Instana Dynamic APM Other Advice

Ashijit Pramanik
student at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
If you are somebody who is already well-versed with the APM world and who has tried out different tools, you will find Instana quite easy to use. There really wouldn't be a lot of things to learn about it. Go with the SaaS version of Instana and don't bother with the on-premise. Other than that, to configure whatever is being auto-detected by Instana, be sure to check the logs of the agent that is running. If you find anything that the agent is missing, that's stopping it from gathering all the data it can, fix that. If you're using SaaS you don't have worry about disk space. There isn't much else to say because most things are provided out-of-the-box. With New Relic, you have to configure each of the different stacks, the agent, etc. Here, that is not the issue. This is a good tool to implement across the board if you can make it into your images or as part of your configuration management tool. As soon as things come up, new machines are added into the cloud. Your monitoring and APM can also be integrated automatically. Instana has a YouTube channel with small demo videos that show a large number of hosts, once they are launched. It's a good tool. It's worth trying out, for enterprise as well. Apart from our team, I would say about ten people were using it in our organization. Among the customers, it's hard to say. We were the primary users on their behalf. We had just one customer who was a paying Instana customer, and their on-prem was being hosted by us. In our organization, the users were L1, L2, and L3 system administrators. We had senior solutions architect people who could design solutions for customers. We had technical account managers who came through the ranks of the sysadmins but they were able to do managerial as well as technical tasks. The traditional DevOps role wasn't really present in our organization because those people were directly employed by our customers. We were more ops-centric, rather than doing the build-release automation kind of thing. It needs to be properly configured. That part is very important. All the sensors that it's able to use to detect, should be properly configured. Otherwise, it's not very useful. The overhead that comes with Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tools is one concern that some people have. Instana says that they don't do any deep code profiling, they don't have logic that thinks about when and what to profile. Some competitors like Dynatrace do have that feature. Instana says that since they don't do deep profiling, they don't have the extra overhead that these other tools have. I haven't compared them side by since so I can't say if this is true. Also, application component types of reboots are not really required for Instana, except for the very first time when you install the Instana agent; then, you may have to restart the application server. Whereas that type of reboot is required for a number of other tools, it is not required with Instana. I would rate it a seven out of ten, primarily because some things, like PHP and Python, are not quite as mature as Java. That's the main issue, stability-wise. But if you're on a Java stack, you can go ahead without any issues. View full review »
Find out what your peers are saying about Instana, Dynatrace, AppDynamics and others in Application Performance Management (APM). Updated: November 2019.
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