What is most valuable?
There is a Pulse dashboard that they have. From a reporting perspective, we'll be creating dashboards based on the pulse functionalities.
There are other third-party plugins that we can use as well. We can initiate in the QRadar platform, however, Pulse is one of the most user-friendly options.
Along with that, there are out the box rules and out the box dashboards that we have available to us. Mostly what we are concentrating on is creating the rules and fine-tuning the rules to align properly with the customer infrastructure depending upon the customer's requirements. Pulse, UEBA, and NBAD are the features that are the best. They are the most useful from a SOC manager perspective.
What needs improvement?
The AQL queries could be better. With the queries, there's an option for you to create dashboards based on the queries that they have. The documentation that is available for AQL queries is not well received. They could maybe look at how Microsoft is leveraging AQLs from a Sentinel perspective and create more documentation and training materials and make those more available to the general public.
They have to facilitate more learning opportunities. Microsoft has something called Playground where you have some sample logs and where you can learn how to work on all this stuff, however, there is nothing like that for IBM. They really could make it more generalized and accessible to the general analyst population.
Technical support should be improved.
For how long have I used the solution?
In terms of QRadar, I've used it for close to two years. I worked for a customer that is a managed security service provider. What we do is we will provide SOC as a service and QRadar. IBM is one of the partners that we have. Depending upon the customer considerations and customer preferences, we will either engage QRadar or Sentinel according to the customer preferences. Splunk and LogRhythm we also use on an as-needed basis.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
What they have claimed is 99.5% uptime. However, I'm not very sure whether there's an implementation problem or not. Sometimes the system gets hung and then we have to restart everything from the scratch. You have got these multi printing options, though not functionally. Sometimes it gets some jitters there. Sometimes there are cases where we are finding it very difficult to get into the system as there can be three or four people logging into the same platform at the same time and sometimes the reduces the speed a lot.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
From an architect implementation perspective, the role that I have played is very limited. I'm not very sure about scaling. I'm not in a position to comment on that part. That said, once everything is implemented, I've noted that it's not as scalable as Sentinel or Splunk on the cloud, for sure. That is the same for LogRhythm and QRadar. Obviously, cloud-hosted applications will be more scalable and more resilient.
How are customer service and support?
Technical support is something that has always been an issue for us. We have to raise a ticket and the products team will be available, however, depending upon the criticality, sometimes the support is not very easily accessible on weekends and on Friday evenings.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I've also worked with Sentinel, Splunk, QRadar, and LogRhythm.
How was the initial setup?
Compared to Sentinel, the initial setup is a bit complex. Depending upon whether you're going ahead with the cloud version or on-prem version, there is human involvement, however, normally everything is done by the platform engineer. I don't have to get my head into that part. Once everything is up and running, that is when we have to start working from our side. I'm sure it is more complex than a plug-and-play Sentinel, where connectors are easily available and just have to click, click and get things done.
The administration and maintenance would be two or three people depending upon the availability. I'm not very sure about troubleshooting. I'm coming at the solution from a user perspective. I'm more concerned with the rule fine-tuning and rule-building part. That kind of troubleshooting will be done with the platform team, which specializes in that.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Licensing is mostly dependent on the EPS, events per second. Depending upon the number of products that are integrated with the platform, we have to come to an optimal EPS value. I'm not very sure about the financials, however, the licensing cost cannot be as much as that for Sentinel, which is not very low. For customers who need medium EPS values, we advise QRadar.
The basic out the box cost covers, the EPS value that you have specified, and then some archiving maybe. It should include at least six months of archiving and other functionalities. Most of the customers will go for the standard package and we don't have to go for extra archival or enhanced DPS. 10% to 15% of DPS can always be increased. It will not completely shut down the system, however, it'll start sending us notifications that the DPS is getting increased and then we can go for a higher licensing.
What other advice do I have?
The version we use depends on when the customer is onboarded. Whenever recent onboarding takes place, we use the most up-to-date versions. However, there are customers that we have been facilitating for the past two or two and a half years and they might be using the previous versions. There are proper version upgrades that happen on a quarterly basis.
I'd rate the solution seven out of ten.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner