CloudBolt Review

We were able to collapse over 95% of our orchestration directly into Chef and CloudBolt as opposed to having well over 300+ steps of orchestration in vCO and multiple scripts to call out.


What is most valuable?

The flexibility to provide hook points into any step of the provisioning process as well as the ability to customize and extend reporting, dashboards and server tabs to provide additional information to the end user. No other product we've tested has such comprehensive capabilities natively built in. 5 minute upgrades are the norm. Five minor and one major update later the alphas are almost as rock solid as the GA releases.

Update: The flexibility and speed to deliver new features is definitely the best thing about this company.

How has it helped my organization?

We were able to collapse over 95% of our orchestration directly into Chef and CloudBolt as opposed to having well over 300+ steps of orchestration in vCO and multiple scripts to call out to other self developed API's to do that same thing. Our delivery of VM's went form 19-23 minutes to 8-13 minutes depending on the cloud. The willingness of the CloudBolt team to improve their product at a very rapid pace has resulted in a delivery of over 130+ RFE's in less than 6 months to enhance the compatibility with company services, functionality and aesthetics.

Update: We are up to over 200 features in the last year and a half.

What needs improvement?

Load Balancing (Multiple F5), XaaS Services, Containers, and Parameter Overriding are the only areas left that I have seen that the foundation has been laid for but could use more refinement.

Update: Load Balancing Has Been Rounded Out, Containers are now in, and parameter overriding has been implemented and improved upon several times and XaaS is possible and improved functionality is coming in the next version.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using CloudBolt for about 1 year.

Update: Coming into our 2nd year.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Installation and setup literally took less than an hour and we were provisioning servers into 4 public cloud providers and soon to be 4 private datacenters, 30 minutes later and we had basic Chef integration.

Update: Now we integrate with just about every product CB integrates with as well as several other products such as Men and Mice IPAM/DNS, Akamai, and custom CI/CD pipelines.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Never with a GA release. Everything we have encountered dealing with stability has been due to other systems called (Chef, API's, AD, etc.) not being able to keep up with 100+ server deployments at a time.

Update: Once with an Alpha build and a patch was issued within 4 hours to address.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Not with CloudBolt, during our trial we had over 4K VM's across 4 datacenters, 3 public cloud providers, and 14 different environments.

Update: Now over 5K VM's and no issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

World class. I have opened personally opened over 1000+ Tickets since November (90+% were RFE's which have been ADDED into current releases since 5.2) and every single one was met with a helpful attitude and usually resolution on the first reply and if it wasn't a WebEx soon followed. Always received a reply same day within a couple of hours for the minor and low priority tickets.

Update: Excellent as always.

Technical Support:

Hands down, best out of every vendor we use across any vertical in our business. They are extremely helpful and quick to respond as well as help with suggestions and workarounds for anything that can't be fixed that moment.

Update: Nothing but the best.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We have used vRA for the last year and a half for all of our orchestration. Delivery time, upgrade time and complexity is reduced by 95% and required zero PSO dollars to get setup and to get integrated with all major providers and configuration managers. Finally vRA doesn't support Google, which was the keystone technology for the project.

How was the initial setup?

Extremely simple. From soup to nuts it took 30 minutes to setup. About a day to get everything configured and documented, 2 minutes to do an upgrade and about another 2 weeks to have everything integrated with full stack provisioning in all our current offerings plus 2 additional clouds. We have been spending a great deal of the extra time we saved on the project working on more features and refactoring our Chef builds to deploy even quicker.

What about the implementation team?

We deployed in house with 1 person over the stretch of 2 weeks.

What was our ROI?

Over a 3 year span, cost savings is projected to be is almost 60% at current scale. From a delivery standpoint, over 50% faster delivery and 95% less touch points.

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

Buy all that you need at once for the biggest discount, they are very flexible with your situation and can accommodate any licensing scenario you need.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Pretty much the entire upper and lower right Gartner Quadrant plus a few suggestions for team members.

What other advice do I have?

I highly suggest this product. As someone who has worked with just about every orchestration and CMP tool out there, this one has the most potential and best falls in line with a devops/agile mentality not only from a product offering standpoint but from a product development standpoint. I like the fact they keep it simple and extensible and the amount they functionally grow this product between releases is very pretty impressive.

Update: A year later with a few PSO engagements under our belt to get some priorities out of the door quickly and I couldn't be happier. The regular pace of service is phenomenal, the PSO engagements have been comprehensive and delivered quickly and with the quality of a GA even in it's alpha form.

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