VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) Review

User-friendly and perfect for the end-user

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of this solution is to provide our clients with a virtual private cloud. It has been performing very well. We've had some multi-tenancy issues but VMware has been very supportive. 

How has it helped my organization?

For repeated installations and the provisioning of VMs, we now have a clear definition of what has been installed, and we can monitor all that stuff. There are some functions for the ICDs, and we have continuous development and deployment.

It theoretically could help provision new clients faster if you adhere to the limits of the product then it makes provisioning the new client a lot faster. If you have customers like we have that are really demanding and want special solutions it will end up in huge customization.

What is most valuable?

We like the blueprint designer. We can create topologies with it. 

I have found it to be user-friendly because it's very UI centric. We have a problem that most of our developers would like to have it more on a flat file format. For our end user, it's just perfect.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see multi-tenancy in NSX and better functionality. 

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have found this solution to be stable as long as we don't test its limits. We have had huge installations where we had some problems with performance and stability. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

If you have a normal use case like a conventional enterprise and use it for yourself then you might never test its limits. In our case, our customers are creating a lot of business groups and this led to a lot of problems later on.

How is customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is very good and swift. 

Which solutions did we use previously?

We switched because we don't want to focus on the cloud management platform. We want to have this resolved and supported by a vendor because we are system integrators and want to supply the services and the knowledge above that. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex because we have a high availability cluster. Especially when it comes to upgrades, we have a lot of downtimes and problems. The upgrade experience has been painful. 

What about the implementation team?

The product as a whole was offered by Dell EMC but we used VMware as an integrator and for the setup. We still have some VMware specialists working within our team.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We built everything from scratch, it ended up being very costly. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution a seven because it hasn't perfectly adapted to our use cases with multi-tenancy. 

If you're looking into this solution I would tell you that if you use this solution only within your own company, you'll be fine. If you have a business like ours, it can get complicated. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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