CA Release Automation Review

Improved our deployment speed, but it may no longer be part of CA's long-term strategy


What is our primary use case?

It's for release automation.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved our speed of deployment.

What needs improvement?

In terms of its performance, we have struggled a little bit because we have multiple instances around the world without a proper support team behind it. After several years we got the new version, and the upgrade was very painful. We had several issues or defects, but CA was responsive and, in the end, they created a fix-pack which resolved the problems. We managed to upgrade.

It could use better integration with development tools. UCD is better integrated than CA Release Automation.

Another concern with CA Release Automation is that Automic was acquired by CA recently. We're a bit concerned that CA strategy is going with Automic, that CA Release Automation is dead. They are not investing in it too much. For new customers, they're proposing Automic online. They even approached us at the end of last year and asked if we would consider switching to Automic. They do say that in the next two or three years we don't need to worry. They will still provide support for CA Release Automation. But we're not sure how CA Release Automation will evolve.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have had no scalability issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

There is not enough support in Central Europe but the central support is okay, it works.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup of the different instances, directly. We had instances in the US, UK and Singapore. But I was involved in the consolidation or migration program when we migrated CA instances to one central server in a private cloud in Prague, Czech Republic.

It did not go smoothly. There was a lack of knowledge both at CA and within our team as well. We used a consultant who was not so experienced. He wasn't able to help us but when he escalated it on CA's side we got the help we needed. In the end, it was okay but it could have been much smoother.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

UrbanCode Deploy, Red Hat Ansible, and we considered Ansible Tower as well. We had some discussions about XebiaLabs XL Deploy, but it was not on the short-list in the end.

When CA is compared to UrbanCode Deploy, the latter is stronger in the development cycle, while CA Release Automation is stronger on the deployment or release automation side.

What other advice do I have?

When selecting a vendor the solution cost and total cost of ownership are definitely two of the criteria; the product quality, usability, scalability, of course, and the support are key as well. The company's market situation is also important. We cannot afford to go into some risky business because it's a long-term investment, especially when it comes to deployment automation.

If I were to consider investing in a new deployment automation tool, I wouldn't switch to CA Release Automation, because of the CA strategy. They don't invest in it anymore. From a strategic perspective, I think it's probably not the best tool to invest in.

I would definitely consider Automic. I think Automic is a leader, and I think from a features perspective, Automic is very comparable with UCD. I think XebiaLabs XL Deploy is becoming much more popular, but it's more for release automation. There are companies around that combine UrbanCode Deploy and XebiaLabs XL Deploy.

I would rate CA Release Automation at seven out of 10. It's a good and mature product but there is no future investment expected in it from CA's side. It's a stable product. It provides the features we need, but I am concerned that, long-term, the technology support might be an issue and a reason I would not give it a 10; that and because of the upgrade challenges we had.

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