VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) Review

Enables us to automatically reboot, power up servers, add applications


What is our primary use case?

We have used it mostly for our internal IT. We haven't really published it for customers or other groups to be able to use it. But we've actually just hit the surface. We've used it for rebooting servers, adding applications, automating some scripts; general things like that.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved our organization by automating some of our processes. Automating processes saves us time. If we are able to schedule, say, a server reboot, instead of actually having to log in at 8:00 at night, when we wouldn't normally be on our network - scheduling a reboot after, say, a patch or something. It just allows us to not have to work. It does it automatically.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of vRealize Automation is being able to - as the name says -automate VMware executions, to be able to automatically reboot; servers, power them up; add applications. That's useful to us in IT.

What needs improvement?

To improve the product, possibly the interface could be more informational. There's a nice tree structure on the left, but being able to know what to do with that tree structure could possibly be improved a little bit with right-click menus or more information. I'm sure the Help menu is fine, but just more intuitive, maybe.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't really had any problems with stability. Usually, for what we use it for, it has been very stable, very dependable. I feel like it's done a good job.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I feel vRA is scalable. Being able to develop it more, and get more installations, more things to use it for, will be able to help us scale it out and use it for more people.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have not had to use tech support for vRA, so I don't really have any experience with that. But I'm sure it's wonderful.

How was the initial setup?

I personally have not upgraded the program, but the people that actually manage it have not had any issues with it. That being said, it's still a fairly small installation, or a very small group of people that use the product. We haven't expanded it to be able to know, with the installation, how it has gone.

What other advice do I have?

The solution is user-friendly, to a degree. I feel like you still have to know a little bit of the ins and outs of how to get into it, some of the commands to use for what, exactly, you're trying to do. But besides that, it's pretty user-friendly.

In terms of increasing infrastructure agility with it, we have, maybe to a small degree. I don't feel that, with our implementation of vRealize Automation, we have really gotten very far. We've only scratched the surface. Like I said, we only use it for our internal IT, and we're just being able to save a little bit of time by the things that we do. We haven't really dug deep into what it's capable of.

It has made it easier for IT to support developers but I don't feel like we're at that point yet where the developers are involved. We have it as a future (goal) to involve our developers and have them be able to get on a webpage, and be able to do things automatically, without them having to put in a ticket or request us to do something for them; just making it automated. As we get to that point, though, I think it will be very useful.

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