CA Continuous Delivery Automation Review

Gives us insight into the deployment process and metrics for evaluating it

What is our primary use case?

Application deployment and orchestration.

It has been performing very well for us.

How has it helped my organization?

There are not enough hours in a day or week for us to do our jobs. We joke, we call the Automation like another person, or another few people. It lets us multitask much better, gives us a lot more confidence in what we do. At the end of the day we're delivering products that we know are working, as opposed to guessing that they're working.

What is most valuable?

  • The speed which it deploys, and the accuracy. 
  • Gives people insight into what's happening during the deployment. 
  • The metrics gathered after deployment, for example, the rate of success versus the rate of failure.
  • We also notice places where we can improve.

What needs improvement?

We're a WebSphere shop so I would like to see more support for WebSphere, only because it's the platform that they seem to want to use the most. That's about the only thing I can think of.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good, I've only had one issue with the product since we bought it, and the support was handled very quickly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've had no problems with scalability, even when it came to network segmentation. We were able to differentiate between test and production, and keep both sides happy, and make our security department not mad at us.

How is customer service and technical support?

We actually used Professional Services, they helped us on-board, and we're actually still working with them for that too. But technical support: calling them or opening a ticket incident, very quick. We don't spend a lot of time having to be escalated from one person to another. Usually the first person that we get, right away the answer is pretty quick.

How was the initial setup?

I'd say it was fairly straightforward. I think the only thing we ran into that was difficult was getting people on all the different teams, the infrastructure, to agree with our choices and platform and setup. That was the hardest part.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Going back now to 2016, we spent a year's time doing proofs of concepts with various release automation tools. We looked at all the industry leaders and we also reached out to companies that we had relationships with; obviously with CA, and we had products with IBM. We just took each one and gave them a shot, a proof of concept to go through.

At the end of the day, at the end of the year, CA offered the best package overall, and that wasn't just from a product standpoint but also a support standpoint. Because some companies (shall remain nameless) give you a startup and then they let you go, and we felt we needed beyond what you get for training. Sometimes it's not enough. 

You need that real world experience, you need someone who is an expert at your side doing it, as opposed to their giving you two weeks and then you're own your own. And then, it's not like it was during the demo, or like it was during the pilot. There were things that we ran into, that were variations within our organization, that CA was able to come in and adjust and change and make it work.

What other advice do I have?

I would say, when you go to proof of concept, bring your next-to-the-worst-case scenario of what you need to get done; not the most complex but close to it. Because whatever you'll be able to hash out during the proof of concept, it positions you for better success when you actually decide to roll out.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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