What is our primary use case?
The main use case at the moment is to automate workloads. We have more than one automation tool, but the workload automation tool was chosen to do automatic manual workloads. That is why it is called workload automation.
We are automating very manual, robust tasks, which are very time consuming and not error-free. This is our first main use case, and we do this also to glue some holes. For example, we orchestrate backups, where we take one system down to start a backup, etc. In addition, we are processing big data from the Hadoop platform and Informatica systems, and we orchestrate using scripts. We call it simple scheduling services, where we simply schedule batch jobs from scripts.
How has it helped my organization?
For our organization, this was a very big project. The issue of automation is a hot topic now, and that is where workload automation fits in.
It provides time savings on manual tasks. For example, imagine an operator is getting a task, but it would take him three to four hours. Therefore, he is slow to even pick up this task. Now, when we automate these task, it is just one click for the user, or sometimes it is even triggered on its own. Then, this task is already solves the problem.
Also, we impose some standards for backup and restore operations. We have some standard naming conventions, where previously the operator would have to restart a VM. When he did, he would have to remember about setting a specific name. Therefore, we imposed this standardization. Our three main valuable features that we have imposed through automation:
- Time consuming.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature is the automation. There is the possibility to understand its different components. It is very open, where you can run different scripts or program scripts in PowerShell or Bash. Thus, it is open for various languages, and not closed to Java, where some other tools might be.
What needs improvement?
I do not think it is as valued as it should be because it is not user-friendly. There could be a better user interface for end users. They should make it more intuitive, not based on Java.
They should also fix all the bugs.
For how long have I used the solution?
One to three years.
How is customer service and technical support?
We do use technical support. Unfortunately, that is the bad side about working with Automic. With every new version, things that would previously work, Automic breaks them. So, we have to report the new bugs. Therefore, every time when we patch the system, there is usually a new bug or a feature that was working, then it stops working.
In general, the technical support's response is very quick. Maybe we are just a new customer, and we are on special care. However, if there is a major issue in production, then we simply get a call within five to 10 minutes, a call, not an email. They call directly to my desk.
Which solutions did we use previously?
We were previously doing manual work. There was an initiative coming from the senior management to automate more things, which is how this came about. When I joined the project, this product was already selected. I had no real say about the product. I had to learn it, because I was given CA Automic Workload Automation, and told this is what you are going to implement.
How was the initial setup?
I was responsible to design and build the system. The project was an agile project, which was a pilot, because our company was not very agile.
While we are a public institution, we are very old school. This was a first attempt at doing new things. I was the only technical resource that had the proper knowledge and skills. Therefore, I was the one who designed the system and build it.
The initial setup was complex, because of our specific requirements.
What about the implementation team?
The installer that had been given to us by Automic (now CA) was installing too many things that our security would not like. So, we went through a manual procedure, which was very hard and complex. What we did was, I wrote a script that ran through all the procedures. Then, at the end of installation, where it took me three weeks to write the script, the installation took only five minutes.
What other advice do I have?
I love it, and I am happy working with it. Though, it was hard to comprehend at the beginning.
Do not be scared with the user interface. It is not that hard. If you like to script, this is the tool for you.
Disclosure: IT Central Station 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.
Nov 28 2018