What is most valuable?
The whole service virtualization concept works on integration patterns, so the service virtualization should be supporting the regular RESTful services. However, it should also support services that listen and reply to MQs, generic JMS, SAP WebMethods integration server, universal messaging, or SAP virtualization database (or whatever virtualization you have, e.g., Java virtualization).
The support for these integration patterns and the ease of use to wizard-based utility is what I would consider the most important features for service virtualization platforms.
How has it helped my organization?
It has improve our organization a lot. For example, one of our very recent client's implementations that our Patson USA team did, we saved more than $15 million. This is in confirmed savings. In the past three and a half years of our implementation there, it helps you avoid the environment, get your software to production a lot faster, and reduces the wait times. That means it improves the productivity of your pre-production community. It also helps you in finding defects earlier if you can shift your testing left and integrate your application under test with virtual services.
What needs improvement?
With service virtualization, I'd love to see support for the Internet of things. I would love to see a web portal that the developers can use without consuming the virtual service designer license. This portal would be a lightweight utility where developers can put their own request response parameters for an already-created virtual service. This would really help in the DevOps culture.
More support for different protocols. I would love to see more wizards rather than relying on some custom coding, which you can use C# as well as Visual Basic scripting. In the service virtualization platform, I would love to see more wizard features as well as the ability to connect to an external database, which by the way, we have put an enhancement request in for. I'd love to see that in the service virtualization platform.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The service virtualization tool is perhaps one of the newest tools compared to its competitors, but it also means it has a very high degree of energy in it. From our experience, we have put more than 20 enhancement requests for the service virtualization platform and to the Micro Focus R&D team, based in Prague in the Czech Republic, who has been very approachable. They have taken our suggestions and they have actually implemented our enhancement requests, which is very nice to know.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The tool by itself is scalable. It does not have load-balancing capabilities, but the competitors don't either. I don't know if you really need to have that kind of capability, although that is one of the enhancement requests that we have been talking to Micro Focus about, and we'll continue to go down that path.
The tool is scalable. For example, we have about 60 or so services deployed to one single license of Micro Focus at any given time, of Micro Focus service virtualization. I would rate the stability and the scalability high up there.
How is customer service and technical support?
Most of our tickets go to Micro Focus R&D. On the support side, I would say because service virtualization is newer compared to LoadRunner, most of our tickets get routed to R&D, as opposed to the LoadRunner, where most of the tickets get resolved at the first layer of support.
How was the initial setup?
I was involved in the initial setup, and not just the software set up, but I was also involved in getting the right hardware configuration for that kind of workload. Our Patson USA team worked closely with HPE R&D (now Micro Focus R&D) to even figure out the CPU processor speed that would be needed to support 3,000 transactions per second, and HPE helped us out with that.
The initial setup was very straightforward. It is complex, but it is straightforward if you know what you're doing. There are various different ways you can set up the tool and that's where the complexity is. But, if you just want to do the traditional setup, it's very easy to do.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I was heavily involved with our Patson USA team when they were tasked with choosing the right platform for our clients and we evaluated all the competitors. We evaluated Cecilia, Parasoft, as well as IBM Green Hat, the Micro Focus service virtualization tool, and an open source, at that time, SmartBear also had service virtualization capability (I believe they do now, as well). We evaluated all of that. We put about 1500 criteria of what are we looking for in a service virtualization platform. We consulted with entire enterprise architecture teams. Many different teams collaborated with them and came up with that 1500 criteria, and this is how we were heavily involved in that decision-making.
What other advice do I have?
In terms of its support and the technical abilities that it has, there are other tools. I'm not gonna name them, they have a higher degree of technical ability. Unfortunately, their support and their performance are not that great. You want to have a car. You don't want to have a Ferrari that doesn't work. You need to have a car that can get you from point A to point B, and HP service virtualization has been performed there.
Don't give up. It may sound very expensive at the beginning, but we have realized more than $15 million in savings at one of our major healthcare clients. It will really help you. Try working with your management to have them spend the money on getting a service virtualization platform.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Sep 19 2017