If you were talking to someone whose organization is considering Apica Synthetic, what would you say?
How would you rate it and why? Any other tips or advice?
I would recommend it to get in touch immediately with Apica Synthetic support to have a chat with them and discuss best practices. They are usually very helpful since they are knowledgeable about the tool, so they are able to suggest the best way to implement checks. I would rate this solution as a nine (out of 10).
If you are looking for a product that offers a huge technology modernization, and quick support, you should take Apica into consideration, for sure. It is a small company compared to others, but they are really quick in answering your needs and providing you modern technology. If your company is growing and is looking to add new monitoring that is up to date, I would warmly suggest Apica. We decided to use the SaaS version because we are trying to change the model of services that we are using in our company. We are trying to minimize the on-premises products because we don't want to be in charge of the management of the infrastructure of things that are on-premises. We are absolutely confident that Apica respects our security needs and that we can use Apica safely.
We do some load testing internally on JMeter. I know that capability exists, and we have advertised that internally. I am just not sure how much traction that it has gotten just yet. At the end of the day, it is a tool. You need to have teams using the tool correctly. That is just part of the onboarding and training, which is another thing that my team does. Generally speaking, if the script is instrumented correctly, then the results are correct as well. We look at three broad strokes from a monitoring perspective: end user monitoring synthetics, application performance monitoring, and infrastructure monitoring. We look at those as three very separate pillars. I would rate this solution as an eight (out of 10).
Organize your operations and App Dev teams to get onboard quickly. That is probably one of the most successful factors that you'll have. If your teams really buy into the framework and understand your objective, then you'll have better success criteria. This is because you really need to have everyone onboard from the lower lanes to the production level in order to continuously be able to get your synthetics updated with each release so you can reduce false alerts. Then, you can continually have monitoring in your applications. We certainly have more room to grow. We continuously develop new applications and cycle through changes. Right now, Apica has probably been one of the most popular synthetic monitoring platforms that we use. We do have other testing platforms. Apica is not the only platform that we use. However, for production operations, it is one of our more primary platforms to monitor the health of production applications. While we still have several monitoring tools that we use, Apica has been one of our go-to tools for synthetics. I would rate this solution as an eight out of 10.
For Synthetic, we still need to see the alerting in real-time to see how it improves. There is around a 15 percent adoption rate in the company for tool use. However, for our target audience, the total is around 80 percent. Our idea is to get to 100 percent adoption for our intended group of users. That is the goal for the middle of next year. Apica is a pretty flexible tool. The amount of features that they have to offer is very high compared to other tools on the market because of the flexibility that they have to offer. The product team behind it is very committed to making those changes and the customer happy. I would advise if you are looking at a solution which is easy to maintain and can handle a lot of checks at the same time, then Apica would be the best solution to go with. If you have to do a complete on-prem solution, that is available with Apica as well. It is a pretty good solution in the current market. At this point, I would rate it a nine out of 10 because there are still some enhancements that need to happen for the platforms: Synthetic and LoadTest.
The biggest lesson I have learned from this solution is the sheer number of sites that can load when you load one website. We do online banking, but when you load online banking, it also loads 50 other URLs as it loads through there. That might include Google, Facebook plugins, or things like that. It has really opened my eyes to how many things load when you just open up a single webpage, even if there's that much on the webpage itself. It's very comprehensive when it comes to website monitoring. I would rate Apica Synthetic a seven out of ten. We've had our problems with it and we're still waiting on some add-ons and features, but for the most part, it's never wrong. It's just sometimes noisy and feels old. The UI is very basic. It's not bad, it's not ugly, but it's basic. It uses old browsers.
Every time I face an issue and reach out to the support, they point me to a part of the documentation. So read the administration guide or the documentation, because they have everything that you need in their Knowledge Base. This is something I learned from opening multiple tickets. It's there in the documents. It now saves me time when I read the documentation. Apica Synthetic is one of the most important monitoring tools that we're using. I would rate it at 10 out of 10 because it's accurate. I've dealt with so many tools and applications, but their support is the most responsive support I've seen. The tool itself offers so many integrations with other applications. It's easy to set up, easy to configure. The documentation is great. The most important part is that the tool covered most of the issues we have and was able to help reduce the time that we needed to resolve the issues and the outages that we had.
I would highly encourage organizations that have external applications, web-based applications to definitely consider this platform if they're looking for something to give them an end to end view in the overall user experience. Having that outside-in view, you don't really think about it at the time when you don't have it. But once you actually have that outside-in view, that really gives you that same context that the end-user has. It's kind of surprising how much more you actually learn about things that aren't necessarily within the infrastructure that might impact your clients and potentially impact us so it's been very revealing. I would rate Apica a seven out of ten.
There are multiple different things you can take off of the solution: * Your code is not correct. * Your image optimizations are not correct. * Your geo-blocking has a fault, which means you're in breach of your license. * How your system is working, e.g., the speed, performance, errors, and missing assets. There is a lot of in-depth content. They do meet our security requirements because we are not sharing any private data with them from a software-as-a-service point of view. With on-premise, we had one or two licenses that folks tell us that we could install on our platforms, monitor, prime routines, and so forth. However, from where I am now, the security is fine because you are not injecting anything. If we were injecting any usernames into it, they're test users and marked as test users within it because it's a back-end system. Even if someone got our Apica password, it would be pointless anyway because we're not exposing player data. We have specific users set up for specific tasks that we monitor, and they're marked as test. They don't go on any revenue streams. From a simple point of view, their security is top-notch. They offer different security platforms for different use cases. If I was a bank, then I would have it on-premise and it would meet their security profiles as well. So, I am aware of their security and appreciate the efforts they're going to, but we are just fine with software-as-a-service because we're not declaring any personal information. I would rate them five stars out of five.
What do you like most about Apica Synthetic?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the community!
How is synthetic monitoring used in Application Performance Management (APM)?
How does it differ from real user monitoring?