VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) Review

Performance and optimization provide good value, but it may not keep up with changing technology

How has it helped my organization?

Without it in our data center, we would have to have a different solution. It's what we thought was the best architecture for our company.

What is most valuable?

What I like about the software are the performance and the optimization, based on the unit pricing.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. And due to the software contracts - we have a subscription membership - we get the newer versions. It's going be around and, from what I heard at one of the sessions today at VMworld 2018, it's going to be around for a while.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable. We're such a large company, we would never even consider using it if we didn't think it had a lot of room to grow, for the capacity that we utilize.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is okay, VMware is fine. I work with both Dell EMC and VMware and, of the two, VMware has more of a commitment to us and makes sure that the products are working in the way that they intended and sold to us.

In addition to production-level support, we buy mission-critical support. Mission-critical support makes sure that we get responses quickly. They actually know who we are when we call.

I rely on the Technical Account Manager from VMware to give us the solution for our network or data center. I'm not an SE, so we also rely on our internal SEs to provide us the right version and capabilities. It's customized for us.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We've been with VMware for such a long time, in excess of a decade, and because of that, I wasn't working here when they had an earlier solution.

How was the initial setup?

We upgrade it anytime we do a technical refresh. It's just like anything else. We're in a complex environment, so to upgrade it, it's almost like you have to migrate the data that is utilized underneath. It's not simple, but it is done periodically.

What other advice do I have?

You should look at the complexity and size of your environment, and when utilizing that background for your requirements, I personally would recommend VMware. You should look at what your deliverables are in this solution. If you do that, you have something you can measure it by, to determine if it's a good fit for you. But I do suggest that you look at VMware as a potential vendor.

I rate the solution at seven out of ten because I don't believe it's a perfect solution. It fits in our data center and it works for our organization, so it's a good solution for us. Yet, at the same time, technology changes so quickly today that a solution you bought three years ago, even if it's upgraded, isn't the solution that's going to fit. For example, we're all going to the cloud or on-prem/off-prem, and because of that, that solution may be in the cloud tomorrow, so I won't be buying it anymore, I'll be buying the cloud version of it because it's utilized through a different service provider.

My most important criteria when working with a vendor are really easy. I evaluate the vendor based on these things: 

  • What is their reliability? 
  • What is their pricing model?
  • Is it a partnership versus our just being a customer that they want to make large margins from?
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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