Control-M Review

The product provides visibility into the work that gets done


What is our primary use case?

It automates operations for all parts of the company. There isn't a part of the company that doesn't have jobs scheduled for Control-M.

How has it helped my organization?

The amount of work that gets done. We execute probably up to a million jobs a day. With Control-M, there is visibility into it. There are notifications when things go wrong. I don't think our company could run without it.

I am sure it has improved application reliability and SLAs.

What is most valuable?

Monitoring is a valuable aspect of it. The monitoring tool is very good, and it is easy for expert and entry level users to use on a short notice.

What needs improvement?

The reporting tool still needs a lot of improvement. It was supposed to get better with the upgrade, and it really didn't get better. Its reporting aspects are poor, and management always wants to know things. It is sort of hard to get at tangible numbers without doing a lot of additional work outside of the system. It needs help, because it's such a useful thing to have. It needs to be more powerful and easier to use.  

Our users always want access to the database directly, so they can do their own queries and pull their own data. However, there really isn't a tool that we can give them that does what they want, and we don't give access to our production database. Although, in our new infrastructure, we are setting it up so we have a mirrored one where they can run queries, because there has been so much demand. Though, it would be nice if there was a tool within Control-M so people wouldn't be asking for this.

I don't want to have to reach out to a third-party application company to do automated notifications of any form. Right now, we still have people manually calling people and emailing people. They should have built-in integration for better notifications using an API, similar to what xMatters offers.

For how long have I used the solution?

The company has had the product for 15 to 20 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability varies a bit. There are bugs that we run across. There are some issues that we have. However, when you think about the amount of work that it does within the company, it runs a million things a day, and it pretty much works. I'm not up in the middle of the night every night with problems. Overall, it's very stable, but it's not immune to problems. Considering the amount of work that it does, the problems that it has are very small.

The last upgrade took us three years. Up until the current version that we are about to go into, you had to build out a whole new infrastructure, then extract data and put it back in place. Now, it's a huge improvement, as upgrades do not need to build out a whole new infrastructure. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are probably one of the largest users of Control-M due to the amount of work that it does for us, and we could have it doing more. We are currently upgrading it.

We haven't had any serious outages in quite a long time, even through the large growth that we have had. We've doubled the work in the last year and a half to two years, and it's handled it seamlessly. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Most of the time, we don't get the answers that we are looking for from the technical support. That is why we use a consultant company.

Sometimes, it's very good, and sometimes not. We have mixed feelings. It used to be better.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

Oracle Database backup teams used to do this all themselves via cron. Now, they have automated cron to Control-M for a lot of our database backups where they used to do this outside of Control-M. Other than that, I think everybody is using it.

How was the initial setup?

The initial upgrade setup (for basic functionality) is not difficult.

I would like a simpler setup. We have had some challenges implementing, having to play with some different settings. In order to get it to do what was wanted of it, not alerting too often nor giving false alarms, it takes a bit of setup. Maybe something a little easier to use for setup would be nice.

What about the implementation team?

We've been using a consultant, for the last two upgrades, which first came to us through BMC Professional Services. Now, we use them directly and are very happy with them. Because there is not enough internal staff at our company for Control-M to do day-to-day and upgrading, we bring in help.

What was our ROI?

It has to save us time. Instead of 800 applications internally doing their own thing, it centralizes everything into one location where notifications, etc., take the power of economies of scale into one central point of focus. So, it saves us money for us and our customers, whose jobs we are scheduling.

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

We have a five-year contract with task-based licensing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had another solution in-house because it came to us through an acquisition of some business. So, I dealt with a title scheduler for a couple of years. It was different. It was not as scalable, robust, and more difficult.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend it for the scalability and dependability. The software is constantly being improved and new add-ons are being created. It is a robust tool that's stable. It is well-supported, especially compared to a lot of other options out there.

We have had massive growth in the last year to two because of company acquisitions. We have added a lot of big data aspect processing and a lot of other processing. It has handled this quite well.

We are just starting to go into a bit of the DevOps, Workload Change Manager, and Helix Chatbox.

Even though we don't chose to use their wide scope of products, it is one of the things that is a real positive about BMC. They can handle everything a corporation could throw at it, which makes the experience of working with them a lot better.

We learn things everyday about the product and its available features. We work in an IT environment with inquisitive people. There are millions of options available, parameter-wise, within the system. I learn something new everyday by working around smart, intuitive people.

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