VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) Review

One interface to control multiple environments makes it easier to monitor and manage

What is our primary use case?

We use vRealize Automation not only to track the utilization of the environment but to deploy new VMs on a regular basis. When DevOps decide they need a whole bunch of VMs spun up for a new version of an application we are already running, we can duplicate everything we've already got, spin them all up, get them running. When they're done with whatever test case they have going on, we can either move them over to staging or we can completely wipe out the entire environment, and that's a lot easier to monitor and manage.

How has it helped my organization?

Simplification. It gives us one interface to control multiple environments. It's an easier way to look at how a large chunk of information or data or processors are being used, and what they're being used for.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see it expanding, growing in all of the cloud-based stuff that they are really pushing towards, and have it be more capable of what it is already doing. But in reality, that's probably our own fault because we're a little bit behind on the version of VMware that we're running. It's probably just that we need to get caught up on our version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is 95 percent. There are some situations where it gets a little bit clumsy. When it gets really big, when you're dealing with a very large deployment, it can be a little bit difficult, but it's better than nothing. It does a significant job, given what it's tasked to do.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is probably the best part about it. You can take things that you've already defined, that you've already built once, and build them again multiple times, without significant effort.

How is customer service and technical support?

I haven't used technical support but my co-worker has, more than once, to deal with issues we were having while we were in the process of setting it up. I was off on other tasks so I never really had to deal with tech support. But, from what he said, it worked out well. They knew what they were talking about, they helped us get it sorted out.

Which solutions did we use previously?

There were other solutions that were used previously, but this one is the main one I have used, personally. Before coming to Bass Pro, where I am working now, it was a lot of VMware on bare metal and dealing with it directly. vRealize wasn't there.

What was our ROI?

We see our ROI is in terms of the reduced workload, because we can see a lot of things on one place and don't have to spend a lot of time going out looking for them, and in the simplification of deployment. Again, we can go to one place, do what we need to do, go off and work on other projects and come back and it's taken care of it itself.

What other advice do I have?

I give the solution a nine out of ten. Again, that's probably our own being behind. It's entirely possible the newest version is a ten. It's the whole extension, further into more modern technology, but we're not on the newest version at the moment. So it's probably already there and we don't see it yet. We're trying to get everything pulled together between our company and several other companies, to be on the same version. We're in the process of upgrading to the 6.5 and then, hopefully, very soon to 6.7.

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