Most Helpful Review
Researched Automic Workload Automation but chose OpCon: Enabled us to significantly reduce manual touches in our system, but testing automations is difficult
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
We recently did a branch acquisition of another bank, though not a full bank. With that, we had to convert all of their ACH transactions. It was a very complicated product that we received from our core provider, Fiserv, for some translation programs. It was very cumbersome to run through the process, convert it out, get output files, etc. Without anyone touching it, I was able to automate the full process from pulling in the files from this other bank, converting everything needed, and posting it to our customer's account 24-hours throughout the day.
It makes everything simpler. Once OpCon is in, it just repeats itself day after day. We don't have to worry about whether a process will be missed. It will run every single time. We are not dropping jobs or missing stuff. When you have multiple institutions, it's very easy to miss jobs. You get on a roll, start doing things, and then forget somebody. With OpCon, everything is done.
When a lot of jobs are scheduled on different platforms, without any interaction possible between them, it's very difficult to manage things. With OpCon we avoid this difficulty. It's very visual.
It allows us to organize everything into a process flow throughout the day for our different tasks that we have to run. So, it keeps everything organized. It is easy to monitor and adjust, if we need to.
It is so simplistic that it gives us peace of mind. Before, we had all these processes that were run manually, such as different file transfers and jobs running for our core at certain times. Now, all that stuff is done automatically.
We have found it scales very well. We run thousands of thousands of jobs every day, and sometimes thousands of jobs in a few hours.
We haven't freed up a full person's job using it, but there are a good handful of people for whom it has freed up about half of their time. And those employees love it. A lot of tasks are based on certain times, and they're no longer stuck doing those things at those times. We don't have to have anybody coming in early anymore. They can focus on the processing part of their jobs instead of the file moving and downloading.
The solution has freed up employees to do more meaningful work as a result of automation. They don't have to sit there and wait for files to download. They don't have to stare at the screen while a process is running. It all runs in the background, doing it for them.
The most valuable feature of this solution is the scheduler.
I have found new methods for converting scripts from Dollar U to ONE Automation. For example, I take the dynamic library from Dollar U and put it in the dynamic binary library in ONE Automation. This enables us to use Dollar U scripts in ONE Automation.
The most valuable feature is the one for SAP batch processing... There are certain other mid-level workload automation tools which can handle the OS level, but SAP is something which is really very critical. Automic stands out from the ordinary tools because handling SAP processes is absolutely easy with it.
It saves a lot of time and mistakes, because we used to do a lot of manual work. Since we added automation a little bit over a year now, it has enhanced our daily work.
We automate very manual, robust tasks, which are very time consuming and not error-free.
We impose some standards for backup and restore operations.
An important feature is the ability to modify PeopleSoft Run Controls at run-time.
It's pretty stable. After implementation, there hasn't been a single event where we shifted our jobs for the day from automated to manual.
You set it and forget it. You don't have to worry about the reliability or the deviations from any of the other configurations.
It streamlined our deployments and system configurations across the board rather than have us use multiple configurations or tools, basically a one stop shop.
The scalability of the product is quite nice.
The most valuable feature is the language that it uses: Ruby.
This solution has improved my organization in the way that deployment has become very quick and orchestration is easy. If we have thousands of servers we can easily deploy in a small amount of time. We can deploy the applications or any kind of announcements in much less time.
The most important thing is it can handle a 100,000 servers at the same time easily with no time constraints.
Deployment has become quick and orchestration is now easy.
It has been very easy to tie it into our build and deploy automation for production release work, etc. All the Chef pieces more or less run themselves.
It's not something you can just quickly grab, try, run, and play with. You have to get the knowledge and train yourself. It was easy for me, but I also took the time to throw myself into it. There is a learning curve to a certain extent. You have to learn the rules.
There is room for improvement needed around setting up the calendars and frequencies. I would like more flexibility in what jobs run. Sometimes, with frequencies, I can't find what I want to without putting a little more labor into it.
We sometimes have a large number of jobs on the SQL Server and we can experience a very light lag in job starts. The lag can be a few seconds. It's never more than one minute, but sometimes we can experience some lags.
There is a learning curve. We had to go to class, learn, and take their training classes, then come back. We got assistance from OpCon as well to convert our processes on the Unisys machine over to the IBM. Now, when we add new products, it's pretty straightforward to write a new process and schedule it, then run it at a set time of day.
I would like more web-based training from SMA. That would be nice. Our primary OpCon representative is phenomenal, but we would like some training opportunities for learning on our own. When I started utilizing OpCon, the sheer breadth of it made for a very daunting task. I was almost fearful to start, not to mention fearful to go change things and possibly hinder a job.
The solution has quite a learning curve for beginners. It's challenging. I wouldn't rate it as super-easy to automate processes. It's medium-weight. I've used more complex software, but I've used simpler software.
I don't really think anything needs to be improved within the functionality. The only struggle I had, when I first started using it, is that it depends a lot on the command line and I didn't have that experience. So more built-in, basic commands or more education on commands would be good.
The initial setup was fairly complex.
I would like to see more types of Calendars in the next release of this solution.
There were many bugs in the last version. For example, we could only use capital letters for searching for agent names. Also, we had a problem with ONE Automation where we couldn't use the PGA and SGA in Oracle Databases for resolving RAM because the last version didn't have this capability.
There are certain jobs that are triggered one after another. It would be helpful to have a more user-friendly way of seeing how these jobs are connecting from one server to another.
Depending on the properties of the jobs and pre- and post-conditions, there needs to be more flexible and richer conditions that I can check for. This would be a great addition.
There could be a better user interface for end users. They should make it more intuitive, not based on Java.
With every new version, things that would previously work, Automic breaks them. So, we have to report the new bugs. Therefore, every time when we patch the system, there is usually a new bug or a feature that was working, then it stops working.
There are some scripting elements that could be added.
Some of the things we don't do are mainly because we don't know how to do them. Hands-on training can be expensive, so we find other ways to work around things to forgo the hands-on training. It is also an issue because we are a Linux shop and most trainers are Windows-based.
I would like them to add database specific items, configuration items, and migration tools. Not necessarily on the builder side or the actual setup of the system, but more of a migration package for your different database sets, such as MongoDB, your extenders, etc. I want to see how that would function with a transition out to AWS for Aurora services and any of the RDBMS packages.
The agent on the server sometimes acts finicky.
I would like to see more security features for Chef and more automation.
I would rate this solution a nine because our use case and whatever we need is there. Ten out of ten is perfect. We have to go to IOD and stuff so they should consider things like this to make it a ten.
Since we are heading to IoT, this product should consider anything related to this.
There is a slight barrier to entry if you are used to using Ansible, since it is Ruby-based.
If they can improve their software to support Docker containers, it would be for the best.
Third-party innovations need improvement, and I would like to see more integration with other platforms.
Pricing and Cost Advice
There are different add-ons, like the Self Service or Vision model. It all depends on what agents you have in your environment. We have a mainframe and Windows, and while I think SQL is free, SAP or anything beyond that has different connectors that might need a license.
SMA is big on free training. They do monthly training down at their headquarter office. As long as you own the product, the only thing you pay for is your employees' travel expenses. The training is free. They are willing to train people and give them the knowledge. That way, you are equipped to do what you need to do.
Cost depends on your environment. We are doing stuff now with failover and recovery, so we have boosted our costs.
Compared to AutoSys and ISE, OpCon was a lot cheaper to put in. AutoSys is hundreds of thousands of dollars to just install it because they don't have an interface into our system. You have to teach them what your system does.
The cost is based on the number of jobs. You pay for what you use. For us, the support cost is between €20,000 and €30,000 per year. It's too expensive.
This solution is slightly more expensive than our previous solution. Right now, we are paying about $40,000 a year. However, we think it's well worth the cost to keep things automated, reducing our staff.
The purchasing price was in the $30,000 or $40,000 range, but I don't remember how much of that was licensing or installation and how it was broken out.
The total cost of ownership is about the same to our previous product. The costs are relatively similar.
I only know that AWA is cheaper than Control-M, but I'm not aware of the numbers.
Certain licenses can be a bit expensive. The PeopleSoft agents, in particular, are a bit pricey.
This is a support system for us, not our core business, so we purchased this product inexpensively.
We came to a very good deal, but it took us three years to finalize.
We have increased efficiency with this application.
We receive time efficiency from this product.
Every time there is a task which must be repeated, the solution can reduce costs.
There are a lot of new features, but we do not use them because they are too expensive. The price point could be less.
I wasn't involved in the purchasing, but I am pretty sure that we are happy with the current pricing and licensing since it never comes up.
We are using the free, open source version of the software, which we are happy with at this time.
Purchasing the solution from AWS Marketplace was a good experience. AWS's pricing is pretty in line with the product's regular pricing. Though instance-wise, AWS is not the cheapest in the market.
We are able to save in development time, deployment time, and it makes it easier to manage the environments.
The price is always a problem. It is high. There is room for improvement. I do like purchasing on the AWS Marketplace, but I would like the ability to negotiate and have some flexibility in the pricing on it.
When we're rolling out a new server, we're not using the AWS Marketplace AMI, we're using our own AMI, but we are paying them a licensing fee.
The price per node is a little weird. It doesn't scale along with your organization. If you're truly utilizing Chef to its fullest, then the number of nodes which are being utilized in any particular day might scale or change based on your Auto Scaling groups. How do you keep track of that or audit it? Then, how do you appropriately license it? It's difficult.
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Also Known As
|Automic Dollar Universe|
Our founders met at NASA while they were solving some of the toughest IT issues in the world at that time. The work was challenging and required lots of repetitive tasks to maintain NASA’s mainframes and complex IT processes.
Believing that there had to be a better way, they formed SMA Technologies. Since that time, we have been working with the single purpose of unlocking our clients’ potential by streamlining their IT processes and helping employees be more productive by leveraging our automation platform, OpCon.
By freeing them from repetitive tasks, they can focus on doing the critical work that will help them drive the business. No matter the industry, from financial services to aerospace, we are there to help our customers use the power of automation to simplify complex IT issues, enabling them to solve their toughest business challenges.
Deliver the fully agile enterprise using CA Automic Workload Automation
The modern enterprise needs to orchestrate a complex, diverse landscape of applications, platforms and technologies. Workload automation can prove a critical differentiator, but only if it provides intelligent automation driven by data analytics.
The IT landscape is currently more complex than ever: Islands of automation are a barrier to scaling and standardizing your workload activities. Processing errors are common because of manual handoffs. And the lack of an end-to-end view of the business process make inefficiencies and problems difficult to resolve. In addition to this, you are operating 24x7 and cannot find maintenance windows to upgrade your infrastructure in order to innovate.
CA Automic Workload Automation gives you the agility, speed, visibility and scalability needed to respond to the constantly changing technology landscape. It centrally manages and automates the execution of business processes end-to-end; across mainframe, cloud and hybrid environments in a way that never stops—even when doing an upgrade to the next version.
Chef, is the leader in DevOps, driving collaboration through code to automate infrastructure, security, compliance and applications. Chef provides a single path to production making it faster and safer to add value to applications and meet the demands of the customer. Deployed broadly in production by the Global 5000 and used by more than half of the Fortune 500, Chef develops 100 percent of its software as open source under the Apache 2.0 license with no restrictions on its use. Chef Enterprise Automation Stack™, a commercial distribution, is developed solely from that open source code and unifies security, compliance, infrastructure and application automation with observability. Chef provides an unequaled developer experience for the Coded Enterprise by enabling users to express infrastructure, security policies and the application lifecycle as code, modernizing development, packaging and delivery of any application to any platform. For more information, visit http://chef.io and follow @chef.
Accelerate digital transformation through workload automation
Automate repetitive tasks so you can focus on projects that drive your business forward. Find out how OpCon workload automation enables you to create repeatable, reliable workflows - all managed from a single platform.
Learn more about Automic Workload Automation
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