What is most valuable?
At this point, we use it a lot for our DR and our business continuity stuff, our tape management, which is what we heavily rely on it for. To me, the CA 1 tool is the industry standard. I personally enjoy the fact that I get great support from CA. They're actively giving new improvements with every release and, really, the stability of it. I've had zero problems since I've installed it, so it's been great.
How has it helped my organization?
The stability has improved my organization. It's reliable. In our line of work, we need to be able to recover things; and being able to rely on a product and know that it's going to work. We don't even think twice about it.
What needs improvement?
Providing areas with room for improvement is a tough one because it really is the industry standard. It's such a good tool. At this point, I think I need a little bit better understanding, to be honest, on some of the stuff that they do with it. The documentation would really, in my opinion, be a better improvement to the product. The software itself works great. I need a little bit more understanding on how they've architected it. I can open up a ticket. I get that understanding provided. It'd be nice to have it a little bit upfront.
But other than that, I can't really think of anything. The product itself is so reliable, and so stable, and does exactly what we need it to do, so it's kind of hard to think about how I would improve it.
For how long have I used the solution?
We've been using the latest version, 12.6, now for about two-and-a-half years.
How is customer service and technical support?
Technical support is 100%. It's the best I've worked with. I've worked with other vendors on other products and since I inherited the CA 1 product and the support that came along with CA 1, if I have any issues, questions, I use the Communities site that CA has put in place, along with their ticketing and support staff. I kind of use both. I use the communities, the other people who use the products, which is great. That's one of the best things that CA's done is set up user communities, so you don't just rely on support staff. You can actually rely on people who use the product.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I don't really even know of any other tape management vendors, to be honest. There is an ASG vendor. They don't have the best reputation, with me, anyway.
What other advice do I have?
I have given it a perfect rating because of how well it has worked for us. I really don't have issues with it. When it comes to maintenance, when it comes to getting an upgrade or any of those things, they work with you, they work for you. It truly seems like a partnership, not just a business transaction. It seems more of a partnership. It's great.
Reputation is the first thing I look for when selecting a vendor. CA; they're the standard. As a mainframer, when I think mainframe and software, I think CA 1. They're the first solution I go to look for. And because I've had an experience with them at other places I've worked and where I'm working now, that reputation has followed. Nothing's changed. It's got a good reputation everywhere we go.
Their support is outstanding. At a recent CA conference, there were people working in booths who were currently doing a conversion on another one of our CA products. We were there, we could talk to them, and they would give us any time we need. It's amazing.
Which version of this solution are you currently using?