VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) Review

Automation of VM creation reduces the work involved and results in less human error

What is our primary use case?

We use it to automate workloads and it works well. The performance is as advertised.

How has it helped my organization?

It automates the creation of new VMs for us, so there is less human error, less work. It has simplified provisioning for us.

What is most valuable?

It integrates with our backup solution.

What needs improvement?

It is not intuitive or user-friendly. It's complicated as heck. We actually hired VMware Professional Services to come in. I understand the newer version, which we're not quite on yet, is easier and that the interface is better. But the product is really a profession unto itself. The user interface could be improved.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable. Doesn't die.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not yet had to scale it but I understand that the product does scale.

How is customer service and technical support?

I've used VMware tech support frequently. It's good, always good. They deliver. It's easy to get the person I need.

How was the initial setup?

We did hire VMware to come in and do it, of course. I was not there, in this role, at the time. They came and it works.

We haven't gone through an upgrade process yet. That's on the roadmap. We'll do that before the end of the year but we also have to do vSphere and the rest of VMware stuff.

What was our ROI?

I don't think there was an ROI attached to the project. We just needed to automate some of these provisioning processes.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend vRealize Automation. 

If you don't already have experience in it, you're probably going to hire a partner to help deploy it and make it tie into your environment. Make sure the third-party stuff works with it, make sure the APIs are open. We use it to automate. During the provisioning process, we use it to talk to the Infoblox with the DNS stuff and the IP provisioning, and to talk to our Veeam too. Just make sure that the rest of your stuff is going to work with it.

I rate it a nine out of ten. To get it to a ten they should make it easier to use and to understand what it's doing.

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