If you were talking to someone whose organization is considering Device42, what would you say?
How would you rate it and why? Any other tips or advice?
Just choose Device42 first. Device42 hasn't reduced the time spent managing IT assets in our company because it has given us a better look at all the assets. It has created some work for us. But once we're done with all that work, I think it will go down. I give it a solid nine out of 10. If it had a way to better work with Kubernetes and the pricing was different, it would be a 10.
Overall, I am happy with tool because we have a big infrastructure across the world with a lot of different devices. We have a lot of service, virtualization, hardware machines, and network devices. You can't find a perfect tool for all devices in this world. You must find something in the middle, and Device42 is a good tool for this. The agentless approach is a good feature. It didn't work for me. I was happier with the agent, as I had immediate good results. There are only a few people still manually creating tools because we have no option for these specialty devices. For these specialty devices, we not need automatically update them because these devices are aesthetic. It's only a few devices, so administrators for these devices do this work manually. The solution doesn't affect our environment or security. Compared to other tools, I would rate this solution as a seven point five (out of 10).
There are pros and cons to the solution’s agentless approach to asset discovery. Without agents, the benefit is that you don't have to manage an agent, update it, install it, and go through the application management on it. It's definitely easier from a longevity perspective. The con is that it takes a bit more configuration with higher activation to set up. If there were agents, it might be a bit simpler to deploy. Something that we are in the early stages of is the solution’s CMDB, ITAM, and DCIM features creating a single source of IT truth in our environment. It is in our roadmap plan and where we hope to see ourselves at the end of our configuration phase. I have learned is that there are ways for various different types of networking equipment, servers, and systems to all have ways of reporting into an application. The biggest one is SNMP. Finding out that those are not all configured properly leads to a lot of headroom once the application's already in place. I know I have to go back and configure all of our switches to be doing what they should. The biggest lesson is that there is a lot of preconfiguration with your infrastructure to ensure that it is ready to be imported into Device42 due to the various ways that equipment can be reported. Look into getting SNMP configured on everything ahead of time. Ensure you have an LDAP ready for use with the products. Definitely keep support in the back of your mind because they have helped a lot as we have gone through our process. I would rate the solution as an eight point five (out of 10).
The biggest lesson we have learned from using this solution is that if we want to have clear asset management, we need to have the same processes, policies, and rules in each part of our organization. If each part of the organization works only on its side, it's really difficult to reconcile asset management. That's why each technical team that owns devices has to share their processes and work in the same manner. When that is done, it's really easy to have good asset management. We don't use the solution's Application Dependency Mapping. In our organization, it's too difficult for a team to be able to provide information on application mapping and to be able to reconcile what Device42 discovers with what we have. So we decided not to use it. Device42 does not affect our security. We try to use it so that it fits within our security requirements. In the past, one person was working on maintaining Device42 and that was enough. But now that Device42 is critical for our organization, we have two people working on it to be sure that when someone is on holiday, a second person is there in case of trouble. They work as managers of asset management. I would rate it at nine out of 10. It's difficult to give a 10 because it's always possible to do better, but it's a pretty good solution.
If a company with our type of business asked me if they should go for it, I would definitely recommend it if they have the same kinds of operations that we do. The users of the solution in our company are from the lowest positions to almost the top. It might be over 300 people. We are using it on a daily basis. As a company, we are growing every day and more and more people are starting to use it. It's a pretty good solution for data center operations, for what we are doing, and for procurement as well. I would recommend it because it's easy to use with a friendly user interface. It's not a difficult program at all. So far, everything is going well.
Be very thorough with it. Make sure you put in everything you need to put in and make sure the auto-discover function works properly. The biggest lesson I've learned from using Device42 is the importance of keeping it up to date and taking out redundant stuff. Especially with the auto-discover, if I've decommissioned something but not taken it out of Device42, the auto-discover will still think something is there and that creates a bit of a problem for us internally. In my department, there are only two of us in data center management. But the whole network team use Device42, as do the whole server team, as well as security and the app team. Company-wide, some 150 to 200 people have access to it. I'm not sure how many of them actually use it often; probably about half that number. In terms of updates — as in if we get new assets coming in or coming out — that's mainly my thing. In terms of the monitoring side of it, that would be the network team. They use SolarWinds, which is linked and will alert them if any device has gone down and that is linked to Device42. Also, any time we do an audit of IT assets, the results are updated in Device42. We try to maintain a complete record of exactly what we have, although that's proving a bit difficult in certain offices which are harder to get to. We have offices in places like Ecuador and Chile and we're having to rely on people onsite, but there isn't always an IT presence there. We're having to rely on general office staff to try and give us an audit of what's in there. So from our side it might not be fully comprehensive. I would rate it at eight out of 10. It's very good but it's not perfect. Nothing is. I'd probably give it a ten if it were quicker at doing certain things or if certain functions were more simplified. But it's a very good product.
My advice would be "do it." It worked for us. Made my life easy. You get what you pay for. It's a good product and I enjoy it and we don't mind paying for it. I, myself, don't use the IP discovery a whole lot. One of the guys from our network team uses that. I know it helps them a lot. Similarly, with the Application Dependency Mapping, I know my boss has looked at it a couple times. I can't really say that we use it, but it's there. It's a great function that gives us a very good view of our network. There are 2,500 to 3,000 users who have access to it. They're mostly just adding and updating inventory. When they deploy a new server they go in and give it a name and add stuff into it. As far as I know, we don't have any plans to change things. Device42 is our solution.
The environment is a lot more complicated than I thought. It is like, "Wow, there are so many more servers, devices, and things talking to things." I have been in corporate enterprise environments for many years now, and this is the point of the app. I never really stopped to look at the big picture: "Wow, the environment is really complex." It's an eye-opener and makes you think about things differently. E.g., when you make a change to one thing, it helps you understand all the different things that could or could not be impacted. If you think small, then, "I will make this change to this one server." But, if you step back, you realize, "That's part of this, which is part of that. These things are all connected." It's like the butterfly effect: One thing will affect another, and another, and another. There is an enterprise architect who is focused on getting information out of Device42: * The right reports * All the app dependencies * The data that we need to help us get stuff to the cloud. We are not using the solution’s CMDB, ITAM, and DCIM features. If you know what to put into the app to get out what you need, then it can do it. I would give it an eight (out of 10).
Test it. You may discover that tools that you hadn't thought about. As I said, we tested it only for the IPAM, but we saw that we also needed the hardware inventory. If you do a PoC, you may discover that you need other features that are part of Device42. The biggest lesson I have learned from using this solution is to stop using Excel sheets. That was number-one. And the visibility that we have made available with Device42, to the rest of our company, has had a very positive impact on our team. In terms of the automated asset discovery, we have had to configure and customize some things because, for us, some aspects of the virtual machines and the physical devices are important and these were not reflected in the inventory. Since then, everything has looked good. We achieved visibility of all the parts that we need to see. There are five administrators using Device42 in our company. These five participated in the development of the solution in our company from the beginning and they maintain it. There are also three networking guys, two sysadmin guys, and the rest of the technical area's team members are users, including security and security compliance users. I would rate Device42 at seven out of 10 because we need to fix it to find the devices that are not discovered.
It is a very good tool. It is very easy to use for migrating an on-premise to cloud. The tool is user-friendly, easy to understand, and flexible. It has good support. It is the least expensive. This is all beneficial. I would rate the product as a nine (out of 10).
The biggest lesson I would take from using the solution is to have an understanding of your infrastructure so you can better plan how you implement Device42. As with anything, there are obviously limitations as to what it can do. Sometimes there are certain politics within your business that may stop you from getting the most out of Device42. Also, although we didn't actually do so, I think it would be good to have a close relationship with the vendor of Device42, at the implementation stage. Our relationship has matured and been built post-implementation of Device42. It's going to be beneficial, for anybody who wants to put Device42 in, to get the vendor onboard before you implement it. I don't think Device42 has really affected our environment's security posture, as long as we understand how Device42 is doing these discoveries. We actually have Device42 in a fairly locked-down environment. Only certain teams have access to it because of the sensitivity of what's inside it. On the flip side, it provides that single pane of glass. You could say that there is a higher risk with it because we now have one place in which all the information is held. But I think the benefits outweigh that little bit of risk that we've taken on by having all the information in one place. In terms of people using Device42 as a platform, we're somewhere around the 50 or 60 mark. They range from service desk analysts who use the secrets vault functionality, to the infrastructure team — system engineers, network engineers, infrastructure architects, network architects, desktop engineers, database administrators. Those are the kind of people who tend to use Device42's core functionality which is asset, infrastructure, and data center management. The secrets vault is spread across our whole department and the infrastructure side is heavily used by the infrastructure teams, which includes my team, systems, the network team, and the architects. Deployment and maintenance are quite lightweight. To manage the whole thing you only need one or two people, and they are spread across the different teams in our environment. We have one person in the network team and one in the systems team to ensure that things are ticking over and for planning upgrades. Our environment is not massive but it's not a small environment. In terms of what it costs us to run Device42, we find it a very good value for money. We will definitely be using it for the foreseeable future and our plans are to extend its usage into the cloud where we are already capturing things. But we want to make the visibility of cloud resources in Device42 much better. Device42 are improving cloud discovery as well. The way we've got it set up, it doesn't give us the same visibility that we have on-prem. So we want to start working on making sure that the visibility of our cloud deployments is just as good as we have on-prem, with deep discoveries, etc.
You should definitely implement this product. In a normal environment, it is a set and forget it type of thing. In the beginning, the solution’s agentless approach to asset discovery was very impressive because we heavily utilized it. However, as we made decisions on the network to not trust any device unless it was on VPN, agentless didn't work for us. They had a solution that was good for us, so we were able to pivot to an agent getting that same deep, rich information. In some areas, we do run it agentless. It's just more often we are relying on the agent because of our own infrastructure changes. Asset management is a difficult, time consuming thing. However, Device42 has helped me streamline that so I can focus on other areas that need improvement. I would rate this product as a 10 (out of 10).
It's all pretty easy to use and you'll get out of it what you put into it. We try to make sure our information is accurate and up to date and we periodically do audit against the information to make sure it is current. The biggest advice I would give is to make sure you don't let your data get stale. Documentation is important. We've had internal problems where we've lost a hypervisor or our network has gone down and we haven't had access to it. Those scenarios have proven that we rely on the info and we need it. So having some kind of high-availability solution would be good for us at some point. We do have a standby server that takes backups of our data and sends it to a separate Device42 instance, but I have not experienced trying to fail over and make it active. Maintenance of the tool does not even require one person. It's just something that runs in the background and it doesn't take any extra effort, other than what we normally do with our virtual machines and hypervisors. We treat it the same as any other server that we manage. Because it's deployed as a virtual appliance, we count on Device42 to have things hardened and patched. I'm not sure if their normal software upgrades include any system-level patches, but it's nothing that we manage or maintain. There are five people using it across our organization. I use it in my role as IT manager. The others are server admins, a desktop admin, and a couple of people who have access to it to retrieve asset information. We're subscribed to just the core product and we utilize pretty much every bit of it. It would be great if we could get into some of the other stuff, like the application discovery and the application mapping; software license management would be sweet, and power and environmental monitoring would be nice too. But those features are all paid add-ons. Right now, the biggest challenge for us is what we currently pay with our base licensing. It's reasonable in terms of the world. We've looked at competitive products in the past and either the other products weren't as well polished and as well put together as Device42, or they were just completely out of our reach in terms of price. It has generally been a really solid and useful tool. It would be cool if they could get around to getting that purchasing aspect worked in. Other than that, it's been solid. It's done what we've needed it to do so far.