VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) Review

Upgrades have been simple because of their Lifecycle Manager product

How has it helped my organization?

It has saved us a lot of time and work. It helped us to reorganize some of our service lines, so we could be more efficient. For example, on our open system server team, we had 15 people building servers, now we have two.

Once you've learned the product, it is very easy to use.

What is most valuable?

The entire automation orchestration of it. It integrates into all of the other products that we have, e.g., ServiceNow. 

We have a self-service portal, and it does that very well.

What needs improvement?

It has a learning curve.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have no issues whatsoever with it. It's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have no issues whatsoever with it. It's very scalable.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have a technical account manager, but we also rely heavily on VMware's support team, who is excellent to work with.

How was the initial setup?

Upgrades have been extremely simple with their Lifecycle Manager product.

What about the implementation team?

We actually used a lot of VMware services because we didn't want it sitting in the box too long. We had them come in, then they had it up and running in two days. There was a lot of tweaking to do, but it was up and running in two days.

What was our ROI?

We have seen significant ROI. We used to have physical servers, it took 90 days to get a server, order it, buy it, and get it in. We have it down to 10 minutes, building a server with virtualization, and now that's too slow. So, we let the customer do it at their speed. Therefore, it is pretty much up in a couple of minutes and they have a server.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We usually look at least three other vendors minimum. 

We chose VMware years ago. We have also had Hyper-V and KVM. So, we've had different products from different vendors. However, now, we are down to just VMware, because it's very stable and reliable.

What other advice do I have?

Talk to a lot of different companies and people that have done it. Find out what not to do and what to do. It will make your journey easier.

We are working on a lot of the digital transformation right now. We are working more on the Pivotal Container Service (PKS) product, and a lot of integrations that they're doing with the performance monitoring, the metrics, and KPIs. This is very important to us.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

  • Transparency: Be very open with us. 
  • Be very knowledgeable about their products, so that we don't have to go through three or four different people to get one answer.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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