IT Central Station is now PeerSpot: Here's why
Buyer's Guide
Application Performance Management (APM)
August 2022
Get our free report covering Datadog, AppDynamics, New Relic, and other competitors of Dynatrace. Updated: August 2022.
622,645 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Read reviews of Dynatrace alternatives and competitors

IT Operations Executive at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
Reseller
Great dashboards, with good SAP monitoring but needs to be more reasonably priced
Pros and Cons
  • "The SAP monitoring element is very helpful."
  • "The cost element is an issue. I can't expect the company to change its way of work. However, given the fact that we earn and do all our business in South African Rand, I would prefer to buy in Rand as opposed to the American dollar or British pound."

What is our primary use case?

We use the product heavily in our ecosystem. The prime focus for our consumption is for Telkom - a telco and also the mother company. Telkom bought Business Connexion, the company that I fall into. The IT company, BCX, belongs to Telkom. The current real estate that we're responsible for, in Telkom, that we support and maintain on their behalf, is using AppDynamics. We use it for application performance monitoring alongside Foglight, which we would like to replace. 

What is most valuable?

Everything that AppDynamics yields we use in some way. 

We are a rather big user of AppDynamics. We use synthetic monitoring. 

From an application perspective, all the elements that come stock standard with the product, we are heavily invested in. We built a long list of dashboards and auto-alerts that goes through our call center to resolution groups, to fix issues, as and when they occur. 

The SAP monitoring element is very helpful. Historically, three or four years ago, AppDynamics couldn't tool an SAP instance. Now, there's a specific agent that you can deploy to SAP. We've invested in that element. There seems to be a market requirement for that element. Fairly recently, however, Dynatrace also added that to the inherent product capabilities, in order to monitor SAP ecosystems.

What needs improvement?

From an AppDynamics point of view, and possibly based on the fact that it's now part of Cisco, is that Cisco may fundamentally have a different view of the world. If you compare AppDynamics with Foglight, as an example, Foglight's got the ability (even the old versions of the product that we currently work with) to offer visibility within the inherent infrastructure which is certainly lacking on the AppDynamics side. I know that there're other products on the Cisco side that can do similar things as Foglight. If it would be able to give you more infrastructure visibility in this solution, it would certainly make the product stronger.

The cost element is an issue. I can't expect the company to change its way of work. However, given the fact that we earn and do all our business in South African Rand, I would prefer to buy in Rand as opposed to the American dollar or British pound. In our case, dollars are preferable. The exchange rate between our currency and the international currency makes planning much more difficult, and socio-economic changes heavily impact our commercial planning and budgets. From my perspective, that would be a step in the right direction. 

Quite often we are asked to do a POC or POV, proof of value, or show that the technology works, and we are given licenses to do that. However, the current commercial model with AppDynamics is that you buy a year or three years. There's nothing more and nothing less available. Some of our customers would prefer a five-year engagement. Some of our other customers would prefer a shorter duration. I would propose, and we actually asked AppDynamics, a dispensation where you have the licenses available in a set timeframe and you can use it as and when you require. The concept of a true-up at the end of some period, may make our lives easier with reference to having to scale up and down our ecosystem. Basically, they need to offer just a bit more flexibility on the commercial model.

If it's possible to buy in Rand, or at least keep the price points for a year the same, or even over three years, that would help with currency fluctuations. We've recently sold to one of the big banks, a sizable chunk of AppDynamics. We can give them the dollar quote now for year one, certainly. That's no problem, as we know what the current exchange rate is, however, neither us nor the bank has any idea of what the exchange rate will be next year. It becomes a bit of a moving target. What do you plan for? It becomes a bit of a crystal ball exercise with reference to what the exchange rate is going to do, and therefore, what you need to do from a planning point of view, budget-wise. There must be a more elegant way to handle this challenge, although it's certainly not in our domain to do something about it. That's the OEM's prerogative.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for many years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is quite stable. We don't have a problem with the stability of the product. Now that we are in the cloud, it is even better. Historically, the underlying infrastructure and database that support everything was under our own personal management, inside our data centers. Now that it's in the cloud, it's even better, from that perspective. I don't have a problem with the stability. We certainly haven't experienced challenges that can be attributed to AppDynamics with reference to stability. It's a quite stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Based on the rate or price for this, I would argue, certainly from a South African point of view, very seldom would a small company be able to afford the price. Based on the ecosystem that the customer starts off with, they may have different price points or different scales in order to make it more compelling for smaller and medium-sized business. Certainly, our experience is that the smaller companies, although they love the product and can certainly benefit from the product, find it a bit expensive for them. And this is where the Dynatrace model, possibly, becomes more appealing to them.

Aside from the cost, scalability is quite easy. We regularly add, edit, and delete elements off of our real estate. Scalability isn't much of a challenge. It takes a bit of time to implement and then add additional dashboards and relate the different elements to each other. Once you've done that, it's not that big a challenge.

How are customer service and technical support?

I'm not technically responsible for technical support. Historically, we would ping the OEM, and ask them to assist us on something. There's always a scenario where you would want bigger or quicker turnaround or a quicker response to these things. That said, it's not a major challenge, though. Like any other company, if they can improve on their turnaround time on technical queries, it may assist all of us, all of their respective customers. However, that said, it's certainly not a major challenge. We do get feedback in a reasonable time. You always want it to be quicker. It's reasonable and I don't think you can necessarily expect quicker turnaround.

They do not have, for example, the concept of following the sun, where you have people on standby 24/7, to really support clients. 

How was the initial setup?

In terms of the setup, you need experienced people with strong skill sets to handle it. If you try and Google your way through it, it's not going to cut it. You will not get the return on investment if you try and do it yourself. It's important to use capable, experienced people to do it. Unfortunately, that comes at a cost as well. 

It depends on how you deploy it and what do you need to do, however. We have a smallish team with the capabilities to implement. We have quite strong skills, and yet, not a big team. That said, the stock standard implementation is not that difficult. When it becomes integrated into a bigger landscape, it will get more complex. You will need to apply your mind seriously to what you display from a dashboard point of view, to effectively translate what happens from a monitoring point of view. Integration into things like a CMDB, as an example, will need to be addressed. 

For example, in our case, we need to have an HP server that needs to read as a CMDB and display it in a stock standard visible dashboard. 

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

The cost for AppDynamics is becoming a challenge, as well as the apparent AppDynamics move from a Magic Quadrant point of view. We're looking at Dynatrace, which we need to understand. The product is cheaper, however, we are trying to determine if the functionality is the same.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are heavily invested in AppDynamics, however, in the latest Gartner report, it looks as if Dynatrace did quite well. I believe the Dynatrace product in ESER is slightly cheaper than the AppDynamics one. 

We were looking at potentially diversifying our offer to market through inclusion. We are not proposing dropping AppDynamics. We have a strong relationship with AppDynamics and Cisco, however, it is certainly clear, from a South African point of view, the markets seem to be requiring Dynatrace as opposed to AppDynamics.

In order for us to make an informed decision, I would want to understand the difference between the two products. I haven't worked personally with Dynatrace, historically, and we haven't invested in that product, although they're certainly relevant in the South African market. We need to understand what's the difference between the two, what's the ups and downs. I know AppDynamics quite well and have very little information on Dynatrace. I'd like to attempt at trying to gain some more information in order for us to make a decision on it.

What other advice do I have?

We are an IT company. We are selling this to the market as well. We have a strong relationship with AppDynamics through Cisco. We're a reseller of the product. We have a stronger relationship with AppDynamics, both currently and over the years, to the exclusion of all alternatives. We're using AppDynamics from an application performance monitoring point of view.

I'm not sure if we are currently on the latest version of the solution, however, it's my understanding that we're either are or will be moving to the latest version of the solution.

We bought the Dynamics cloud instance. It's likely based around Europe. I'm not entirely sure. Certainly, from our perspective, I believe it's in Europe in terms of where the controllers sit. We've been on there for the last two years or so. 

The controllers would be in the cloud, yet, certainly, from a historical point of view, we have migrated to the cloud recently. I'm not a hundred percent sure if we're done with that process. We may have some on-premises instances still. As a service that we sell to external customers, there are on-prem instances as well.

In general, I would rate the solution at a seven out of ten.

There are things that they can do to improve the product. We are working with them on that front. We are talking to them on an almost daily basis. Certainly, my team is talking to them daily. Obviously, pricing is a concern - certainly from out geographical point of view. Working the exchange rate differences between the different currencies makes local consumption seriously expensive. 

Dynatrace seems to be gaining momentum in the local market. If you look at Gartner's latest report that I saw fairly recently, Dynatrace is, even from a technical capability point of view, doing more, or better, than AppDynamics. I'm not entirely sure what they use as a basis to plot an application on those quadrants from a Gartner point of view, however, Dynatrace certainly looked as if it went past AppDynamics fairly recently.

I need to better understand the alternative products. It's a question of time until our current anchor customers start asking this very question. Why should we not consider going Dynatrace as opposed to AppDynamics? I don't yet have the ability to have an informed discussion on it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
Davide Diana - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior APM Specialist at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Enabled us to set up business logic on the availability of our services, with multiple criteria to trigger an alert
Pros and Cons
  • "There are several features that are really good. The first one is the flexibility and the advanced configuration that Apica offers when it comes to configuring synthetic checks. It provides the ability to customize how the check should be performed and it is very flexible in the number of synthetic locations that it can use. It allows us to run scripts from different locations all over the world, and they have a really good number of these locations."
  • "There are some components of the user interface that are not up to date. Just to give you an idea, today we have web applications that are called single-page applications that are much faster than the old style of web application. If we can move faster into the flow of the graphic user interface, and in a more effective way, it will save us a lot of time."

What is our primary use case?

Apica is used to perform availability checks of our IT services. We put what we call synthetic checks in place, and these are mainly used to check if a specific application is running correctly, or if it is not available.

How has it helped my organization?

Because it is a platform that allows us to check the availability of our services, we have a process in our company that allows us to open an incident when we receive an alert that is raised by Apica. It is really critical in our company to have a tool like Apica, because every time we have an alert we know that there's a real problem in our system and we can forward the problem to our internal team so that they can take charge of the problem and solve it as soon as possible.

We are very satisfied with the flexibility that is offered by Apica. In our opinion it is much greater than in other products, even more expensive products. We found a good balance between the cost, after our spending review, and the features that it offers. The alerting is very reactive as well as very accurate. We are really confident in the alerts that we receive from Apica. The alerting accuracy has absolutely saved us time because we can minimize false positives and that means that we don't have to spend the time dealing with them. On a monthly basis it is saving us about 20 hours of work. That is the amount of work we did on false positives that we received before adopting Apica. That might seem like a low number, but trust me, when we have a critical issue, 24 hours are a lot.

We decided to move from another provider to Apica because it offers, from our perspective, more features and more advanced use case coverage. For example, it has a feature that allows us to set up business logic on the availability of our services. We can apply multiple criteria to trigger an alert. We have availability checks that allow us to check two different services at the same time and, to trigger an alert, both of them have to be down. One of the very difficult things with this kind of product is the possibility of false positives. Thanks to the flexibility that Apica provides, we are able to minimize the false positives, and that means that when we take charge of a problem opened by Apica, we are very confident that it is a real problem.

We are also using some JMeter scripts. At the moment, the platform itself is not using JMeter scripts, but they provide a converter that allows you to convert a Jmeter script into another language called ZebraTester. Thanks to that, we are using our JMeter scripts without any problems. And that means we can implement automation in the scripting and, obviously, that adds up to spending less time and effort on these automated activities. It's quite critical to have a tool that provides you this kind of automation. Apica also provides public APIs that allow us to run these kinds of scripts on demand. That is a good thing when you have to develop some automation to achieve very specific needs and tasks that are very frequently executed.

Overall, Apica has definitely saved us costs involved in managing monitoring, although I can't put a number on it.

What is most valuable?

There are several features that are really good. The first one is the flexibility and the advanced configuration that Apica offers when it comes to configuring synthetic checks. It provides the ability to customize how the check should be performed and it is very flexible in the number of synthetic locations that it can use. It allows us to run scripts from different locations all over the world, and they have a really good number of these locations.

There is also the ease of use. The user interface it provides is really advanced, but at the same time, it is really easy to use. That's a really good feature when it comes to daily use and our daily processes on the platform.

It is also very good in terms of the range of protocols it can monitor. Even if, at the moment, we are only using the HTTP protocol and browser synthetic checks—it's mainly the emulation of the end user browser—they also provide other protocols, such as DNS verification.

What needs improvement?

The first thing that I would suggest they improve is the user interface. Not from the point of view of how to access the features, but how they are presented. The user interface is very clear, but there are some components of the user interface that are not up to date. Just to give you an idea, today we have web applications that are called single-page applications that are much faster than the old style of web application. If we can move faster into the flow of the graphic user interface, and in a more effective way, it will save us a lot of time.

Another feature they can improve is related to how easy it is to set up what they call on-premises locations. Apica offers locations all over the world, but they also offer a manual to install a location on-premises to check the availability of services that are not public. This process, at the moment, is not so easy to achieve. The last time we did it, we were forced to contact their support to set it up. The automation of this kind of setup is not good. It should be something that does not require human involvement to follow the deployment. The possibility of being totally independent in installing and using an on-premises location would be much better.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Apica Synthetic for about one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is absolutely excellent. We haven't had any issues so far. And when there was some kind of unavailability of the service, because no software is perfect, they advised us before or, if not before, as soon as possible, to let us know about the problem. This is definitely a good approach since if you tell us the platform is under maintenance for a problem, we can change our internal processes to take the unavailability into account.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very flexible in terms of scalability. At the moment we have about 2,000 scripts running on the platform without any problem. It's absolutely critical, since we are quite a big company, and moving from a software that is quite famous—because CA Technologies is a famous vendor—to another vendor, Apica, that is smaller, could be a risk. But after the PoC, we really trusted the Apica product. We are very happy that the platform is reliable and very scalable.

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

We used CA Nimsoft Monitor and Dynatrace Synthetic.

How was the initial setup?

We were migrating from another product to Apica, so the main task that we performed was to migrate all the scripts that we were using on the old platform to the new one. We were able to do that thanks to the professional services support that Apica provided us. They offered us exceptional help in performing this task. It was mostly implemented using the APIs that Apica offers, since migrating data from a platform to another one requires some automation. You couldn't think about doing it manually. The Apica platform was made ready for our use cases because they provided the API that we needed to perform the migration.

The second task that I performed internally was to let the company know about the new processes to be implemented using Apica. The technology is the "engine," but then you need to build the "car" around the engine. That meant we needed to develop processes to let the people who were interested in using the platform know how to do so.

In summary, the first technical task was to migrate all the scripts from the old solution to the new one and the second step was to develop new processes, based on how Apica works.

Overall, our deployment took one year. But the level of support we received from Apica during our deployment helped reduce the time and costs involved in switching to their product. Without them, it would have taken double the time. Thanks to them, the time needed was reduced by a factor of half. They anticipated our needs, meaning that every time we asked them something specific, they replied right away, "We can do that. Don't worry."

What was our ROI?

It's not possible to provide ROI numbers for a simple reason. Last year we only performed the migration of the platform from CA to the new platform, so we have only been using Apica officially starting this year. We need more time to collect this kind of number. But the perception that we have after the assessment that we performed at the very beginning, is that it will halve our cost and double the performance of the processes that are related to the adoption of Apica.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We checked the new Dynatrace Synthetic platform. We decided to dismiss that and move to Apica after we performed the PoC, since we found that Apica was much more flexible than Dynatrace Synthetic.

Another main difference between Apica and the other products was the cost. We really thought that the balance in Apica between the features and costs was the best among all the products on which we did a PoC. 

There is also the support and the innovation that they bring. One of the reasons we decided to leave CA and Dynatrace is that they are bigger companies, but they are slower when it comes to solving a problem or when it comes to implementing a feature that we request. Apica is smaller, but being smaller means that you are even more flexible and more available when it comes to solving a problem. For example, Apica provided us with a totally new feature that we requested, before we moved to them. That feature was not in the Apica platform and it was critical for us. In about one month, they were able to develop that specific feature for us.

What other advice do I have?

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.

Disclosure: PeerSpot 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.
Technical Manager at Tech Mahindra Limited
Real User
Top 20
It's highly customizable but lacks many features of available in competing solutions
Pros and Cons
  • "DX allows you to customize and gives you a high degree of control."
  • "DX SaaS is a latecomer to the APM market. Some things that are straightforward in Dynatrace are complicated in DX. For example, upgrading the agents is a seamless process in Dynatrace, but it's a pain in DX SaaS. You should be able to upgrade in the Application Command Center. However, it is not working correctly."

What is our primary use case?

DX isn't something people use all day, every day. In some cases, the application teams use it when there is a problem in their application. It allows them to identify the core issue causing the problem in the application. 

Any application team in the use case environment can access DX if it's integrated. Every application rolled out in the use case environment could be APM-enabled. We aren't sure how many people are using it at a time.

We are using the SaaS version, but we were previously on-premise. There was no DX. It was known as Application Performance Monitoring at the time. Now it's DX APM, and DX means "digital experience." The cloud version is known as DX APM SaaS or DX SaaS APM.

What is most valuable?

DX allows you to customize and gives you a high degree of control. 

What needs improvement?

DX SaaS is a latecomer to the APM market. Some things that are straightforward in Dynatrace are complicated in DX. For example, upgrading the agents is a seamless process in Dynatrace, but it's a pain in DX SaaS. You should be able to upgrade in the Application Command Center. However, it is not working correctly.

They upgrade the product every 15 to 30 days, and the process isn't seamless. It's like implementing the solution all over again. We monitor around 1,000-plus applications and have more than 100,000 agents, so we require a smooth upgrade process. It's nearly impossible to stay updated on the latest version.

Upgrading the Dynatrace agent is smoother. You don't need to worry about it. If the agent is on the Dynatrace server, you only need to push it. After that, you will be notified to reboot the APM or CLM. That's it.

It took us three years to deploy the agent on 1,000-plus applications across 40,000-plus servers. Now, they are saying they are ending support for 7.0.49, and we need to upgrade. The path to upgrading isn't straightforward. The first process is manual, and we can push it to different servers so it is visible. What's our configuration? Who is going to do the configuration?

It's not typical or practical. I don't understand how product teams don't see that. That feature is not there. We hope they add this feature to the new product called DX Platform, which consists of net apps. All those network monitoring tools will be combined into DX Platform. 

All the monitoring functionality is moved to DX Platform. You can't see a trend of your metrics grouped according to the last month, six months, one year, etc. The resolution is not there. I want granular visibility into data captured in the last 15 seconds. Those are essential features. 

I am not saying that DX lacks solid features, but they need to consider it. Some core functionality of the product is missing. We have around 50-plus requests to add previously available features in the on-premise version. That is one reason application teams are reluctant to go to DX SaaS. We are struggling to make them understand and trying to find alternatives for the existing features.

We've had many discussions with the product team, telling them we need this functionality. However, they tell us it's not on their product roadmap. They are gradually adding other features, but we need our requirements to be a priority. You cannot say you will try to add those requested features that aren't on your product roadmap. 

There is always a catch in the product. We use around 10 tenants in production and six in the test run. First of all, there is nothing in the pane. If we are trying to see the data from an application, how do we know which tenant and application are reporting? There was a feature called Enterprise Team Center, but that functionality has been removed.

All the applications are connected to the manager, which is connected to ETC. If you go to ETC, you can find the server and see your data, but that functionality was not there. Every product should have a management feature, but that is missing, and they are saying that it is not there in the roadmap. It is a basic requirement. You need to understand that. That is not there, manager, and they are saying that is not there in the roadmap as well.

They have created a new tenant page temporarily. It is not there currently. It is not a required thing. There is a feature called Domain, but that concept is gone. We've struggled a lot, and what they provided in the initial migration stage is no longer working. We were delayed for two months because we didn't give them the correct input. They don't know their product. We tell them there is a problem, and they say they're fixing it. Are we their Guinea pig? You cannot treat your customers like this.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used DX for more than two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We were using the on-premise version and moved to DX SaaS. A lot of metrics were clamped when we were on-premise. There is a limit to the number of agents it can handle. You will get a clamp once that's exceeded. That agent will not be able to pull the latest metrics from the application.

There is no feature to tell us which agent is clamping and why. What actions can we take to reduce clamping? Suppose that agent selects unnecessary metrics that won't be useful for the application team. We must stop them and tell the agent not to pull the metrics.

Finding that information on the dashboard was challenging when we were on-premises. They still had the same problem when we moved to DX SaaS. They cannot fix it, but they are tweaking some of the hardware sizes of containers. Sometimes they increase the JVM heat styling. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability isn't a problem. If you are paying for an enterprise-level product, it should be able to handle around 1,000 agents successfully and provide end-to-end visibility of application transaction processes. It may work for a smaller environment with 50 applications or 5,000 agents. 

A customer may be happy with the outcome of the product or the value added. Still, you need to have a different approach for a big implementation like it is here where we have 1,000 agents and 30,000, 40,000 deploying the application agent. We are also using the APM manager. You need a different approach altogether. It's not that this product is terrible, but it is not built for our requirements. There is a performance issue now and then. 

How are customer service and support?

I rate Broadcom customer support six out of 10. I have stopped submitting tickets because every time they say, "We can't do anything else. Our product team will handle it." They will raise a feature request that will be tracked separately. I need a resolution when I submit a case.

Why should I struggle? I know it's an issue, and support should fix it, but their priority is showing their manager how many tickets they have closed. I have been working on this product for the last 15 years. I know what support and operational services can do. I understand that, but I need the support engineer's intent to be precise. If that isn't clear, I will not open a new ticket. Why should I go and raise a support ticket for every issue I have encountered. 

I sincerely think they have released a good product, but they haven't tested it properly. They are updating the product to keep pace with their competitors. We use it to identify the missing features and tell them to add them. I think that is not the right way to develop a product.

I have worked with Broadcom for many years, and I appreciate its technical support. They always respond quickly, but the outcome is often unsatisfactory. There have been many changes since Broadcom acquired CA. The strength of their support has been reduced. There are significantly fewer people, and they're handling more tickets. 

I understand all these things, but I still interact with some of the top-notch Broadcom support. They will resolve the issue, then get off the call. I don't care if it takes three hours or 24 hours. I appreciate them, but, I am not seeing that approach with the technical support team I am currently working with.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Neutral

How was the initial setup?

We did the initial setup a while ago and then migrated from on-premise to DX SaaS. That process was relatively easy because we laid the groundwork well. We spent two months preparing ourselves and planning our strategy. Our deployment team includes around eight members offsite and one person on site. 

Resources aren't a constraint. We have had this solution for five years, so we know the process in and out. We have a good team with the experience needed to handle the implementation and provide application support when needed.

It took us around three years to deploy. It's more than simply deploying the agent. The whole goal of an APM in our environment is end-to-end transaction tracing. In the first year, we deployed all the agents. The second phase is end-to-end tracing, but we are unable to activate this for many applications. 

Implementing APM aims to provide added value to the application team and the customer. If you want to show that, you need to have end-to-end visibility. Out-of-the-box end-to-end tracing isn't possible in Broadcom APM. You need to do a lot of configuration and identify missing components during the deployment. 

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

I don't know the precise cost, but the licensing is based on the number of agents.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have attended some presales presentations and training sessions for AppDynamics and Dynatrace.

What other advice do I have?

I rate DX SaaS seven out of 10. I have worked on DX APM for many years, and they are lagging behind the leading APM products. Many of the features readily available in other products are not there. At the same time, I am not saying it's a bad product. Every solution has its pain points. By that same token, I can't say Dynatrace is without issues. Unless you spend time working hands-on with a product, everything is theoretical.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
Hani Khalil - PeerSpot reviewer
Service Assurance , Senior Manager at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Great visibility, easy to set up, and has very responsive technical support
Pros and Cons
  • "Sometimes when we face issues with the new technologies or very old technologies where we cannot enhance the service, they move to work with us directly and start doing some development on this area which is very good for us."
  • "The solution needs to enhance the management dashboards."

What is our primary use case?

We publish more than 140 business services to the whole Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We need to monitor the behavior of service from the customer's perspective which is called real user monitoring. This solution gives us visibility on that. In the same tool, there's another part for diagnostics where we can drill down to the code level and find issues with the code or the data to see, for example, web services code. 

How has it helped my organization?

We have a service serving the whole Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Anyone who wants to do some transaction on vehicles, or anything related to public relations, needs to log into the portal. It's made it easy and enhanced protection. 

Another way it benefits the organization is in the number of calls from the customers. Before getting reports from the customers about when service is interrupted, we now know from eG any issues are and the team direct can drill down to find the issue. We can find out if it's from our applications, our data center, or from a third-party integration as it integrates with many other companies and ministries in Saudi Arabia.

In this way, we reduce the time downtime for the service, the number of impacted users, and the issues the customer will face.  It allows us to solve the issues faster.

What is most valuable?

The visibility and the ability to monitor user behavior are very useful to us. So is the fact that we have diagnostic capabilities. We divided the usage of these two parts - one for our business team and one for our support team where they can see the availability, performance, and application or service updates from a customer perspective. 

We appreciate that the team can understand the issue from our application, database, code, data integration, et cetera. 

We like that two different teams can use it and it fits each of their individual needs. 

Sometimes when we face issues with the new technologies or very old technologies where we cannot enhance the service, they move to work with us directly and start doing some development on this area which is very good for us.

The initial setup is pretty simple. 

The solution can scale.

Technical support has been great.

What needs improvement?

The solution needs to enhance the management dashboards. They have small dashboards. You can do small customizations on it, however, when you have business requirements that require executive dashboards it will cost us too much. They need to do a development like this. 

We are looking to have tenure-based services covered in eG. They promised us this in the future.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been aware of the solution for 20 years. We recently did a POC and we've been using it for about a year or so now. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution has been very stable. We faced one issue related to volume traffic where we increased the JVM heap on the servers and some resources then it became stable so stability is great for us.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is quite good. We do have plans to expand usage in the future.

The main thing here is we have something called connectors. These must be published over the internet to connect as much and we're able to select the services for each connector which means it's scalable for us.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very responsive. If there's a critical issue they connect directly to you so on the same day and do their best to solve it. In the case there needs to be some development or escalation they'll do it on the same day.

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

We previously had Dynatrace. It was costly already and then they changed the licensing scheme and made it very, very, very expensive. It cost us almost $3 million Saudi Riyal a year to have it for our own services which is why we decided to switch.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex. It's almost easy to implement - especially the parts of real user monitoring where just you need to generate a tag for each service and share it with the development team. 

We have a team for monitoring. We manage almost 10 tools, one of them being eG. We have one primary administrator and one backup, and both did the implementation together. It doesn't take too much time actually. Once you know the procedure it's okay.

The deployment took about two weeks.

What about the implementation team?

We did the implementation by ourselves based on the best practices from the data center. We asked them just to do a health check for us just to see how things looked overall as sometimes you need to do some calculations in terms of the traffic volume that you're going to receive and how many agents will be reporting to your system. You need to make sure everything is accurate and it's best to have a second opinion.

What was our ROI?

We definitely have seen an ROI. We, for example, cut the costs by using the tool. We also reduced the number of calls. This was one of the main value-adds for our operations department. We were able to cut service requests by 75%.

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

We paid about 300,000 Saudi Riyal for the solution and it was quite affordable compared to the competition. That's less than $100K a subscription for almost 150 services or 100 system licenses where one portal is a license and looks like the agent is a license. We can vary almost 30 portals until with 10 integration services. We utilize only 85 agents or 85 people and under this license, we can manage more.

If a user wants to try the solution, they can do a one-year license and, if they decide to continue, can do a perpetual license.

If you need a professional service from their side, it costs nothing extra.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have done POCs on my tools and I found this solution to be one of the easiest tools - even in the administration part.

I tested AppDynamics, Dynatrace OneAgent, and Micro Focus ADM. This we have on-premise. We have one tool, Catchpoint, on the cloud. It's quite easy and not very technical due to the fact that it was on the cloud.

One of the main reasons why we moved with eG is not only due to the fact that it's on-premise deployment but due to the cost. When we selected the tool we were at a level where we needed to cut the cost for the whole operations department. We could not move with Dynatrace or AppDynamics as it's close to half a million to cover the whole services where eG only cost us around 300,000 Saudi Riyal and would cover 85 to 90% of the business requirements. We saw everything we needed at that time and we got everything at a proper cost. 

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer.

If the solution is right for a company depends on the environment and if your environment is very complex, like the one we have with many security items. You need to test everything before buying it actually.

From the almost six months of doing many POCs on other tools to find a good one for us, I noticed that 95% of these tools are using the same technology and same behavior, however, you need to know your business requirements to decide which would work best for you. If you need just to decide based on the fancy interface you have, you will pay a lot of money for this. However, if you need just to get the value of the technical team and then you present it in any way you need it, this product would be better for you.

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

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.
Managing Director at a tech vendor with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Allows us capture data in observability points, place it into a database, and analyze it
Pros and Cons
  • "It's easy to deploy, and it's very flexible."
  • "If we had some pre-defined templates for observability that we could start using right away after deploying it – instead of having to build or to change some of the dashboards – that would be helpful."

What is our primary use case?

I use this product in projects that we do for other companies. We use the most updated version of the solution.

We're using Elastic to get information for several points of observability and several projects and solutions. We're using it broadly in lots of systems. For each solution, we're defining the observability points and the data we want to capture in each point. We're deploying Elastic as the tool to capture the data in each of these points in these transactions, and then putting that in the database. It allows us to analyze not only the number of transactions and quantities, but also the business content of each payload of the transactions in order to have business KPIs, not just technical KPIs. We have more than 300 data capture points in several systems.

This has been used by an IO monitoring team. We have two types of users: technical guys that are monitoring the stability of the systems where this tool is used, to see if we are having issues on the operation. This is the IO management team, and there are around 40 users. The second category is people related to business that are actually using this to capture business information, like the amount of transactions, credit sales, the average value of each operation, and things like that. In that sense, there are about 100 people looking at business dashboards. 

The use is much heavier with the first group. They are tuning systems and deploying new data capture points, etc. Although there are more people in the second group, they are using it more to get the information and use it for tech and business decisions, but they are not heavy users in that sense.

What is most valuable?

It's easy to deploy, and it's very flexible. We have been able to easily deploy it in the data capture points that we want. After you capture the data payload of each transaction, it's also easy to do the search in the database.

What needs improvement?

It could come with more detailed or sophisticated dashboards that are pre-defined and that could speed up when you start looking at the data of the transactions. If we had some pre-defined templates for observability that we could start using right away after deploying it – instead of having to build or to change some of the dashboards – that would be helpful.

I would like to see an automated deploy tool, like Dynatrace has, that would allow you to have the parts of the system where you want to do the observability and they would deploy very quickly and kind of outer connect with the systems.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for 12 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good. We didn't have trouble installing and getting the data from it. There haven't been any major incidents, just the normal tuning that you doing as part of the deployment.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are still increasing the number of data capture points, but so far it's quite stable.

We have plans to increase usage in two dimensions: Horizontally because we are getting the same data points expanded to other instances of the same systems. We're not creating anything new. We are just deploying the same data capture point in different instances of the same solution. 

We're also expanding vertically. We are creating new data capture points. When we start monitoring the solution, we kind of start having ideas of how to better view the operation. It's a little bit of a learning process when you start monitoring and seeing new opportunities.

How are customer service and support?

The available documentation and the skill level that we have in the team has been enough. So far, we haven't used technical support yet.

How was the initial setup?

Setup was straightforward to start getting the data and doing the searches that we want. I would rate setup 4 out of 5.

In comparison, Dynatrace is more automatic in terms of the deployment.

The implementation strategy was to deploy it system by system, point by point. We started looking at the systems that could have the best result for starting using this as observability tool. The idea was to deploy gradually and start getting results ASAP with the most critical transactions, instead of doing a major design of everything and deploying all at once with a bunch of transactions at the same time. It was gradual to start getting results as fast as possible.

Our technical team was about six to seven people. There were development guys because they are the ones that knew the systems and where to include the data capture points and then insert the API from Elastic that would be used to capture the data. The other guys were the IO management team and were monitoring the setup and building the database and dashboards.

What about the implementation team?

Deployment was done internally with our team.

What was our ROI?

It's quite cost effective depending on your objective. I would rate the ROI 4 out of 5 because it really reached the objectives and at a lower price.

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

I would rate the pricing 4 out of 5.

So far, there are just the standard licensing fees. Several of the components are embedded in the license or are even open source. They're even free depending on what you use, which makes it even more appealing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have also used Dynatrace. Although Dynatrace is a great solution, it's becoming very expensive. They have increased the value of the licenses and the way they license, especially when we moved from on-premise to cloud. Because of the way they count the agents in the cloud for Dynatrace, it becomes really expensive. But Dynatrace is more ready as a solution. With Elastic, you need to code and program more things compared to Dynatrace. 

Dynatrace is very well positioned in the market. I think they are becoming a little too confident in that differentiation, and are reflecting this in the license price, which is becoming prohibitive. I'm in Brazil, and our currency isn't in dollars, but the license is in dollars and is becoming more expensive. The exchange rate hasn't been favorable in the last few years.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution 7 out of 10. 

The very positive features are the cost effectiveness and the range of things that you can implement. An improvement would be the ability to speed up the deployment, like Dynatrace. In that case, Elastic would have the cost effectiveness and would be easier to implement.

My advice is that you should first understand what kind of observability objectives you have in managing your environment. See if what you want to do is really being covered by each solution. If you're doing something that isn't that sophisticated, you don't need to pay the price of Dynatrace or Datadog. You can reach your objectives with something much more cost effective. Sometimes you don't need to buy a really expensive, sophisticated solution. 

Understand your system landscape and what you want to do and what your objectives are before jumping into a specific tool. We put a lot of research into what we wanted to do and what was the best tool for our objectives.

You should also understand what you need to implement the selected solution: what sort of skills, how many people, if you have them or not in your team, and see if you need professional services before putting together the full business case to implement. If you don't have people that really know middleware and APMs properly, they tend to be quite expensive in the market. If you don't consider this properly, you may end with a big issue in fulfilling your business case. Human resource costs are not small in this sort of project.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
Buyer's Guide
Application Performance Management (APM)
August 2022
Get our free report covering Datadog, AppDynamics, New Relic, and other competitors of Dynatrace. Updated: August 2022.
622,645 professionals have used our research since 2012.