, because we're essentially providing managed services of business applications."
  • "Dashboarding and having different templates available for more business reporting, or even other metrics, would be useful."

What is our primary use case?

We are using the solution in the operations space.

Our primary use case is production monitoring of complex business critical systems. Another use case would be performance testing of critical releases.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution uses a single agent for automated deployment and discovery, which helps our operations. It reduces the cost of ownership of managing Dynatrace as a tool set, ensuring that we're able to maximize the value from Dynatrace and monitoring is available. That's a big plus.

An example of how it helps is we are more proactive than we were previously, though we're not quite where we want to be. Engineers are talking more with the operations people, which is closing the loop. Our teams are becoming more customer centric.

The platform is very good at identifying potential issues, but each problem that surfaces in most cases still needs to be qualified and quantified by somebody who understands the system. Complex application problems, not infrastructure, surfaced by Dynatrace still need to be reviewed by somebody who understands the application logic or system architecture. For somebody who understands the platform though, issues can resolved in minutes as opposed to hours.

We have the ability to detect user action response time slow downs and their consequences, along with the back-end calls to third-parties. We are heavily dependent, for a number of products, on back-end service calls to other suppliers. Using Dynatrace, we are able to measure the performance of those third-parties. 

We are also using Dynatrace to right-size the infrastructure, especially on private cloud where we have to provision the resources upfront to save costs. Dynatrace helps us by finding how many resource we are utilizing and identifies how many resources we need to maintain for the level of performance and scalability that's required. This has helped us right-size in about 50 percent of our cases, leading to a reduction in cloud resources by 50 percent.

The solution helps DevOps to focus on continuous delivery and shift quality issues to pre-production. This helps with performance testing because our performance test teams are more aware of how product features are performing, which helps to prioritize our testing. It creates test cases so we're able to do more testing. Because Dynatrace helps us define the cause more quickly, this speeds up the time between test cycles.

What is most valuable?

The end-to-end trace is valuable for us to be able to assign responsibility to the right resolver group very quickly.

The user experience allows us to be able to gauge customer experience and understand the performance impact of our platform.

It has a very nice interface with an easy way to visualize the data that we need, making it quickly accessible. It is very easy to use.

As a platform consolidating tool, it covers 90 percent of the needs for most applications. In that respect, it presents a very high value for us.

We have used synthetic monitoring functionalities to poll. Mostly, it's around service availability and key functionality of a website from different geographic locations. 

The real-user monitoring is mostly used to gauge the difference in performance for multitenant applications, This is so we can discern if there are any local network or client-facing issues when we do a comparison between each customer. It is quite important for us to be able to identify a client-side issue, as opposed to a feature managed problem, because we're essentially providing managed services of business applications.

What needs improvement?

Dashboarding and having different templates available for more business reporting, or even other metrics, would be useful.

With Dynatrace, we use one tool where we would have used many, but we still have had gaps.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has very high availability.

When we started, we were measuring uptime in a different way, and then Dynatrace started measuring uptime based on services, as opposed to infrastructure. Initially, because we started using different metrics for availability, it showed us that we weren't available as much as we thought we were. This helped us to have better conversations with customers and improved availability from the customer perspective over time. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have 115 users, which includes Level 2 and 3 supports, service design, product management, cloud infrastructure management, software developers, software testers, and product architects.

We are only in an early phase at the moment regarding the use of Dynatrace. Currently, we are only using it on two critical platforms. Going forward, we're looking to expand to nine critical platforms.

Our adoption rate across the portfolio is low because we're still in a pilot phase trying to build out our business cases.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is excellent and very fast. Not only do I get a quick response, but they're also able to close the request off very quickly and satisfactorily with a fix.

Some of the feedback I get from our team, who are familiar with other tools: "Compared with other tools, Dynatrace support is excellent." 

How was the initial setup?

The feedback that I get from people is that the initial setup was very straightforward and easy. It was amazing what information we got in such little time after deploying the agent.

In most cases, the deployment is quick. It takes a couple of hours.

For high-risk applications, which are business critical or high complexity, we would deploy Dynatrace. For medium-risk applications, we would consider using Dynatrace. It comes down to cost qualification for medium-risk applications.

What was our ROI?

The solution has decreased our mean time to identification. It has saved us from 10 minutes to a couple of hours.

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

Consider volume because that is where you will get the most benefit. Doing a point solution is not cost-effective.

There are additional Professional Services costs which ensure the solution is configured with meaningful names so you're getting the most money for your investment.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

It is the easiest platform to manage in comparison to the competition, like Elastic Stack, New Relic, AppDynamic, Nagios, or Prometheus.

What other advice do I have?

Without a doubt, I'd recommend Dynatrace for business critical applications and anything that's driving revenue.

Biggest lesson learnt: To recognize the most value from the information that Dynatrace provides, you need to make it available to everybody in the DevOps group. There is a wealth of data which can be exposed, manipulated, and consumed by other systems, not just what's visible in Dynatrace. This can also be used for inputs into other upstream platforms.  

Understand the demands within your environment and plan a pipeline, then discuss with Dynatrace. 

We're aware that there are use cases for notifications that can be used for triggering self-healing or autoscaling, but we are not using those yet.

I would rate this solution as a nine (out of 10).

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.
Michael Akers
Monitoring Services Manager at Vitality Corporate Services Limited
Real User
Top 10
Any incident or alert raised from it automatically goes into our ITSM tool

Pros and Cons

  • "We use the Dynatrace AI to assess impact. Because it links to real users, it is generally pretty correct in terms of when it raises an incident. We determine the severity by how many users it is affecting, then we use it as business justification to put a priority on that alert."
  • "I would like a testing module focused on quality gates."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for infrastructure monitoring and real user monitoring on our website, i.e., monitoring how users interact with our website and digital experience. We use it to track if our website is up using synthetic monitoring, which we use for our website and mobile app. We use Dynatrace to track complete observability through our infrastructure to our digital apps. 

How has it helped my organization?

We are able to share information easier and improve user experience.

When a ticket is logged in Dynatrace, it automatically goes to the correct support team. There is no manual intervention, which saves time. We are saving probably $30,000 to $40,000 annually because we are not employing several people to do this work.

Dynatrace’s ability to help us visualize and understand our infrastructure, and to do triage, is very good. It provides a Smartscape view, which gives us an overall view of the topology. When a problem is raised, it draws out where the issue lies and also suggests the solution. This brings down mean time to restore very quickly, helping the resolution.

The fact that the solution is a unified platform has very much changed the way our teams work and collaborate. It brings teams together, because they are able to screen share, especially during COVID. Then, we are able to talk about the exact same thing.

The automated discovery and analysis help us to proactively troubleshoot production and pinpoint the underlying root cause. If we are seeing error messages in our website for users who are seeing an error page, then we are able to go into the user's session, look at PurePath and the code, and see the reason why this is occurring in the back-end code.

If a user experiences an issue on their mobile, e.g., where they can't generate a ticket nor generate a benefit from our application, then it will automatically log a ticket. That will then feed into a database where the customer is contacted proactively.

Dynatrace uses a single agent for automated deployment and discovery. This helps our operations because we can bake that into an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) and roll it out.

The solution gives us 360-degree visibility of the user experience across channels. This is important in our environment. This helps us meet business goals because we are able to interact and serve as many teams. So, product managers and project managers are able to give metrics or data feedback to any team suitable from a developer to the C-level.

What is most valuable?

The key feature that stands out is being able to track real users within our website. We can feed this back to the developers and project teams, shaping what we develop next. This allows us to be proactive.

The AI capabilities are very good. This allows us to automate what we call AIOps. Any incident or alert raised from Dynatrace automatically goes into our ITSM tool. This saves a lot of money, probably $30,000 to $40,000 a year.

We have the Kubernetes module enabled. We can track pods, namespaces, and the performance of them. Dynatrace's functionality in this area is very impressive. It allows us to see the pure topology of our infrastructure and how the microservices interact. It also gives us a one-stop shop for checking the health of Kubernetes.

We offer Dynatrace as a service. Anyone in the business can use it. So, management is pretty easy.

We use the Dynatrace AI to assess impact. Because it links to real users, it is generally pretty correct in terms of when it raises an incident. We determine the severity by how many users it is affecting, then we use it as business justification to put a priority on that alert.

We use the solution’s real user monitoring, Session Replay, and synthetic monitoring functionalities. We use synthetic monitoring for reporting to get a definitive answer if anything is up or down. We will use sessions to check the health of our website and measure user experience. We also use it for feedback on a release and how it is affecting our end users. We use Session Replay to investigate issues that our users are experiencing.

What needs improvement?

I would like a testing module focused on quality gates.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Dynatrace for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very impressive. We haven't had any downtime.

No maintenance is required because it is a SaaS solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Because it is an automated deployment, you can scale it up quite easily.

We have scaled the solution to AWS. We have not encountered any limitations in scaling to this cloud-native environment.

There are maybe more than 100 people working on Dynatrace: product managers, project managers, architects, developers, C-level, IT operations, service delivery managers, service managers, and testing.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good. They are always there and able to answer any query.

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

We previously used AppMon.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. You just install it, then automatically put it on. We did this in one big bang overnight, taking probably five hours.

What about the implementation team?

We deployed it data center by data center. We grouped the application service together, then we had an offshore team sign off the health of the service before we went live. We also did a thorough testing strategy two weeks beforehand. So, we installed it on all test services and made sure there weren't any negative impacts by installing the agent.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI through the cost savings of manual work. Automation saves a lot of time.

As a result of the automated discovery and analysis, 60% to 70% of our manual work has been automated.

Dynatrace helps DevOps to focus on continuous delivery and shift quality issues to pre-production. This frees up time for developers and also provides constant feedback for continuous improvement.

The solution has decreased both our mean time to identification and mean time to repair by about 70%.

We have used Dynatrace to identify problems and trends. Identifying problems and trends has allowed us to fix underlying problems, which then leads to more uptime.

Dynatrace has decreased our time to market with new innovations/capabilities by about 50%.

It has saved us money through the consolidation of tools.

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

The pricing and licensing are fairly competitive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also briefly looked at AppDynamics. We decided on Dynatrace because of PurePaths, which provides the code that goes between applications and the service. This has provided overall observability.

What other advice do I have?

You need to plan how it will be consumed within the company and assign a product owner to make sure uptake is there.

We have 100% adoption. Everyone who needs to use it, uses it.

I would rate Dynatrace as a nine out of 10. 

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.
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HG
Gerente de Operaciones at a consultancy with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 10
An easy initial setup with good AI and good stability

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup is easy."
  • "Pretty much every month there are new features. However, its information on those new features is scarce."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution to monitor performance and point our issues in the user experience of applications - specifically mobile applications. We are able to more clearly identify problems.

How has it helped my organization?

We have a workflow in which we use Dynatrace with the developer and QA. We can test the application with load testing, duration testing, and then identify the applications ready for production. Sometimes, due to the findings, we have to go back to developing. Dynatrace it's really useful in that case due to the fact that we are able to avoid releasing a product that is not ready yet to go public.

What is most valuable?

The AI on the solution is excellent. The product can be used to identify situations or elaborate on some problems and find the root cause of issues and how they impact applications.

The initial setup is easy.

What needs improvement?

The solution needs better integration with networking appliances such as rotors, switches, and firewalls. It needs to work better with SNMP protocols and the like.

Dynatrace should put a little bit of effort into releasing documentation. They have a lot of new features that come out regularly. Pretty much every month there are new features. However, its information on those new features is scarce. Sometimes there's technical implementation information, however, it's really small. There needs to more information in order for the documentation to be useful. Some users are not that technical and need a little more help to understand the new features.

They should automate some settings. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for eight years at this point. It's been a while.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is really good. I don't find it cumbersome and I haven't had any issues with it. There aren't bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is really good. We were able to migrate to the new version almost seamlessly. We can use other functions or features of the software. It's really easy to add up and keep seeing different options and features. 

We work with some companies that are quite sizable. We work with companies that are in the food industry as well as three of the largest national banks. We also work with smaller companies as well. The solution can work for a company or pretty much any size. We alone have 30 or more clients that include companies of every size.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been really good. Truthfully, we seldom use it. However, when we use it, it's fast. It's accurate and they are really good. They know their stuff. We're satisfied with the level of service provided to us.

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

We've had clients that have used other solutions in the past. Some of them used to use SolarWinds. Some of them have App Dynamics. There are others as well, including some software that isn't well known. Many use open-source tools and Dynatrace. 

The main difference and the main role of Dynatrace is the AI. No other vendors have AI integrated. Many also do not have such a simplistic installation. The automation of Dynatrace is great as well. You don't have to go to the application and modify it in a file, for example. However, Dynatrace can be a bit more expensive than other options.

How was the initial setup?

We've found the initial setup to be quite straightforward. It's really easy. A company shouldn't have issues with implementing or deploying it.

Basically, we just have to assemble an environment, a QA or the development environment of a specific application. It usually takes two or three hours just to set up everything and keep it running.

We use about five to 10 users for an installation. Usually the IT Manager and the DBA security managers and also developers. We even have some product and marketing managers. They use it to identify users.

What about the implementation team?

We don't need the assistance of an integrator or reseller. We can handle the implementation ourselves.

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

Although I see the value in the solution, the pricing can be a bit more expensive than other options.

What other advice do I have?

As we're using the cloud deployment model, we're consistently on the latest version of the solution.

We are a reseller. We both use it ourselves and offer it to certain clients.

The best thing you can do is try it. You can try it for free. You can try it in an environment you know really well. That way, after a trial, you can decide if it really will work for your company or not. 

On a scale from one to ten, I would give the solution a solid nine.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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Luke Kabamba
Senior Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 10
Requires minimal configuration, works impressively, and provides visibility straight away

Pros and Cons

  • "The agent deployment is the most valuable. You don't need to do any configuration. You just deploy the agents, and it can automatically detect your infrastructure. That was the greatest feature that we saw in Dynatrace. If there is any database, it can detect it automatically and present everything to you."
  • "When it comes to monitoring, we did the integration with VMware vCenter, and we were able to see some good stuff. The VMware vCenter integration was really great, but what we really missed was the integration with the network management stuff such as Cisco ACI. We wanted to see integration in that area, but it was not provided by Dynatrace. So, the main feature for us is integration with things like Cisco ACI. If they can bring that one in, with vCenter in there, it would be a total solution. It would be absolutely incomparable to anything else in the market."

How has it helped my organization?

We have quite a big application that is used by almost every single person living in this country. This application is quite mission-critical. So, it was very important to detect problems as soon as they appear anywhere in the application. Dynatrace was able to show us the problems immediately without even knowing the application, code, etc. It showed us all the problems, and we have been able to present reports and solve problems very quickly.

What is most valuable?

The agent deployment is the most valuable. You don't need to do any configuration. You just deploy the agents, and it can automatically detect your infrastructure. That was the greatest feature that we saw in Dynatrace. If there is any database, it can detect it automatically and present everything to you.

It required minimal setting, and after we deployed a couple of agents, the very next day, we had the full picture of the internals of the application, and all the problems were visible straight away to us. There was no need to go and search and do a couple of things. It was quite impressive.

What needs improvement?

When it comes to monitoring, we did the integration with VMware vCenter, and we were able to see some good stuff. The VMware vCenter integration was really great, but what we really missed was the integration with the network management stuff such as Cisco ACI. We wanted to see integration in that area, but it was not provided by Dynatrace. So, the main feature for us is integration with things like Cisco ACI. If they can bring that one in, with vCenter in there, it would be a total solution. It would be absolutely incomparable to anything else in the market.

For how long have I used the solution?

We used Dynatrace almost six months ago. It was the latest version at that time.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is extremely reliable.

How are customer service and technical support?

We didn't have to contact them because it was so great. The solution was taking care of itself. For example, if there was any problem, we would shut it down, and the next day, when you try to figure it out, it would have got resolved by itself. That was quite impressive. So, we didn't have to call technical support at all.

How was the initial setup?

There is absolutely no configuration that you need from any technical person. Our engineers are very junior, and they don't really know how to configure an agent or play with the configuration file. They're not familiar with that. We just deployed the agents, and these agents went and detected which is the application server, where are the logs, and what are the processes. 

What about the implementation team?

We approached them and told them we want to try it. They were very cooperative. They sent us a link to download the software and the license. We did everything ourselves. They just came to do a quick onsite demo of how things work, but we had already figured out ourselves how it works. So, it was quite interesting.

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

We asked for a three-year license, and the price was quite good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have been a long-time user of Broadcom CA APM. In addition to Dynatrace, we tried Elastic and AppDynamic. 

Dynatrace gave us the license for around six months. We were quite impressed with it. It was very impressive, but unfortunately, due to financial reasons and the network management interface integration, the management decided to go with Cisco. We got a better deal with Cisco, and it was bundled with some of the other stuff that they were looking for, such as network monitoring, network management, etc. Our manager really wanted to see the network management interface integration, and it was available in AppDynamic, and that's why they went with it, but if it was for me, I would have gone with Dynatrace. So, we got a good deal with Cisco and went with AppDynamics. They've just bundled the whole solution and given it to us. We are standardizing on AppDynamic right now.

What other advice do I have?

It is the best solution in the market. I can't believe the people classify it at the same level as the other leaders on Gartner Quadrant. It is way advanced than anything else. You can't find anything that is exactly like this.

I would rate it an eight out of 10 because it is just missing the network management interface integration. I would rate all other solutions that I've seen a six out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Gary Frank
CIO FNB Business Lending at FNB Business Lending
Real User
Top 20
Created total transparency between technology and business on all aspects of systems and performance

Pros and Cons

  • "It has created total transparency between technology and business on all aspects of systems and performance as well as being a proxy for network performance through user experience monitoring. This followed a major performance degradation of our primary frontline system, which highlighted inadequacy of infrastructure focus tools, e.g., Nagios and Zabbix. It helped detect and remediate several performance issues on systems on both vendor supplied packages as well as in-house developed systems. It also improved InfraOps and development teams understanding of system behaviour and performance characteristics."
  • "I would like more flexible data export functions and APIs. The end user experience data is very useful to the solutions team to determine actual system usage and misuse. Flexible, easier data APIs would allow us to export the data more easily to other analytics platforms to enable this analysis as well as enable storage of this data for longer term analysis since DynaTrace only holds user data for 35 days."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is performance, capacity, and availability management along with user experience monitoring of 20 systems on a variety of technology stacks. User experience monitoring and optimisation of system performance and workflow. It has created good visibility on these topics for audit and compliance purposes, supporting adoption of a DevOps culture and practices within the team. 

We have FACT, COLLATE, and CODIX iMX technologies as well as in-house developed Java and .NET applications. These are hosted on Windows and Linux OSs and primarily on SQL Server and Oracle RDBMS. 

How has it helped my organization?

It has created total transparency between technology and business on all aspects of systems and performance as well as being a proxy for network performance through user experience monitoring. This followed a major performance degradation of our primary frontline system, which highlighted inadequacy of infrastructure focus tools, e.g., Nagios and Zabbix. It helped detect and remediate several performance issues on systems on both vendor supplied packages as well as in-house developed systems. It also improved InfraOps and development teams understanding of system behaviour and performance characteristics.

What is most valuable?

  • AI
  • Auto-discovery
  • Automatic baseline
  • Synthetic monitoring
  • Log Management
  • Drill-downs
  • Root cause analysis
  • Apdex
  • PurePaths make system management simpler, better, and faster. 

What needs improvement?

I would like more flexible data export functions and APIs. The end user experience data is very useful to the solutions team to determine actual system usage and misuse. Flexible, easier data APIs would allow us to export the data more easily to other analytics platforms to enable this analysis as well as enable storage of this data for longer term analysis since DynaTrace only holds user data for 35 days.  

When we use the Dynatrace API to extract the data it only allows for 5000 records or less, and the data is not sufficiently granular for our needs. 

Dynatrace can be configured to continually send user session data to a HTTP Webhook endpoint. Our user session export sends JSON data for all monitored user sessions to the configured HTTP endpoint(postgresql db).

The data is sent in bulk to improve performance, with a flush every few seconds to keep the data rate near real-time.

The data format is one JSON document per line, so we must split the data by line to get valid JSON documents.

We are raising an RFE with DynaTrace to have this data more easily accessible via API

For how long have I used the solution?

Nine months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable with frequent updates and feature expansions. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. Agents limit its own consumption, no longer impacting server hosts.

How are customer service and technical support?

Our experience was very good. Online help via in-app chat was very helpful. Excellent webinar and online training was provided.

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

A host of open sourced tools, which could not get beyond basic infrastructure resource monitoring. We needed APM and UEM.

How was the initial setup?

It is easy to get the basics, but more complex when you want more complex metrics and dashboards. E.g., we mapped IP addresses so we knew which corporate campus end users were connecting through it.

What about the implementation team?

We used both. IT Ecology was the vendor. They had excellent knowledge and were able to transfer knowledge to our staff.

What was our ROI?

Good.

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

It's more expensive than other solutions, but worth it. We use full APM monitoring on our primary systems, but only resource monitoring on lesser systems. We shift licenses around our environment when a deeper dive into lesser systems is required.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not really evaluate other options. AppDynamics could do the job, but we had access to an experienced Dynatrace service provider which enabled us to accelerate implementation, rollout, and knowledge transfer.

Anecdotally, it is not as user-friendly as AppDynamics when it comes to configuring dashboards, etc. However, I do not have personal experience with AppDynamics and cannot say for sure.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Dynatrace Technical Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Straightforward to set up with good stability

Pros and Cons

  • "I find that the AI on offer is useful, as it's good at identifying problems. You do need a bit of customizing, however, even in its sort of vanilla form, it's pretty good at identifying problems and the root causes of those problems and whatnot."
  • "We'd like it to be more user-friendly, which, in our case, might be a big ask as we have a fairly complex environment."

What is our primary use case?

The company uses it for a lot of things. Obviously, we're using it mostly for application monitoring, and that covers both application performance and availability. We're using it for checking how things are performing and making sure that they're running and running properly and there aren't errors or issues. That would be the main thing. 

We're also using it to monitor servers, do some infrastructure monitoring, make sure there're enough servers are running and that they've got available disc space for monitoring CPU and memory, et cetera. 

What is most valuable?

The solution is stable. 

I find that the AI on offer is useful, as it's good at identifying problems. You do need a bit of customizing, however, even in its sort of vanilla form, it's pretty good at identifying problems and the root causes of those problems and whatnot. 

The installation process is straightforward.

What needs improvement?

They're generally going in the right direction and they're quite responsive to feedback. You can vote on features and whatnot. If enough people vote for a feature, they'll get it put in. 

The solution could be more seamless. The user interface could be better and they could offer more integration. 

We'd like it to be more user-friendly, which, in our case, might be a big ask as we have a fairly complex environment. 

For how long have I used the solution?

How long I've used the product depends on which version you would classify as the product. The current one, under this name, has only been out maybe three or four years. However, I also used the older version before that, and that was something called AppMon. Therefore, I've used it for a while at this point. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution has been very stable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I can't really comment on the scalability as we're in a relatively small environment. We don't have a massive number of servers on-site. I am aware of people that run it in massive environments, however, I can't make a comment on what it's like as our site is fairly small.

We might have ten or so active users. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good and very responsive. We're quite satisfied with the level of service on offer.

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

Before Dynatrace there was another Dynatrace product called AppMon. Before that, we used to use the company's own solution.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is easy and pretty straightforward. It's not overly complex. 

The main issue is that, due to the fact that it covers so much space, the navigation can be long-winded. It can take a lot of clicks to get into where you want to go, however, it's covering a lot of information.

On the site that I'm on, on the Dynatrace site, there's really just me that's doing the technical side of Dynatrace. I'm the one that's keeping Dynatrace itself running and whatnot. That said, even in bigger environments, there's probably only one or two people that are looking after Dynatrace itself. It's really solid in that regard. 

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

I don't really get involved in the commercial side of things and therefore cannot speak to the aspect of licensing, such as pricing. We might be on a three-year contract that gets renewed.

What other advice do I have?

While my organization is a reseller of Dynatrace, I actually also work on it myself. 

While the deployment model that we're using is on-premises, there is a cloud-based version of it as well.

We're always using the latest version of the solution. It gets updated automatically, and therefore it's pretty much the latest version.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten overall.

I would recommend Dynatrace to others who are looking into implementing it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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