VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) Review

Automation enables us to do more with fewer people

What is our primary use case?

We mostly use it for generating VMware instances.

Things are getting to a point now where you need to be able to do more with less. Anything you can automate is always going to help you in the long run. I'm in the government sector. We're in extreme "do-more-with-less," so we're constantly looking for solutions where we can automate things that we're doing on a day-to-day basis. That's especially true when you have repeatable processes. Automation becomes paramount to get your mission completed in a timely fashion.

How has it helped my organization?

It has helped us through time savings. We can do more with fewer people. It probably does, ultimately, improve time to market. But there's so much bureaucratic process in everything we do in the government sector, that it's really hard to improve time to market for anything we do.

What is most valuable?

When I've been on the console, I have found it very intuitive. There is not a lot to it; it's pretty self-explanatory. It leads you in a direction where you know what you're doing.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more improvement in the way it integrates with other systems. That certainly wouldn't hurt.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've been using this product for a while and the stability is fantastic. As long as we keep our hardware maintained, and we're doing everything we can on that front, I don't see any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is fantastic. It's there.

How is customer service and technical support?

Personally, I have not had to use technical support. I know we, as an organization, do so frequently. We have our TAM who is onsite, so any time we do have any issues, the TAM is there to help us, assist us in getting to the right person, and in getting where we need to get to.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. Not for us, again, because of the bureaucracy, but, in and of itself, it is very straightforward. I've done a lot of it in the lab, and hands-on training. It's pretty straightforward and simple.

What was our ROI?

There has been a return on investment, although it's hard to measure.

What other advice do I have?

In terms of advice, being here at VMworld 2018 is a start. I'm sitting through a lot of these presentations and there's a myriad of information available that is located right here, as opposed to me having to go search for it across the web.

When we consider working with a vendor, for us, government certifications help. From our perspective, ATOs and STIGs and all those types of things being in existence before we start to work with them are important, because having to obtain all those things from us is a difficult portion of it. Also, product support for integration with other systems, that's always a key to us. Those are the two main factors.

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