CA Release Automation Review

We needed to automate the deployment of our complex web applications.

Valuable Features

  • The most flexible product to automate deployment process based on the existing infrastructure
  • Capacity to rationalize deployment process according to technologies
  • Capacity to manage deployment error with the option to start, stop or pause the process
  • Dashboard to follow deployment life-cycle
  • Capacity to interact with all technologies of information system as change management, load balancing, application server, database etc.

Improvements to My Organization

We have automated the deployment of our most important and complex web application. We needed four hours to deploy it with some continuous integration tools and manual procedures.

The development team needed to increase the number of deployments. In 12 days, we have automated this application and increased the deployment from 70 applications to 350 in three months. Additionally, we have automated 250 applications in one year in this tool.

Room for Improvement

  • Release Management
  • Cache management for agents

Use of Solution

I've used it for three years.

Deployment Issues

You always discover issues with deployment the first time you use a deployment process. Beginning by deploying on a development environment, the risk is reduced. We never met bugs with the tools during a deployment.

Stability Issues

Never had any stability issues.

Scalability Issues

Never, if the action type doesn’t exist you can create it by yourself.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

8/10. Support can be better but year to year it gets better. You can also contact developers using the community or during user-groups in London to share your ideas and new features you want to see in new releases.

Technical Support:

7/10 because they can be more efficient to solve issues, and you always have to prove that the issues don’t come from your infrastructure but from the product.

Previous Solutions

I switched from CA Release Automation (Nolio) to Serena Release Automation one time because Nolio was a partner of Serena. When Nolio was bought by CA Technologies, the partnership was broken so Serena advised the client to migrate to a new tool (UrbanCode).

Initial Setup

You need an expert to initialize the project. Initial setup of the product is simple as you follow a methodology. This is true for all products.

Implementation Team

We used a Vendor Team from CA and in England or France they have a good level of knowledge. Also, an expert such as myself is also a good solution.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Confidential but not much compared to the large perimeter we had to automate.

Other Advice

Methodology to model the deployment process and the communication between development and operation are the most important.

You also have to define your requirements in order to choose the best product, if you can’t CA Release Automation is the most flexible product to adapt itself to your organization.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is partner of IBM, CA Technologies, XebiaLabs, Ansible.
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