VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) Review

Its third-party ecosystem allows automation of almost every IT process

What is most valuable?

vRA's Orchestrator allows you to connect to a huge ecosystem with a huge number of third-party systems to automate any and every IT process that you can think of. It makes it very flexible. Makes it really adaptable as opposed to some other systems.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows people to move into orchestration and automation, and most customers want to get into that but they don't really know how. vRO and vRA gives them a step through the door to allow them to start building upon. It gives you a framework, it gives you a baseline to let you build from there.

What needs improvement?

They are doing well as far as iterating quickly, iterating by often adding small things. I think there should be even more integrations with third-party systems. You have Infoblox and Puppet which great. Let's add Chef to the mix and just keep them coming.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far so good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Everything is much improved, especially with vRA's automation 7 and newer, as they move more things into virtual appliances and out of Windows. That's a win for everybody. It's a win for the customers. It's a win for us deploying it. It's a win for manageability, scalability, everything.

How is customer service and technical support?

Tech support is usually great. As soon as you get a live person you're good. It just depends on the level of support that the customer is paying for. Sometimes that's nothing that we can control, it's just what they have.

How was the initial setup?

It's much more straightforward now that it was in version 6.x., to the Nth degree. They have made it so that you can do either a proof of concept or fully distributed version of vRA with a wizard-driven GUI, which is amazing. Now, there are still some little quirks with that wizard, but it being there makes it much simpler than going it manually and installing each component and linking them all together after the fact.

What other advice do I have?

For me, being a consultant, vendor selection isn't what matters. I want to use whatever is best for the customer. So whatever fits their business use case best is what I'm going to go with, what I'm going to recommend.

vRA does most things really well. There are still some issues such that, if you are going to go 100% cloud, if you don't want anything on-premise, there are some other solutions that might have a leg up.

Use vRA, but it's more about the process than it is about the product. You have to make sure that the users, who are going to be internal IT most of the time, that their expectations are set appropriately. Make sure that you have buy-in from the higher-ups as far as automating processes. You have to make sure you have by-in at all levels.

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