What is our primary use case?
Our company is a FinTech financial institution. We expose financial APIs for major FinTechs in the US. Basically, we are a bank and have a lot of applications running behind the scenes. APM is super crucial to our organization. We need to be able to interact, understand, and get a holistic or 360-degree view about everything going on in the organization. This view includes the infrastructure and the application sides.
The solution helps developers get a holistic view of their application performance under the AKS environment. This is especially important in lower environments where developers need to interact with everything from performance to logging perspectives. In the very early stages, the solution gives developers a quite good overview about how they are developing products and how they can make them work more efficiently.
The solution is on-premises at our own data centers. We have an additional, hybrid installation with Amazon that includes a private cloud.
We have 150 engineers who use the solution for applications running under the Kubernetes environment.
What is most valuable?
The sky is the limit because the solution is a very flexible open box that can be used vastly to do anything you need to monitor applications. There is nothing that you cannot do with it. Every day, our developers or SRE teams are adding additional features with the ability to think outside the box and configure whatever they want.
The solution is the most common, major tool for FinTech or high-tech companies. Every technology company using Kubernetes is using the solution.
What needs improvement?
The setup could be made easier for new users because it requires a bit of advance knowledge or experience.
For how long have I used the solution?
I currently manage our teams that use the solution. Previously, I had hands-on experience with the solution.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The solution is stable with no reported issues.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The solution is scalable.
How are customer service and support?
We have not needed technical support.
How was the initial setup?
The setup is not too complicated. If you have experience with the solution, then setup is an easy task. I rate setup a five out of ten.
The basic configuration and deployment parts are easy. The more complicated part is creating the benchmark and alert behind it to make sure it gives us what we need from the application side. Customizing the solution for our needs takes more time.
What about the implementation team?
We implemented the solution in-house. We have a big devops team and a big SRE or platform engineers team. This is their bread and butter and they create Terraform infrastructures or services for a living.
What was our ROI?
If you use the solution, then you will definitely realize ROI.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The solution is not expensive. In comparison to the pricing of New Relic or Datadog, the solution is basically free.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We use several tools to accomplish our goals including the solution, New Relic APM, Datadog, Elasticsearch, and Amazon OpenSearch.
New Relic APM and Datadog are closed box legacy tools. You cannot reconfigure them to do whatever you want. We use them because they have certain abilities but they cannot be customized for our specific needs.
The solution is an open box Kubernetes tool so we have the ability to play with it.
What other advice do I have?
Make sure that you have dedicated manpower to configure and manage the solution. It requires handling, not necessarily on a daily basis, but it definitely requires someone who is focused and has expertise with the solution.
Know in advance what you want to gain from the solution. Don't jump in to configuring or deploying before knowing what you expect from it.
I like the solution very much. I think it is a major tool, especially in advanced environments. The open box provides a lot of flexibility and gives a very holistic view of the entire Kubernetes environment.
Integrating with the Rancher management tool gives the solution even more abilities. There are several tools that we use behind the scenes to ease the process but the solution on its own is a very good tool.
I rate the solution an eight out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.