What is our primary use case?
We actually write a plugin for vRA that allows customers to integrate with third-party vendors, such as IPAM solutions, DNS, SolarWinds, BlueCat, Infoblox, and about 30 other modules. We both use vRNI and build for it.
It has been performing really well.
How has it helped my organization?
We're a smaller company. It automates a lot of the tasks and lets us focus in on building out our own solution. It's quicker, there is less building of manual solutions, and less downtime.
It allows our developers to quickly develop, get provisioning done, de-provisioning, etc; the stuff that you would expect to be able to make it streamlined.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature is the Extensibility Framework.
It also lets us automate a lot of the mundane tasks that we would do manually, and keep them consistent and repeatable.
One of the first things that you'll see in 7.5 is that they improved on the user-interface: being able to filter on stuff, having a cleaner interface, and easy navigation.
What needs improvement?
In terms of room for improvement, customer education is number one. It has nothing to do with the product itself but it would help if there were an understanding of its limitations, or the fact that it is a framework, that it is extensible and that you're not getting everything out-of-the-box. What you are getting is the framework out-of-the-box. Knowing that, you're going to look to either build your own custom solutions or you're going to go to companies like ours and get a solution that is already supported and maintained, so you can focus on your company's main mission.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It's pretty solid. We haven't really had any issues with it. Being a VMware partner, we usually provide feedback to their product management team. But on the whole, it's pretty stable.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It can definitely scale, from a smaller company like ours, all the way up to a large company like VMware, Dell EMC. It works great either way.
How was the initial setup?
I was not involved in the initial setup but we just did an upgrade and, while I wasn't directly involved, the overall experience was pretty good. It worked as expected and then we worked with support for any issues that we found during the upgrade process.
What was our ROI?
Reduction in roll-out time, decreased time to value, is our ROI.
What other advice do I have?
For the most part, it is user-friendly. It continues to grow and mature. It's definitely headed in the right direction. The fact that they continue to want to improve the customer experience is important. The product is great to begin with but they realize that nothing is perfect and they want to keep improving it.