CA Release Automation Review

Maintains the maps of different environments in a single tool. Designs development activities from a graphical viewpoint.


What is most valuable?

  • Ability to maintain the maps of different environments in a single tool. The way the tool organizes and manages the information to be used in the automation deployment is one of its strengths. It is possible to have a map of all the environments involved in the Software Lifecycle (Dev|Pre|Pro), and maintain, in a centralized point, the actions that are shared between the environments and the specific actions of some environments.
  • Ability to design and manage DevOps activities from a graphical viewpoint. The core of the tool is the workflow. These workflows are designed in a graphical point of view. This is an excellent functionality which is better than XML or other file based actions definitions. You can perform workflows using other workflows, so this increases the reuse of actions and reduces the copy/paste of actions.
  • Ability to manage large installations with more than 5,000 servers due to the 100% scalable architecture. You can install the tool in a simple machine for simple installations or development environments. You can install the solution with redundant servers for critical installations. Also, you can distribute several components of the solution in the way you need in order of manage the deployment of large organizations with a large number of servers, a large number of applications, several technologies, CPDs distributed around the world, mix models including cloud and on premise hardware, etc. You maintain a unique point of access for all of this, sharing actions, dashboards, etc.

How has it helped my organization?

There have been improvements in several kinds of projects:

  • Projects with more than 5,000 servers and daily deployments.
  • Projects in which we must manage the deployment in a cloud environment based on the monitoring. As the number of users grows, we must deploy a cloud environment and deploy the applications. If the number of users decreases, we must uninstall the applications and release the cloud infrastructure.
  • Deploying applications in a continuous integration environment, including deployment, QA, pre-production, and production environments.

What needs improvement?

Integration with other technologies such as Dockers. The solution has the capability of integration with other technologies, and I can do this without problems. The issue is that all the tasks are performed and managed in an ad-hoc manner. I think that it will be interesting to increase the standards.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used this solution for more than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We encountered a stability issue, but it will be solved with the collaboration of the CA teams.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues. It is very important to perform a correct design of the architecture beforehand.

How are customer service and technical support?

The level of technical support is good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I use open source solutions like Puppet and Chef. These solutions require a high level of expertise and are difficult to maintain in large installations. For this kind of project, it is better to use commercial tools like CA Release Automation.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was simple. However, if you want to use the tool in large installations, there are some tricks you should learn.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is an expensive tool and the licensing model is difficult to sell.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated open source, XebiaLabs, and IBM.

What other advice do I have?

Begin with a small project and grow it progressively. If you need a large project, you should acquire professional services.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a preferred partner.
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