In November 2018, chip manufacturer Broadcom announced the completion of its $18.9 billion purchase of infrastructure software company, CA Technologies. While CA’s enterprise software division has seen many changes after the acquisition, the products in their AIOps and Observability portfolio consist of operational intelligence, application performance management, network monitoring, and infrastructure monitoring. Broadcom DX Infrastructure Manager delivers the infrastructure monitoring piece of the AIOps and Observability portfolio by helping customers “proactively and efficiently manage private and public cloud, infrastructure, and applications.” 

At OpsRamp, we understand the challenges of technical debt and the struggles IT organizations face when it comes to modernizing IT infrastructure and operations.

Why OpsRamp?

OpsRamp offers a SaaS-based digital operations management platform that helps IT operations teams gain visibility and control over their hybrid estate, ensure reliable user experiences by preventing outages and disruptions, and drive faster time-to-market by handling repetitive work with process automation. DX IM customers looking to embrace a modern approach to hybrid monitoring and AIOps should switch to OpsRamp to control the chaos of their digital infrastructure and avoid costly performance issues that result in lost revenues and productivity.

This blog will present five reasons why IT operations teams should switch from Broadcom DX IM to a modern platform for hybrid, multi-cloud, and cloud native monitoring:

  1. Legacy Monitoring. Broadcom DX IM’s origins date back to 1998 when founder Anders Grindland started Nimbus Software and then merged with its U.S. distributor to create Nimsoft in 2004. In 2010, CA Technologies bought Nimsoft for $350 million and renamed it to Unified Infrastructure Management (UIM) in 2014. After Broadcom acquired CA Technologies, UIM was rebranded to DX Infrastructure Manager (DX IM).

    DX IM under Broadcom has seen just four releases in the last two years: Version 20.3 in October 2020, 20.1 in March 2020, 9.1.0 in April 2019, and 9.0.2 in November 2018. A customer thread, UIM v20.1 -- Why Upgrade? on Broadcom’s community portal makes a critical point about the 20.1 release: “There is nothing listed that compels me to do this upgrade.” IT leaders should consider if their interests are best served by a 22-year old monitoring solution that has been on sustenance mode for several years now. 

  2. Limited Capabilities for Synthetic and Cloud Monitoring. DX IM has strong monitoring integrations for traditional infrastructure vendors such as Citrix, Cisco, EMC, Hitachi, HPE, IBM, NetApp, and VMware. However, DX IM delivers limited support for monitoring the performance of digital services built on cloud infrastructure:
    • Synthetic Monitoring. While DX IM provides basic up/down URL monitoring, application owners cannot monitor multi-page web transactions using granular replays or model digital transaction flows to business outcomes/metrics such as completion rates or user signups.
    • Cloud Monitoring. DX IM currently has monitoring integrations for 15 cloud services from Amazon Web Services and 12 cloud services from Microsoft Azure. There is no coverage for Google Cloud other than monitoring for Google App Engine. With IDC forecasting public cloud spend to increase from $229 billion in 2019 to nearly $500 billion in 2023, IT teams will struggle to migrate and monitor the performance of their critical workloads hosted on dynamic cloud services with DX IM’s limited support for public cloud infrastructure. 

      IT teams will struggle to migrate and monitor the performance of their critical workloads hosted on dynamic cloud services with DX IM’s limited support for public cloud infrastructure."

  3. Missing Capabilities for Incident Management and Auto-Remediation. For event and incident management, DX IM provides topology maps that discover infrastructure relationships across a network and offers root cause alerts that pinpoint the primary reason behind an infrastructure failure or service degradation. IT teams looking for machine learning-powered recommendations for event management will need to work with a different Broadcom tool, DX Operational Intelligence.

    While DX IM can integrate with third-party automation tools such as Puppet or Automic Automation, there are no native process automation capabilities for incident remediation and patch management. Enterprises that wish to send multi-channel notifications (via email, text, or voice) about an incident to their on-call teams will need to invest in a separate incident and alert escalation management tool.

  4. Complex Licensing Model. After the CA Technologies acquisition, Broadcom introduced the Portfolio Licensing Agreement (PLA). Broadcom bills the PLA as an alternative to traditional enterprise agreements that allow strategic customers (defined as the 1,000 largest global enterprises) flexible access to a broad portfolio of Broadcom’s enterprise software products along with predictable pricing and simplified maintenance.

    While Broadcom touts the PLA as a “simplified way to purchase, deploy and manage their digital enterprise software solutions,” customers not only have to accurately forecast monthly and annual baseline consumption across different products over three years but also bet on the continued innovation and longevity of Broadcom’s enterprise software portfolio.

  5. Investments in Dedicated Infrastructure and Staff. Given that DX IM is typically deployed in a customer’s on-premises environment (partners provide hosted SaaS options for DX IM), IT teams will need to invest in dedicated infrastructure to ensure a highly available and fault-tolerant monitoring solution. Here are sample hardware sizing recommendations for a major DX IM customer deployment:
Infrastructure Purpose Specifications
Database Server QoS and other system data is stored on the database server 8-16 core 2.0 GHz processor
32-64 GB memory
1 TB storage
Primary Hub Server Location of the robot that controls the DX IM primary hub 8-12 core 2.0 GHz processor
24-32 GB memory
15 GB storage
UMP Server Contains all the components to run the Unified Management Portal (UMP) 8-10 core 2.0 GHz processor
16-18 GB memory
6 GB storage
Secondary Hub Server Deploy secondary hub servers for load-balancing and failovers 8-12 core 2.0 GHz processor
24-32 GB memory
15 GB storage

IT professionals face a significant opportunity cost for deploying, maintaining, patching, and upgrading their DX IM monitoring infrastructure. A modern SaaS-based ITOM monitoring platform can help IT operations teams focus on strategic business priorities rather than caring and feeding for legacy monitoring solutions such as Broadcom DX IM. 

Conclusion. OpsRamp delivers powerful capabilities for hybrid discovery and monitoring, event and incident management, and automation and remediation in a single unified platform that has evolved organically to address the needs of modern IT teams. This is in stark contrast to Broadcom’s AIOps and Observability portfolio that has been stitched together from several acquisitions such as Wily Technology for application performance management or Nimsoft for infrastructure monitoring. 


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