What is most valuable?
Most of all it automates the processes we need to get done at night. We've grown into it. We have several thousand jobs in our production environment right now, about 40,000 altogether, and that number's going to be growing because with the success that we're seeing with certain applications that have submitted jobs to the workload automation, other groups in our company are saying "Hey, we want to get onboard too and automated our processes, too."
How has it helped my organization?
The benefits are that it's automated, reporting facilities are terrific, also when there is, let's say, a failure of a job, it's very, very easy to report that incident, that event, and we can certainly notify the appropriate personnel who need to be notified of that, very, very quickly.
What needs improvement?
I've wondered about certain features. Our release of iDash right now is 11.4. I have seen release 12 in the labs and presentation and I'm just blown away by the features that I see. Many of the things I was thinking about, asking about, they were already answered in the new release. CA has a roadmap and they have even more features coming in down the road which I like very much, so we're very, very happy with that, and that goes of course, for other products as well.
For how long have I used the solution?
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
No issues. Once we went from version 4.5 to 11.0 and now 11.36, we have experienced great stability as time goes on.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
No problems with scalability at all. Our centralized AutoSys server are running processes, jobs on several hundred client machines without a problem, without a problem at all. We foresee a growth in that as time goes on over the next year or so.
How are customer service and technical support?
We have great faith in the CA tech support website, and their responses to us every time we have a question, even if it's just a question on functionality, never mind it might be a problem that may come up, they respond to us very quickly; so we feel very, very secure with that. That actually is also true for many other CA products that we have at our sites as well.
If we did have a serious problem, which happens very, very rarely - we contact them by email; they've resolved every single issue that we've had.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We had AutoSys 3.4 which used to belong to Platinum Technologies, they became part of CA. I'm thinking right now compared to what it was like then back in 2004, the number of jobs was very, very small, but we knew that as we went forward with CA with the new releases that it would grow very easily with that and meet the demand, which it has done, and we don't see any problem, any limit to the software at this point.
How was the initial setup?
No, not complex at all, very, very easy. One of the products I'm working on which is CA iDash, a monitor for the automation tools, is extremely easy to use, extremely easy to install, to setup, to configure and run. In fact, that was one of our reasons for going with it this past year, that particular product of the whole CA Workload Automation package.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
When it comes to advice I would say that obviously cost is one factor, I never get involved with that, but cost is a factor. That's a very good question because we recently purchased iDash this year, and it's intended to replace a third party competitor software which we're using right now, and even though iDash was about 15% more, because of licensing and ease of use, that 15% more is more than paid for by the flexibility we have, because the other software we're limited to how many instances we can have of it, and how many jobs it can see - iDash, no limit at all. As many iDash instances as we want, and there's no limited to how many AutoSys environments we're going to be monitoring, and that's a real plus for not only the users but also IT management and upper management as well.
What other advice do I have?
Rating: at least 9.5, 9.6/10 for sure. I probably shouldn't say 10 because I want to give CA something to work at and work towards, so 9.9.
I heartily recommended them, even if they had software such as the Terma Labs JAWS or something else, to really very seriously consider looking at iDash for the lot of features, it's so easy to use, I said "CA will be very glad to a proof of concept test trial install for you, and then you can do a comparison." I didn't try to push people, say "Oh, iDash is a lot better." I said "I think they should decide for themselves." But I think it'll be evident once they get it in, look at it, and do a comparison. There's a good guarantee they'll go in that direction, I would think, based upon my own experiences.