VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) Review

Automated our manually processes saving us time. Needs to reduce custom coding during setup.

What is our primary use case?

Our use case is infrastructure automation, like self-service.

We utilize all the blades that we had available in the computes, mostly going into VMware vCenter.

When I have been using it, it has been mostly for private compute.

How has it helped my organization?

We provided the ability to request virtual machines to our end users. Before, this was a very manual process, which took engineers to do. Now, it's an automated process.

vRA has enabled us to leverage existing VMware processes, systems, and training in our organization to support IT ops. 

What is most valuable?

Most valuable thing is that it's flexible. You can do anything with coding.

What needs improvement?

VMware needs to make it to where it is not as custom. Right now, you spend a lot of time making the services work. In order to get it up and running initially, that takes time. I would like it if they didn't require custom code and we could get it running out-of-the-box.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using vRA for about five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is pretty important. For example, if the platform goes down and people can't provision anymore, people are relying on the automation versus old manual processes.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Our developers and IT consumers use it as well as other infrastructure teams.

vRA is the means for 90 percent of our infrastructure requests. There are use cases where things, like big data or bare-metal, don't necessarily provision this type of stuff.

How are customer service and technical support?

The service of VMware during our deployment was average; I wouldn't say VMware support is exceptional.

Post-deployment, it takes time to get to the right people in order to get proper support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did use a previous product, but integrating it with VMware was very custom.

How was the initial setup?

There is complexity to the setup. You have to custom write code for any integrations. It took six months to make it end user ready.

What about the implementation team?

There were about 10 of us involved in the setup. We have just a cloud team.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI from replacing manual processes with automation.

vRA has helped to automate deployment for developers. The solution increases developers’ responsibilities and productivity because now they can provision their own VMs and focus on the code.

The solution’s automated processes have reduced infrastructure provisioning time. Automation takes the time down to about an hour. Whereas, it could take days if it was done manually. This time reduction also applies to vRA's automated processes, which have reduced application provisioning time.

The solution has reduced time to market for our apps. It takes the burden off of our internal processes, which can now provision VMs in an automatic fashion.

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

It is pricey for what you get. Nutanix is cheaper.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other options.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you give yourself enough time to implement or replace all your use cases as a business.

The solution requires specific expertise with it to be able to use it effectively.

I would rate this product as a seven (out of 10). 

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