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CloudBolt OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

CloudBolt is the #15 ranked solution in our list of top Cloud Management tools. It is most often compared to VMware vRealize Automation (vRA): CloudBolt vs VMware vRealize Automation (vRA)

What is CloudBolt?

CloudBolt supports a variety of cloud technologies, from on-premises virtualization and private cloud to a wide range public and hybrid cloud configurations.

No need to rip-and-replace. CloudBolt provides easy import, syncing, and management of legacy deployments even as it helps you build out new cloud environments.

CloudBolt lets administrators create and maintain configuration standards while developing a reusable library of service and application templates.


Buyer's Guide

Download the Cloud Management Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

CloudBolt Customers

WM, CyWest, Panic, Camden, University of Maryland, Xerox, Neustar, Medidata, Continu, Aruba Networks, Neuberger Berman, Peak6, EverBank, Ascensus, Hosting Edge

CloudBolt Video

Archived CloudBolt Reviews (more than two years old)

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ITCS user
Technical Advisor at a hospitality company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
We were able to collapse over 95% of our orchestration directly into Chef and CloudBolt as opposed to having well over 300+ steps of orchestration in vCO and multiple scripts to call out.

What is most valuable?

The flexibility to provide hook points into any step of the provisioning process as well as the ability to customize and extend reporting, dashboards and server tabs to provide additional information to the end user. No other product we've tested has such comprehensive capabilities natively built in. 5 minute upgrades are the norm. Five minor and one major update later the alphas are almost as rock solid as the GA releases.

Update: The flexibility and speed to deliver new features is definitely the best thing about this company.

How has it helped my organization?

We were able to collapse over 95% of our orchestration directly into Chef and CloudBolt as opposed to having well over 300+ steps of orchestration in vCO and multiple scripts to call out to other self developed API's to do that same thing. Our delivery of VM's went form 19-23 minutes to 8-13 minutes depending on the cloud. The willingness of the CloudBolt team to improve their product at a very rapid pace has resulted in a delivery of over 130+ RFE's in less than 6 months to enhance the compatibility with company services, functionality and aesthetics.

Update: We are up to over 200 features in the last year and a half.

What needs improvement?

Load Balancing (Multiple F5), XaaS Services, Containers, and Parameter Overriding are the only areas left that I have seen that the foundation has been laid for but could use more refinement.

Update: Load Balancing Has Been Rounded Out, Containers are now in, and parameter overriding has been implemented and improved upon several times and XaaS is possible and improved functionality is coming in the next version.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using CloudBolt for about 1 year.

Update: Coming into our 2nd year.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Installation and setup literally took less than an hour and we were provisioning servers into 4 public cloud providers and soon to be 4 private datacenters, 30 minutes later and we had basic Chef integration.

Update: Now we integrate with just about every product CB integrates with as well as several other products such as Men and Mice IPAM/DNS, Akamai, and custom CI/CD pipelines.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Never with a GA release. Everything we have encountered dealing with stability has been due to other systems called (Chef, API's, AD, etc.) not being able to keep up with 100+ server deployments at a time.

Update: Once with an Alpha build and a patch was issued within 4 hours to address.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Not with CloudBolt, during our trial we had over 4K VM's across 4 datacenters, 3 public cloud providers, and 14 different environments.

Update: Now over 5K VM's and no issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

World class. I have opened personally opened over 1000+ Tickets since November (90+% were RFE's which have been ADDED into current releases since 5.2) and every single one was met with a helpful attitude and usually resolution on the first reply and if it wasn't a WebEx soon followed. Always received a reply same day within a couple of hours for the minor and low priority tickets.

Update: Excellent as always.

Technical Support:

Hands down, best out of every vendor we use across any vertical in our business. They are extremely helpful and quick to respond as well as help with suggestions and workarounds for anything that can't be fixed that moment.

Update: Nothing but the best.

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

We have used vRA for the last year and a half for all of our orchestration. Delivery time, upgrade time and complexity is reduced by 95% and required zero PSO dollars to get setup and to get integrated with all major providers and configuration managers. Finally vRA doesn't support Google, which was the keystone technology for the project.

How was the initial setup?

Extremely simple. From soup to nuts it took 30 minutes to setup. About a day to get everything configured and documented, 2 minutes to do an upgrade and about another 2 weeks to have everything integrated with full stack provisioning in all our current offerings plus 2 additional clouds. We have been spending a great deal of the extra time we saved on the project working on more features and refactoring our Chef builds to deploy even quicker.

What about the implementation team?

We deployed in house with 1 person over the stretch of 2 weeks.

What was our ROI?

Over a 3 year span, cost savings is projected to be is almost 60% at current scale. From a delivery standpoint, over 50% faster delivery and 95% less touch points.

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

Buy all that you need at once for the biggest discount, they are very flexible with your situation and can accommodate any licensing scenario you need.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Pretty much the entire upper and lower right Gartner Quadrant plus a few suggestions for team members.

What other advice do I have?

I highly suggest this product. As someone who has worked with just about every orchestration and CMP tool out there, this one has the most potential and best falls in line with a devops/agile mentality not only from a product offering standpoint but from a product development standpoint. I like the fact they keep it simple and extensible and the amount they functionally grow this product between releases is very pretty impressive.

Update: A year later with a few PSO engagements under our belt to get some priorities out of the door quickly and I couldn't be happier. The regular pace of service is phenomenal, the PSO engagements have been comprehensive and delivered quickly and with the quality of a GA even in it's alpha form.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Product Manager at a media company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
We could easily modify our code during the evaluation and development phases and see the results in seconds.

What is most valuable?

CloudBolt's simple to understand framework allows current IT resources to easily automate the entire lifecycle of VM using predefined hook points. The way CloudBolt intuitively placed the ability to implement plugins, remote scripts, webhooks, or actions directly within the product is awesome! You can upload, use github (or http link), or just edit the code right inside the GUI. With CloudBolt we could easily modify our code during the evaluation and development phases and see the results in seconds.

How has it helped my organization?

The ability of our tier one and two teams to support CloudBolt was >80% on day 3. Tier III and Architects spent up to 40% of the project time supporting our previous cloud management platform; with CloudBolt we were able to reduce product support to less than 3% of work time spent.

What needs improvement?

Support for Active Directory groups, currently user management in CloudBolt groupsin managed individually. We had a previous access model that was based on AD groups, and allowed users to be able to use the product with their group membership, so no users were ever added directly to the provisioning system.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using CloudBolt for about 6 months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Deployment was seamless. We were able to integrate all existing workflows and actions rewritten in python into CloudBolt. Any issues we faced were quickly resolved with the assistance of CloudBolt support.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We found a few of the updates would cause our custom code to stop working the way we intended. A support ticket or simple change and this was easily resolved. We have not updated past 5.3.0.2.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did find it was a bit challenging to scale horizontally behind a load balancer in an active/active configuration. This was the only case in which CloudBolt Support was slow to respond.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

You can tell the CloudBolt staff loves what they do. Customer service is just amazing.

Technical Support:

Blazing fast responses, usually within hours, and if they problem persisted they were readily available to jump on call or Webex to resolve the issue.

The Documentation is excellent and very short. You can read every bit in about an hour.

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

Yes, we previously used another cloud management system. This product offered excellent governance, but supporting of the all the components that are not seamlessly integrated required a lot of expertise and time to understand. On one occasion I remember spending 3-4 hours with support just looking for the right logs.

How was the initial setup?

The CloudBolt ova was deployed in under 30 minutes, including importing all virtual servers from previous deployments. Within 3 days we had our production instance of CloudBolt achieve feature parity with our previous cloud management solution of 1.5 years.

What about the implementation team?

We choose to implement CloudBolt in house, with assistance from a couple members of CloudBolt's team who provided guidance, coding support, and troubleshooting assistance along the way.

What was our ROI?

We were able to save enough from reduced support cost associated with maintaining and operating our previous cloud management platform within \months to pay for CloudBolt.

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

CloudBolt is license per server/container managed. Forecast your growth and purchase as much as you can upfront.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No other software was evaluated.

What other advice do I have?

We often said during our evaluation of CloudBolt that if our team of system administrators/engineers built a cloud management product in house, it would be look and feel like CloudBolt. In all aspects they kept it simple.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Find out what your peers are saying about CloudBolt, Scalr, VMware and others in Cloud Management. Updated: October 2021.
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it_user423525
Sr. Infrastructure Architect at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The product provides many "hooks" throughout the products, where you can insert remote execution of scripts, REST calls, and even custom scripts written in Python.

What is most valuable?

Overall, we found the ease of use and flexibility to be most valuable. This is a result of a few decisions by the CloudBolt team.

  • Focus: It doesn't attempt to manage all infrastructure and application components, but focuses on providing a superior "portal" that can talk to many clouds and third party products.
  • Expandability: The product provides many "hooks" throughout the products, where you can insert remote execution of scripts, REST calls, and even custom scripts written in Python, the same language CloudBolt itself is written in, with full access to the underlying CloudBolt database model to extend the product in a myriad of ways.

How has it helped my organization?

We only recently (last 12 months) started to build and automation platform. We focused first on platform automation, as we already had a bevy of Jenkins driven scripts in to deploy our applications.

CloudBolt's ease of use, coupled with our initial focus on fully automating infrastructure deployment, has won accolades from our internal stakeholders. A specific development director for one LOB has been our biggest advocate, lauding his ability to provision and destroy multi-server environments on-demand in step with his application releases.

We also took this opportunity to transition to a full infrastructure-as-code model, implementing Puppet Enterprise at the same time, driving a new level of consistency to those deployed environments.

What needs improvement?

Support for containers is basic and needs improvement. If we were to need more today, we could write Python scripts to make API calls as needed.

The system needs more real-time reporting of actual capacity usage, rather than allocated usage. For example, one LOB has a four node Nutanix brick allocated for their development hardware, and we've had to implement outside-of-CloudBolt processes to give them a true representation of their actual via. allocated usage.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've used it a little over a year.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

It was quite easy. We implemented custom integrations into Puppet Enterprise before it was officially supported, and CloudBolt support was quite helpful throughout.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Not until recently. Over the past few weeks we've hit some odd behavior and hangs due to what CB support says are out-of-memory conditions. We've raised memory available to the CloudBolt VM and are watching.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No, not so far. We have approximately 2500 VMs under management, but haven't yet expanded to include our legacy or overseas data centers.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Very good. They have been very responsive and are very open and quick to implement product improvements.

Technical Support:

Very good. They have been very responsive and are very open and quick to implement product improvements.

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

There was no previous solution in place.

How was the initial setup?

It was a straightforward setup. As mentioned above, we did some custom scripts for integrations to Puppet, modified their Infoblox scripts to suit our needs, as well as implemented Microsoft DNS integration for some environments. These were a bit more complex, but well within the ability of our Python scripters given the supplied examples and answers from CB on some of the finer points.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it through the in-house team.

What was our ROI?

Very high, but not constrained to just CloudBolt. We implemented puppet and Infoblox at the same time, and the combination of self-service, automatic IPAM, and config mgmt has delivered environments full of VMs ready for applications that are infinitely more consistent and provisioned in 30 minutes or less where it took several JIRA tickets, inter-team handoffs, and a few weeks to deliver manually.

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

We made the conscious decision to form a small team exclusively focused on platform automation. The majority of their time in CloudBolt is using it as a service, modifying blueprints in response to user requests, and not very much debugging problems with CloudBolt itself. Puppet manifest writing for new feature requests and administration/refactoring of other infrastructure components that make the system work as a whole (Infoblox, Consul, Jenkins, Nexus, etc) take up the majority of the team's time.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

  • vCAC/vRealize
  • ServiceMesh
  • RH CloudForms
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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