One of the key benefits is that it really reduces the need for an organization to have all these backend infrastructure systems which are very, very costly to actually procure and to maintain. Service Virtualization allows you to test without actually having physical backends there. It pretends that they're there.
By virtualizing application services, you can actually give them to whoever needs to use it. They make a request, get a response, and they use the application without even knowing that it's not connected to a real live system in the backend.
Improvements to My Organization
One of the things I like about it is it actually does what it claims to do. It virtualizes application services. A lot of the times companies come in with their glossies and all this kind of stuff, and they put it up on a nice presentation, and they tell you all about it. Then we try to do it, and it just doesn't do it.
This product just works really, really well.
Room for Improvement
The problem is getting the developers to do more than just hooking into QA backends. They don't do integrated testing so that the first time you bump into an integrative problem is when it hits our QA environment, which are integrated. They discover a defect later on down the cycle and it's more costly to fix. The developers are not finding their own bugs and fixing them.
This tool would allow them to do simulated integration tests without having all this backend infrastructure. They can run on it so we build the services for them, but they're not using it for that capability because it hasn't been presented it to them in that way.
So really the biggest area of improvement is just in terms of who CA should be focusing the tool's use. It would be best to focus on the developers.
Use of Solution
It was purchased from another larger corporate project and just kind of sat there, paid for but on the shelf. What happened was the maintenance comes up once a year, and our VP says, "You know, I'm paying 250 grand for this thing. Who's used this?"
We've been running one server for a couple years now. This year we've decided to spread our wings a little, and we're going to procure four more. It can replicate one setup on all five servers, or replicate five different setups, one on each.
Customer Service and Technical Support
The support is there when we need it.
Other Solutions Considered
We've had this one for several years, but we just started using over the last two years or so. No other options were used.
I would suggest that you do a proof of concept. Get it in your shop and try it out. See what you like. Look at other tools and compare them. IBM has got I think a tool called Green Hat. Hit the big guys that sell software like that, and do proofs of concept to make your own decision.
Use the web portal that allows you to develop services without actually buying the product. You can go in there and test it.