Buyer's Guide
Application Performance Management (APM)
November 2022
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Sr. Devops Engineer at BlueStacks
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
A stable, scalable solution worth the price
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution is really used, is really simple to edit, and is scalable."
  • "I would like to see a more colorful dashboard that is better than other dashboard monitoring tools."

What is our primary use case?

Okay, so basically we are using API monitoring, and URL monitoring, for the differences in the continent. So we have a user on all seven continents, so we need to monitor our API their response time, and if it is accessible from a different continent or not. So yeah, because of that we are using the Stackdriver and it gives very good monitoring and alerts. Yeah.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see a more colorful dashboard that is better than other dashboard monitoring tools. It is scientifically proven that a colorful interface or dashboard brings more interaction. I would like to see color identifiers on the dashboard such as a green light indicating the alert is recovered, and a red light when an alert is firing to help quickly identify if there is an issue.

To be honest, I see that there were lots of changes and they are, when I started using one and a half years ago, there was not so much functionality added, but like nowadays I see that there are lots of things they have added. So until now, it's good and that they're improving. I'm really happy to use Stackdriver, but I want to make some changes to the notification channel. 

Inside that notification channel, you have to choose the group. But while I'm choosing the group in the notification channel, I can add one mail ID. So okay, I am forced to add one, either DL in the sense of a group mail ID or one mail on the other end. So when I want to add a second mail ID, I try to use a comma and some other option, different permutation and combination, but I'm not able to add it. So if there is a way to add, I wonder if it's able to mention that if you want to add another one, you have to put a comma, semi-column, or something like that.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for over one and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not face any issues with stability. I faced an issue once when someone found that the Google network was down I guess six months ago. So I got alerts, but we got to know that some of the network problems were I guess in the US and Canada, I don't remember exactly, but it's in the US I know. US and Canada I am a little bit confused. So because of that, we were getting a false alert. So if it is down, I don't know how Google can improve this part. If the network is down, I guess it's obvious that we get the alert. But can Stackdriver also inform us? "Hey guys, this is a network chain, blah blah blah."

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is really used, is really simple to edit, and is scalable.

You can just edit and you can... As I mentioned that in the initial setup you have to do it step by step and it is similar to the edit option you have to do it step by step.

How are customer service and support?

I've never contacted the support for this solution because it's really easy, but I have used their support for some of their other products a few times, for some big query, I submitted a support ticket, and they responded but to be honest, GCP product support is a little bit slower as compared to AWS support.

How was the initial setup?

It's not challenging. All the steps are defined, you have to choose one by one there were a lot of options there. A few of the points were in the load balancer. I sometimes face issues during the load balancer setup and there is sometimes a forward slash or backward slash, and I don't check it until it doesn't configure fully. So I want to check on that point that when I put the paths or something like defining there, it should give us some kind of response to my configuration. Once I configure it properly, after two or three minutes I get the answer that it's going to be successful. So yeah, if there is an option for their data where I can perform the testing it would be helpful.

The deployment will take less than five minutes.

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

The solution is not expensive based on everything it's not expensive, believe me. Compared to the other products, if I'm comparing with other cloud-like solutions, it's not so much expensive. I give this solution an eight out of ten for price because we receive alerts related to product pricing and we have never received an alert for Google Stackdriver.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I am still exploring AWS X-Ray and my team is using Microsoft Azure.

What other advice do I have?

I give the solution a nine out of ten.

Our DevOps team and backend email are using the solution. Which is about 23 to 25 people you can say occasionally. Until we get an alert, where we have to configure something new, we are not going to check every time. So you do not need to check on the monitor. So yes, it's occasionally used but you can say that we are checking on a daily basis.

I recommend Google Stackdriver to everyone. I always use the solution as an example when discussing options with people and am really happy with it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

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

Google
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Luke Kabamba - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5
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.
Architect at SEI Investments
Real User
Great support with a helpful APM and profiler
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable aspects of the product include the APM and profiler."
  • "I find the training great. That said, it is set for the LCD (lowest common denominator). Of course, this is very helpful to sell the product, yet, to really utilize the product, you need to get more detailed."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use Datadog for:

  • Native memory
  • Logging
  • APM
  • Context switching
  • RUM
  • Synthetic
  • Databases
  • Java
  • JVM settings
  • File i/o
  • Socket i/o
  • Linux
  • Kubernetes
  • Kafka
  • Pods
  • Sizing

We are testing Datadog as a way to reduce our operational time to fix things (mean time to repair). This is step one. We hope to use Datadog as a way to be proactive instead of reactive (mean time to failure).

So far, Datadog has shown very good options to work on all of our operational and development issues. We are also trying to use Datadog to shift left, and fix things before they break (MTTF increase).

How has it helped my organization?

We are currently in a POC and do not own Datadog at the moment. 

So far, there have been a few issues due to security. There are two main security issues. 

The first is moving data off-prem. This has been resolved to a point (filtering logs, etc). However, there is still an issue with moving a JFR as a JFR potentially contains data that is not allowed off-prem.

The second security issue is more internal, however, the main installation requires root access or using an ACL. Our company does not use ACLs on our Linux platform. This is problematic since the install sets a no-login on the Datadog user.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable aspects of the product include the APM and profiler.

These two have given us insights into things that are very difficult to track down given the standard OS (Linux) tools. 

The native memory tracking is super difficult to see exactly where it comes from. I attended a course (continuous profiling), and it showed me the potentially very important capabilities.

If you add these details to a standard dashboard, or a sub-dashboard for techy people, or even just a notebook, it would be easy to identify issues before they occur.

Combining these details with the basic tools (infra, logging, APM, and good rules), Datadog can easily show the details that a true engineer would need. It isn't just for monitoring, however, I see the value in it for engineers.

What needs improvement?

I have done every training offered (and in a short period of time: two days for 20 courses).

I find the training great. That said, it is set for the LCD (lowest common denominator). Of course, this is very helpful to sell the product, yet, to really utilize the product, you need to get more detailed.

If I did the training as it is written and I cut/paste a bunch of stuff and see the cut/paste work, I didn't really learn anything. Later sessions (I quit using the editor and switched to VI) stopped cutting and pasting, and learned much more.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for one month.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I' give stability a thumbs up.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are not sure yet in terms of scalability. The off-prem solution seems to scale well (although had issues with the training slowing down).

How are customer service and support?

Technical support is great.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

I previously used Dynatrace and Elastic. We didn't switch. We are in a POC.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is simple yet complex. There are too many teams are needed.

What about the implementation team?

We did the initial setup in-house.

What was our ROI?

In terms of ROI, the labor saving is probably the biggest. The NPR is probably second - although management would probably reverse these.

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

Pricing and licensing is fairly complicated. A GB for .1 sounds great, however, once you put all 16 or so prices together, it adds up fast. A cost model sheet on the main site would be very helpful.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are currently in a POC.

What other advice do I have?

We work with all product versions.

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?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Cloud Architect at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
We can drill down and figure out what's going on with the application, but the API monitoring and user experience monitoring aspects could be better
Pros and Cons
  • "The detailing of our application behavior and user experience is most valuable. In case there is an issue, we typically use Instana to figure it out. We can drill down to the application and figure out what's going on and where the issue is."
  • "We should be able to go back to scenarios during or before the issue. There should be something like a history playback. Such a feature or functionality would be good."

What is our primary use case?

We typically use Instana for application monitoring. We have our insurance products, and we are using it to monitor application health and all that. 

In terms of deployment, currently, we are using it in our data center infrastructure.

What is most valuable?

The detailing of our application behavior and user experience is most valuable. In case there is an issue, we typically use Instana to figure it out. We can drill down to the application and figure out what's going on and where the issue is.

What needs improvement?

The API monitoring aspect could be better. The end-user experience monitoring aspect could also be better. They could improve the user experience monitoring from endpoints.

They can also improve the product to make it similar to Elasticsearch in terms of detailing the issues or playback, such as:

  • What happened during the issue? 
  • What went wrong? 
  • What should have happened?

We should be able to go back to scenarios during or before the issue. There should be something like a history playback. Such a feature or functionality would be good.

They could also work on cloud adoption. More and more people are adapting to the cloud, but I am not sure how Instana is really evolving with regard to the cloud. There might be a roadmap, but I'm not too clear on those aspects.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for four or five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We are a medium organization, and we are using Instana at that level. I can't evaluate if it is suitable for small and large enterprises.

How are customer service and support?

It seems there isn't any challenge with technical support, but I'm not the right person to comment on the technical support because I don't handle the day-to-day operations.

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

We use Dynatrace for some of the use cases but not much. Dynatrace is a little bit more expensive, but I got a feeling from teams that Dynatrace is better than Instana with regards to drilling down to the actual issues and other such aspects. The product team and project team might use Dynatrace to have more visibility to the actual problems and do root cause analysis.

How was the initial setup?

Instana is pretty easy to set up. It isn't a complex thing to do.

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

Its pricing isn't a big pain point. Its pricing seems to be better than some of the other competing products in the market, but they also have some of the features and functionalities that are better than Instana.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it a seven out of 10.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
Buyer's Guide
Application Performance Management (APM)
November 2022
Get our free report covering Dynatrace, Datadog, AppDynamics, and other competitors of Elastic Observability. Updated: November 2022.
655,994 professionals have used our research since 2012.