The most valuable features are recording, treading, and automation because they help me support the system. I have many systems and being able to find out information that I can use instantaneously is a big help. Doing my job with a click on a button -- you can't put price on that.
And it also helped me with automation because I can automate stuff so that I don't have to wake up in the middle of the night to do something. It's a big deal.
Also, the recording piece gives us a view of how we're using storage. Are we lean and mean? Or are we just lackadaisical and wasting stuff? We were able to salvage terabytes of space that we utilized somewhere else.
It just helps us fix problems before they happen and then you work on them after. If somebody does not put the right space parameter, we let the job run and then we fix it after. If somebody does not optimize a data set, we run our reports after talking to these people without ever having an event wasting CPU cycles.
Improvements to My Organization
One of the best products I have used so far is CA Vantage because of the stuff that we were able to find out. I've always laughed at my bosses or management, when they always want cutesy charts, stuff like that, because to me it's not about that. If there is a problem, I work on it and move on.
But I drank the Kool-Aid and I was able to, using those same charts that they asked for, see a picture of where I am wasting resources. Whether it was data allocation or HSM failures and all this stuff. I get all these reports on a daily basis at the click of a button, and I can go ahead and fix those issues. The good thing about this is you can share this with your coworkers, your group.
My group is made up of six people. All 6 people can look at the same screen and and they are all looking at the same thing and because we're all storage management and we have the same mentality. We know what needs to be done to fix those errors.
Room for Improvement
It reads data that I create on the mainframe so, we have a Windows client that through TCP/IP connects to the host on the mainframe and it creates all its data on the mainframe. I would like that data to be created in an efficient way, compressed, or whatever they have to do. That is the main problem they need to fix.
Five years ago, yes. As a matter of fact there were too many bugs. Probably, I think because the user communities did not know what they had at the time. We saw the potential from day one and we started using it and there were bugs here and there, but CA was gracious enough to set aside two people to work with us around the clock. It made it the product that it is today -- a beautiful thing I recommend to anyone.
Vantage has two pieces. There is a part host side and there is the other part on the Windows side. There are no problems that I see on the mainframe side. The Windows piece is just because I am not an open system-type person. I don't know too much about Windows and I need hand holding here and there.
Customer Service and Technical Support
CA Vantage I have used for years. I've had very few issues and the issues I had were rectified immediately within a few days days, some of them within minutes.
I actually meet with CA Vantage developers once a week for an hour, discussing the product and where it's headed. So we do engage with them not only when we have issues, but where we see potential to tell them, why don't you guys do this, and they might just take it from us.
I installed this product, remember it had flaws in the beginning. It's improved since, but I'd only give it a 5/10 in terms of straightforwardness.
Absolutely get it. It could trend your stuff, it could automate. You name it, the product can do it. The sky's the limit and if you can't do it yourself, the support is outstanding, they are willing to listen, they will work with you and they get you there.