What is most valuable?
Overall, we found the ease of use and flexibility to be most valuable. This is a result of a few decisions by the CloudBolt team.
- Focus: It doesn't attempt to manage all infrastructure and application components, but focuses on providing a superior "portal" that can talk to many clouds and third party products.
- Expandability: The product provides many "hooks" throughout the products, where you can insert remote execution of scripts, REST calls, and even custom scripts written in Python, the same language CloudBolt itself is written in, with full access to the underlying CloudBolt database model to extend the product in a myriad of ways.
How has it helped my organization?
We only recently (last 12 months) started to build and automation platform. We focused first on platform automation, as we already had a bevy of Jenkins driven scripts in to deploy our applications.
CloudBolt's ease of use, coupled with our initial focus on fully automating infrastructure deployment, has won accolades from our internal stakeholders. A specific development director for one LOB has been our biggest advocate, lauding his ability to provision and destroy multi-server environments on-demand in step with his application releases.
We also took this opportunity to transition to a full infrastructure-as-code model, implementing Puppet Enterprise at the same time, driving a new level of consistency to those deployed environments.
What needs improvement?
Support for containers is basic and needs improvement. If we were to need more today, we could write Python scripts to make API calls as needed.
The system needs more real-time reporting of actual capacity usage, rather than allocated usage. For example, one LOB has a four node Nutanix brick allocated for their development hardware, and we've had to implement outside-of-CloudBolt processes to give them a true representation of their actual via. allocated usage.
For how long have I used the solution?
We've used it a little over a year.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
It was quite easy. We implemented custom integrations into Puppet Enterprise before it was officially supported, and CloudBolt support was quite helpful throughout.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Not until recently. Over the past few weeks we've hit some odd behavior and hangs due to what CB support says are out-of-memory conditions. We've raised memory available to the CloudBolt VM and are watching.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
No, not so far. We have approximately 2500 VMs under management, but haven't yet expanded to include our legacy or overseas data centers.
How are customer service and technical support?
Very good. They have been very responsive and are very open and quick to implement product improvements. Technical Support
Very good. They have been very responsive and are very open and quick to implement product improvements.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
There was no previous solution in place.
How was the initial setup?
It was a straightforward setup. As mentioned above, we did some custom scripts for integrations to Puppet, modified their Infoblox scripts to suit our needs, as well as implemented Microsoft DNS integration for some environments. These were a bit more complex, but well within the ability of our Python scripters given the supplied examples and answers from CB on some of the finer points.
What about the implementation team?
We implemented it through the in-house team.
What was our ROI?
Very high, but not constrained to just CloudBolt. We implemented puppet and Infoblox at the same time, and the combination of self-service, automatic IPAM, and config mgmt has delivered environments full of VMs ready for applications that are infinitely more consistent and provisioned in 30 minutes or less where it took several JIRA tickets, inter-team handoffs, and a few weeks to deliver manually.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
We made the conscious decision to form a small team exclusively focused on platform automation. The majority of their time in CloudBolt is using it as a service, modifying blueprints in response to user requests, and not very much debugging problems with CloudBolt itself. Puppet manifest writing for new feature requests and administration/refactoring of other infrastructure components that make the system work as a whole (Infoblox, Consul, Jenkins, Nexus, etc) take up the majority of the team's time.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
- RH CloudForms