Getting the deployments automated adds a lot of value. Before we automated deployments, there was a big problem with manual intervention and people making changes on production services and forgetting what they did. It was just impossible to reproduce deployments.
Then there's the traceability aspect -- you can trace back to the code which is stored in ClearCase through the build. All the deployment artifacts can be traced back to the original source.
Room for Improvement
The biggest area of improvement that I would suggest is in the upgrade process. We started 2015 with uDeploy 4.7, and in order to get the latest version, we had to upgrade first to version 5, which was introduced for the IBM branding. That was straightforward enough, but the jump from version 5 to version 6.1.2 was enormous. We had to focus on testing the security model because it was completely new. We documented and tested it in a production environment. Once we did the upgrade, we found another big change in the version implemented, which we didn't anticipate and which caused problems in our production environment. We re-architected the implementation and there were 4-5 failings we had to work through. Future upgrades probably won't be this difficult, but this one was tough.
In terms of functionality, the reporting could be improved a bit. It seems like the new version has better reporting capability, but data visualization would be nice to have.
Use of Solution
We first started using uDeploy around 2011 or 2012, but when we started to automate our deployments in 2010, we used Anthill Pro. When we started using uDeploy, we kept Anthill Pro as a backend for the builds. We now are on version 6.1.2 of uDeploy.
It's less stable than our other IBM products. We have ClearCase, and it rarely is unstable as it's designed for devops work and can deal with the development process on the product itself. There have been a lot of broken stoppages in uDeploy 6.1.2, particularly in the upgrade. We installed the newer 6.2.01 in our sister environment and actually had some regressions in the interface. It seems to have the stability level of open-source products.
It's scaled fine for what we need it to do. We have over a hundred applications configured in it.
Customer Service and Technical Support
They're always knowledgeable, but it seems they're overwhelmed. They're great and deal with our issues, but it seems the hurdle is their other customers who also need help. There aren't enough resources available.
It's really good if you have a lot of applications that need to be deployed in different environments. You need to have a team to support it because there's a lot of different pieces and it's a really deep solution. There are many features, only some of which we've been using. It's not the kind of thing that only one person can work on. It's not for a small shop; it's for an enterprise.