VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) Review

It's easy for the end user to set up templates but hasn't been stable

What is our primary use case?

It's a SunBox for the people developing apps for the healthcare company. They can submit the project chapter, implement what they want based on the template that we have in the vRealize Automation, check, compare, and then at the end, they can build a project charter with all the needed components.

How has it helped my organization?

In the past, we released several steps to implement an application in the company. The first step was the project charter. You explain what you want to do or how you want to do it and what the costs would be for this. This means that before having the project charter, you don't have any budget. The SunBox is free of charge: they think, they deploy, they test. If it's working, they do a project charter, if it's not working they go back and try other stuff.

It has helped with provisioning. I know several projects that were going faster with the up to date cloud. In the past, they would implement and if it wasn't the right step they would have to go back, discuss with us getting a new server with the right sizing, then they would implement, test and go back. With this, they implement, they test it, if it's not the right stuff, they just throw it out and implement the new stuff. It's direct. If they just increase the size then it's less work for everybody and everybody can achieve their work easily and quickly.

What is most valuable?

It's intuitive and user-friendly for the user, but not intuitive and user-friendly for the implementer because the templates are not easy to set up. For the end user, it's quite easy, but it's a fulltime job for the implementer and we don't have the time for it. This is why we used a service to implement instead of us. We don't have the time to focus on that. 

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more stability, something that is integrated and that checks that all of the servers are working well. Also, the ability to customize templates. 

I would like to see them implement vRealize into the cloud. It would be very smart for us to have vRealize in the cloud as a service that can be deployed internally. Then we don't have to implement anything anymore. We only need to take care of templates. 

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is why I rated it a seven and not higher. There were several cases where we had to restart some services because it wasn't working correctly anymore. People cannot extend their machine or replay their machine. There is no alert to say that there is a problem and that we should stop the service. The monitoring system is not very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is perfect. We haven't had any issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have found their technical support to be good. 

Which solutions did we use previously?

It was a logical and smart decision for us to have this solution in place. It makes sense for my business. We used Orchestrate, the original version. It was the first automated system that could deploy complete solutions. We decided to go with this solution because it was evolving and I just followed the evolution. We switched to vRealize three years ago.

How was the initial setup?

I wouldn't say the initial setup was straightforward but it wasn't complex.  

The upgrade experience went well. It's working well.

What about the implementation team?

We used a service to implement. We did our research and now we have a good guy from VMware services. We plan to keep him. If we always have new people coming into deployment services it can take at least five days to teach them how the system works and to do all of the certifications needed. Our plan is to stick with this guy from VMware services. 

What was our ROI?

The ROI that we see is that people don't have to work too hard to have something done and therefore they have more time to market. They save time, which is money. We are an American company so if you save time, any implementation that we do is the implementation of a tool that can submit new work to FDA. One day is like one million.

I also have a lot fewer people asking me questions or for help. I don't need to be as involved in the discovery phase. People can now do their own job with something free and automated. They are happy.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We conducted studies on other options. We found other possibilities that were cheaper but so far this is what's working well for us and as of now we don't want to change. 

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