Stonebranch Universal Automation Center Initial Setup

Sr. System Programmer at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
I wasn't very Unix-savvy when I started, but Stonebranch came in and showed me how to do it. One of the hurdles we had was that we went with their 5.1 version, and then they had to completely change their mapping, and I ended up doing that all by myself. I ended up copying everything over into a new version, I promoted everything we had over into the new one, and it took me less than an hour to do it. So the conversion to an entirely new server was very easy. We were 97 percent effective when we converted, but they converted most of it for us, upfront. They were onsite to help us with the conversion. We had a couple of kinks with them. ESP had some inherited dependencies that we overlooked and that was the biggest hurdle we had. We had to break some of the connections for predecessors and successors, but they built all that the same night we went live. We were able to get that going and fixed. There was an AIX agent we had some issues with, but an hour later I had the new version installed and up and running and we were on track. Our initial deployment took us a little over a year. Stonebranch was onsite. They started converting. We ended up identifying some 50 schedules that were stand-alones, where they didn't impact anything. In the space of seven months we turned them on, and then our peak window hit and we couldn't do any changes from November 1st to January 1st. We waited until after our peak window and I believe it was during the first week in February that we went with everything else. We got a taste of what was happening, and then we put everybody else in. Our implementation strategy was to get everything converted. We did that first seven months by ourselves, we just turned things on and let them run. We had three people from Stonebranch onsite for our go-live night. They worked eight-hour shifts. My co-compliancer and I ended up pulling two 12-hour shifts, and then we had a third person who helped us out in between them, so we could at least get a bite to eat, or walk away, or unload some of the issues that we were seeing. But most of them were pretty minor. We met our SLA opening morning for our batch processing. We were not behind. It went very smoothly. There are always going to be some hurdles you have to figure out, but we were expecting bigger hurdles, and we didn't see those really big hurdles. View full review »
Earl Diem
Manager Performance and Automation Engineering at PSCU Financial Services
The initial setup was very straightforward. Everything is running on virtual machines, such as the installation of the Controller and the installation of agents across the first several platforms which we set up to do the integrations on with Universal Agent. Start to finish, until we were ready and configured to start building workflows, the deployment took inside of about four days. Our deployment plan was building a Stonebranch environment and connecting to our current ETL environment and storage environments, so we could start automating ETL workflows. We had a couple of problems with the NAS storage. We haven't had that problem since. A lot of it was just because of the particulars of how our NAS was set up. That was the only complication we ran into. We were able to get deployed and configured according to our plan, to set up the Universal Controller and agents to get across to our ETL environment and our storage environment. Within those four days, we had built our first workflow with the first job which we had targeted for the implementation work with the Stonebranch. View full review »
Senior Technical Analyst at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
When we ran our proof of concept, there were two larger companies, three-letter names, that came in and their installs took us a few days just to set them up. When Stonebranch came in, it was 40 minutes. In fact, I had to triple check it when Colin came in and I had to ask, "Are you sure? Did you half-ass it? I need to take a look. Is it running? Can we go through the components?" It took us longer to verify that it was up and running than it took to install. After getting it installed, implementation is nice and slow because we're a pretty big organization and converting the things that application teams tend to have takes a while. We plan two years in advance. This is technically an infrastructure initiative, where we have to go and get people's time. To get it started, it took us 12 months - just to get started and scheduled. From a migration perspective, it's very cookie-cutter with their Professional Services. They'll come in, look at what you have, and say, "Here's the format we need to convert things to," and they'll do it really quickly. In terms of an implementation strategy, at that time, we were scheduling application based on their availability. We had 110 apps and we had an excess of 100,000 definitions. We broke it down by application and scheduled them in waves when our resources and our side of the house were available to do the conversion, to throw it in there, and get them to test. We had a whole workflow planned out between the work that we had to do on the infrastructure side, on the application side, and we organized it in a dependent, wave-by-wave approach. The vendor was here. They converted. Then: * we threw it into the dev, app tested, made changes * promoted it to QA, app tested * promoted it to production, and then we shut down the old stuff in the old schedulers. On average, it took an application three to four weeks to get to production. That was not that long based on our size. I've seen it take longer with a lot of other tools. The step-by-step approach on the resourcing that we had bottlenecked us so that we could probably only have four of those running in parallel. View full review »
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Frank Burkhardt
Application and Database Administrator at Blue Bird Corporation
We had a consultant assist us onsite and the initial setup seemed fairly simple and straightforward to me. The initial deployment was done within a week, then we started playing around with it. We were looking at individual jobs and determining if we needed them still and if they were in the correct form to be moved. We did a lot of code cleanup as part of our migration. To fully deploy and migrate our jobs, it did take us two years. The implementation strategy was to move them over there, but we wanted them moved correctly. We didn't want to just slap them in and have bad code running on a different system. We wanted to ensure that the code was doing what we wanted it to, and that it was named properly. If it was sending an email, we wanted to send the correct email to the correct people. So, we started moving everybody into mail groups. It was just a lot of overhead that was not directly a problem for Stonebranch, but we wanted to get the jobs in Stonebranch in a good fashion. View full review »
Mike Booher
Systems Programmer II at a insurance company with 501-1,000 employees
Setup and installation are pretty easy. Converting from an old scheduler to a new one with all of the nuances of scheduling-criteria was a challenge. We used their Hired Services to help us do that. In terms of the testing process, we were able to test during the next three months and we were able to run in parallel. By executing the Stonebranch version of the scheduler, we were pointing to dummy jobs but we were able to basically parallel our mainframe scheduler. That enabled us to make sure things were kicking off at the right times and in sync. That was something I did, not something that they did. That really helped us get a comfort level that everything was going to kick off properly, in the right order, and the right times. By doing that parallel running, we were able to resolve a lot of potential problems. It was about a four- to five-month engagement for the conversion. View full review »
Doug Perseghetti
Consulting Systems Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
The setup was straightforward. We did a proof of concept. Stonebranch came in and we had questions. Then, of course, you can always tweak things. But we didn't have any trouble. It took us two years to migrate all of our stuff from our old agents to our new agents. And we're working on migrating work in the Controller. We got the agents first, because Stonebranch did not have a Controller until several years ago. So when we bought the agents we needed to migrate workload from the old agents to the new and that took two years. So we were done in 2010. View full review »
Application Manager at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
Since we do have many security rules in our company, we needed to use some external scripting for setting permissions, etc. Without these, installing is a breeze. View full review »
User at a insurance company with 501-1,000 employees
I was not there for the initial set up of the single environment. That being said, I implemented a tiered environment and it was very easy to set up. View full review »
User at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
I was not part of the initial setup of the system so I'm unfamiliar. View full review »
There were some complexities, but that was our own doing in terms of our application and the platforms we support. View full review »
User at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
I wasn't part of the team when setup was done. View full review »
Charvi Sharma
Technology Analyst at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
It was a bit complex for me. View full review »
Setting it up for your environment and security concepts needs advanced knowledge about the basics. View full review »
Senior DevOps Engineer at ING Tech Poland
a basic setup is straight forward however during setting some more advansed option it could be complex to achive View full review »
Initial setup is straightforward but finding the optimal settings is not always trivial. View full review »
User at a financial services firm
Easy, upgrade was a bit complex. View full review »
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