VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) Pros and Cons

VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) Pros

SnrVirtEng3a90
Sr Virtualization Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
The most valuable feature is the consistency it delivers, at the end of the day. We know that we have consistent images based off consistent Blueprints, check-pointed or QA'ed in a consistent manner.
With the advent of the automation, we've been able to give DevOps the ability to spin up environments, give them lease times, and then have it automatically reclaim the environment.
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Allen Nussbaumer
Systems Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Our speed of provisioning has improved. We used to build systems manually, which would take four hours or a day. Nowadays we're able to spin something up off a template... and it takes about 20 minutes.
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EricSturm
Technical Architect at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
We needed vRA to easily integrate with our hypervisor, orchestration, security (tenant segmentation, PCI), workflows, custom code, and internal monitoring/management tools. Since we didn’t have time to develop our own web front-end during the development sprints, vRA saved considerable time and resource cycles. Its ability to easily integrate with all of the VMware cloud products as well as public cloud providers, like AWS and Azure, out-of-the-box, makes it an even more powerful tool.
It provides velocity both from management and customer perspectives, from ingesting new catalog items, developing new workflows for additional features, and/or allowing customer access to multiple guest OS instances at scale in a shorter time frame.
vRA provides that single pane of glass for our cloud tenants to deploy, monitor, access, and manage their VMs/guest operating systems.
The most valuable feature is vRA’s ability to integrate whether with additional VMware vRealize suites or other vendors' cloud products.
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Allen Nussbaumer
Systems Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
The solution has helped us to increase infrastructure agility, mostly because, in addition to it being able to do its thing on its own, it has tie-ins to other parts of our CICD pipeline. We use Jenkins for our build process which, of course, vRA has plugins for, to be able to integrate with it. We use Chef and there is the Chef build as part of our image that we standardized to deploy, and that can tie in with our section of the pipeline that it does for applications.
The most valuable feature that we have is that it's able to deploy several different operating systems, it's able to deploy whatever we want. We can take a template, spin it up, revise it, save it back off, and be able to have that for other departments. We can have one for our Dev team and one for our research team which has some specific requirements. We can keep track of them and deploy things automatically.
We have also found it to be intuitive and user-friendly. It's something that, because it has the workflows that are very easily graphed out - you can follow what it's doing, it's very picturesque, you can see what it's doing easily - it's something that you can hand over to a user who is not familiar with it and they can wrap their brain around it pretty quickly.
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Bob Plankers
Solutions Architect at a university
In terms of scalability, vRA has connections to a lot of different systems. It's very flexible and an impressive product.
vRealize automation stability is pretty good. They are always fixing bugs. The product team is doing a great job of addressing any issues that we might have.
vRealize Automation has improved the speed of provisioning just by automating things, making people think about whether a human really needs to do something or can we make the machines do it for us. It is a lot faster to deploy things now.
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Craig Debban
IT Director at a tech vendor with 201-500 employees
Being able to give provisioning of environments over to our developers and the different teams has enabled them to put up environments faster and also freed up time for the IT team. This is really one of our bread and butter solutions for our developers.
We've just shifted to an Agile development so there has absolutely been an improvement in speed to market. We now have consistent release plans because we have these environments as ready as they are.
The most valuable features for us are capacity planning as well as environment life management; putting in specific templates and workflows that we know are secure. That solidifies the environments that we're in or that are being provisioned. We also know that every environment being provisioned has a lifespan. It affects capacity, so it's great for budgeting, from my perspective, and good for my team.
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DavidBurton
IT Director at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
One of the most valuable features is lifecycle management. It allows my teams to create, manage, and retire all of our infrastructure objects in the data center.
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James Jones
IT Manager at a individual & family service with 10,001+ employees
Even with the virtualization, it would take us at least three or four days to create a VM. With vRA we have brought that down to seven minutes. The solution has helped increase infrastructure, agility, speed of provisioning, time to market, application agility. Everything got super fast.
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David Gangwish
Systems Engineer at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
We have integrated our CICD pipeline into an automatic catalog request through some API calls. It can request and provision new virtual machines behind the NSX load balancer, straight out of the CIDC pipeline and add those nodes to the load balancer, request SSL certs, do SSL termination at the load balancer so that it's not encrypted behind the scenes, all of which has really been helpful.
The most valuable feature is the portal where you can assign permissions to specific people to request specific items in the catalog and allow them to provision things for themselves. Or it enables them to request different services that you can create through vRO and vRA.
We've seen that typically, the people who are provisioning VDIs and server VMs can now utilize most of their time towards other projects and moving the environment forward, instead of just hammering out virtual machines all day.
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reviewer962037
DevOps Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
The whole VMR ecosystem allows us to serve multiple customers, multiple organizations and also multiple units per customer. We can cover every level without using the whole VRA and the rest of the ecosystem. We don't need to use a separate product to provide separate functionalities for the customer. We can cover all the use cases using only one product on our side which is really helpful. T
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VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) Cons

SnrVirtEng3a90
Sr Virtualization Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
It is not super-intuitive. It does require some skills to understand how to use it. I had no problem, but I had spent a lot of time already learning this product ahead of moving it to an operational status. But as we did so, we had a hard time bringing some people from other groups into the fold, to script and work against this environment. So, the ability to build workflows within that automation needs to be streamlined.
In terms of additional features, I would like it to be able to poll my vCenter infrastructure more rapidly and adapt to changes quickly. It should alert me and let me know when there are broken components, as a result of underlying infrastructure changes. It needs to be more stringent.
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ProductE7a95
Product Engineer at a tech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
They can improve on the dashboard representations and the options for non-technical people. I would like to see the ability to customize that and maybe provide them with helpful guides to what subscriptions they have. Sometimes, I find that I have to do more explanation to people who do approvals. I would really like to customize the display to the terms they use in their particular business unit. So a little bit more of a nod to the customization of the UI for non-technical users would be helpful.
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Bob Plankers
Solutions Architect at a university
vRealize Automation on the back-end is still a little complicated. It has a lot of moving pieces, simplifying that from a pure infrastructure point of view would be a good thing. I would then like to have more out-of-the-box functionality and integrations with VMware components.
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DavidBurton
IT Director at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
One of the features that's a struggle today is some of the public cloud extensibility. Some of the plugins that are native to vRA and vRO, I'd like to see them come out earlier for vRO. I understand that in vRA, the plugins are a little bit more polished because the VRA is the GUI. But we'd like to see them released earlier in vRO, prior to a GUI being released. Azure, for example, is a public cloud provider but we have some instability issues with the plugin in vRO. It's okay for us if we separate the vRA from vRO plugin releases. So I'd like to see some increased stability in some of those public cloud plugins.
Technical support could be improved. I definitely feel that the product is accelerating faster than the support engineers are able to keep up with the knowledge needed to know what's going on. The developers maintaining vRealize Automation are doing a great job improving it, but VMware is not doing a great job of training the people who we call to get support for it.
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David Gangwish
Systems Engineer at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Stability has gotten a lot better. However, the vRO aspect, when you have a multi vRA head, is a little bit finicky still. vRO still needs to stay on one appliance and be one application, because, when you have two, you can't see runs on the other one that are happening when you're not logged into that one.
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reviewer962037
DevOps Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
I would like to see more automation, more ways to automate automation tasks.
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Daniel Pratt
Infrastructure Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
The deployment mechanisms for the initial deployment of the product line lacks the appropriate documentation to give someone who's never used it before... There might be cases where someone wants to go to the website, go to the doc section, and do a step-by-step on how to deploy it. That's really not as brushed-up as other documents I've seen that they have. That would definitely be an improvement on their end.
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Lloyd Havekost
Linear Dimensions, Consultant at a government with 10,001+ employees
I would like to see more integration to do things like DR, from a court perspective. Today, for us, SRM doesn't scale because each of our customers has a local vCenter environment as well as the vCenter in our environment. So we can't get SRM to scale to the point to which we need. From an integration perspective, DR inside of that would be good.
I know you can spin up virtual desktops in vRA, but they're not thin-provisioned. I don't know if that's because the other product, Horizon View, is there, but it would be nice to see more integration.
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Alain Dalis
Technical Manager at a pharma/biotech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
The stability is why I rated it a seven and not higher. There were several cases where we had to restart some services because it wasn't working correctly anymore. People cannot extend their machine or replay their machine. There is no alert to say that there is a problem and that we should stop the service. The monitoring system is not very good.
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SrManage32bf
Sr. Manager, Open Systems Service Desk at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees
We still struggle a little bit with the configuration as far as making sure that we have all the endpoints where they need to be, because that's not as agile as we'd like in the back-end. We're working towards that with our DevOps teams to make sure that we're touching the right endpoints and getting the right data.
in general, it took us a long time to get it off the ground. We had a lot of issues upfront and we determined that we just needed to scrap it. I think we scrapped it two or three times before we actually got it built the way we wanted, and we're still not where we need to be. We have had downtime. There have been some issues, but we're also two iterations behind on version.
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Find out what your peers are saying about VMware, Red Hat, Cisco and others in Cloud Management. Updated: October 2019.
371,062 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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