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VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) is #2 ranked solution in top Cloud Management tools. IT Central Station users give VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) an average rating of 8 out of 10. VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) is most commonly compared to VMware vRealize Operations (vROps):VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) vs VMware vRealize Operations (vROps). VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 68% of users researching this solution on IT Central Station. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 34% of all views.
What is VMware vRealize Automation (vRA)?

VMware vRealize Automation automates the delivery of personalized infrastructure, applications and custom IT services.

This cloud automation software lets you deploy across a multi-vendor hybrid cloud infrastructure, giving you both flexibility and investment protection for current and future technology choices.

Agility Through Automation

Automate the end-to-end delivery and management of infrastructure, and accelerate application deployment and releases.

Choice Through Flexibility

Provision and manage multivendor, multicloud infrastructure and applications by leveraging existing infrastructure, tools and processes.

Personalization Through Governance Policies

Ensure that users receive the right size resource or application at the appropriate service level for the jobs they need to perform.

Efficiency Through Cost Containment

Provide consistent, automated delivery and management of IT services and reduce time-consuming, manual processes. Reclaim inactive resources for reuse with automated reclamation, providing cost savings.

VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) is also known as VMware vRealize Automation, vRA, VMware DynamicOps Cloud Suite.

VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) Buyer's Guide

Download the VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) Customers

Rent-a-Center, Amway, Vistra Energy, Liberty Mutual

VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) Video

Archived VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) Reviews (more than two years old)

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DM
Sr. Manager, Open Systems Service Desk at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Streamlines DevOps, enables us to incorporate and automate Day 2 Operations

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valued feature is the streamlining of the DevOps process, automation and orchestration. It provides the ability for the entire Dev lifecycle to actually be incorporated into a single stream."
  • "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."

What is our primary use case?

DevOps is our primary use case. It's performing okay. We're getting ready to upgrade and move into an HA environment, so it will be much better.

How has it helped my organization?

The benefit to our organization is time to market. It has streamlined the process so that they can deploy systems, test the systems, and get the product to market faster. Speed of provision is much faster than what we used to manage, especially when we incorporate Day 2 Operations. We can get that into the automation and allow for that to take place, as opposed to the DevOps teams doing that all manually.

It has absolutely helped to increase infrastructure agility - not to its capacity by any stretch, but we're working towards that. It definitely has allowed us to be a little bit more agile.

What is most valuable?

The most valued feature is the streamlining of the DevOps process, automation and orchestration. It provides the ability for the entire Dev lifecycle to actually be incorporated into a single stream. That's our primary focus.

What needs improvement?

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.

Also, what we would like to see is a lot more integration across platforms, multi-cloud. I think that's coming.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

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. We're getting ready to move to a new HA environment and go on to the newest product line.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Right now, it doesn't scale for us, but it will once we move into the new environment. It will probably scale five years out, especially with the way that we can integrate different endpoints.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been phenomenal. Most of the time we get to the right person, but not always. We eventually do because we know who we need to talk to.

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

Previously, we used a product called LiveManager. It was not across the entire organization, it was just a subset, so there was nothing really prior to this.

When looking at a vendor, the most important criterion is how good a partner will they be? Will they be around? Is it somebody that we can trust and that has been utilized in the marketplace? In addition, is the solution scalable? And then we'll look at cost.

How was the initial setup?

No way was the initial setup straightforward. We scrapped it multiple times. Going through some of the sessions today, here at VMworld 2018, we see that they're incorporating some of the certificate management and so forth. That's where our biggest challenge was.

Upgrading was pretty straightforward. In-place upgrades worked really well for what we've done. There wasn't a whole lot to that. It worked well.

Really, it's all about the initial setup and making sure that it is set up right.

What was our ROI?

We haven't calculated an ROI but we've realized ROI in manpower.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

At the time, there wasn't really any competition when we decided to go this route. It was really only VMware.

What other advice do I have?

In general, I'd recommend vRA but make sure that your framework is set, that you understand what your processes are so that you can fit into the framework.

It's not intuitive and user-friendly but we've made it that way. We've allowed the DevOps teams to incorporate some of their components inside of the catalogs themselves, so we give them a little bit more flexibility, rather than dictating what they need to do. That way, it really runs true to their process.

I rate vRA about an eight out of ten because of the inability to get this thing stood up, initially. We weren't the first to actually do it, and yet, it seemed like we were the first to do it. But because of its scalability, it's a product that we decided to go with.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
DR
CEO at Lidoma
Real User
Top 10
It is a source for restoration services

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use it for restoration services.

What needs improvement?

The most important thing that we missed in vRanger was the possibility to mount several images instantaneously and present it so that we can run it immediately.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is fine. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is not good. It is slow to scale to our needs. 

How was the initial setup?

The installation was complex and time consuming.

What other advice do I have?

I would not recommend this product. I think that there are better products to meet your needs that are competitors on the market. 

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use it for restoration services.

What needs improvement?

The most important thing that we missed in vRanger was the possibility to mount several images instantaneously and present it so that we can run it immediately.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is fine. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is not good. It is slow to scale to our needs. 

How was the initial setup?

The installation was complex and time consuming.

What other advice do I have?

I would not recommend this product. I think that there are better products to meet your needs that are competitors on the market. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about VMware vRealize Automation (vRA). Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
552,305 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Daniele Ulrich
Cloud Architect at Swisscom
Real User
User-friendly and perfect for the end-user

Pros and Cons

  • "For repeated installations and provisioning of VMs, we now have a clear definition of what has been installed, and we can monitor all that stuff."
  • "The initial setup was complex because we have a high availability cluster. Especially when it comes to upgrades, we have a lot of downtimes and problems. The upgrade experience has been painful."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of this solution is to provide our clients with a virtual private cloud. It has been performing very well. We've had some multi-tenancy issues but VMware has been very supportive. 

How has it helped my organization?

For repeated installations and the provisioning of VMs, we now have a clear definition of what has been installed, and we can monitor all that stuff. There are some functions for the ICDs, and we have continuous development and deployment.

It theoretically could help provision new clients faster if you adhere to the limits of the product then it makes provisioning the new client a lot faster. If you have customers like we have that are really demanding and want special solutions it will end up in huge customization.

What is most valuable?

We like the blueprint designer. We can create topologies with it. 

I have found it to be user-friendly because it's very UI centric. We have a problem that most of our developers would like to have it more on a flat file format. For our end user, it's just perfect.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see multi-tenancy in NSX and better functionality. 

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have found this solution to be stable as long as we don't test its limits. We have had huge installations where we had some problems with performance and stability. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

If you have a normal use case like a conventional enterprise and use it for yourself then you might never test its limits. In our case, our customers are creating a lot of business groups and this led to a lot of problems later on.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is very good and swift. 

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

We switched because we don't want to focus on the cloud management platform. We want to have this resolved and supported by a vendor because we are system integrators and want to supply the services and the knowledge above that. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex because we have a high availability cluster. Especially when it comes to upgrades, we have a lot of downtimes and problems. The upgrade experience has been painful. 

What about the implementation team?

The product as a whole was offered by Dell EMC but we used VMware as an integrator and for the setup. We still have some VMware specialists working within our team.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI. 

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

We built everything from scratch, it ended up being very costly. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution a seven because it hasn't perfectly adapted to our use cases with multi-tenancy. 

If you're looking into this solution I would tell you that if you use this solution only within your own company, you'll be fine. If you have a business like ours, it can get complicated. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Laurentiu Coica
Team leader infrastructure at Asseco SEE
Real User
Easy to deploy and our Customers have seen ROI

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup was straightforward. It's easy to deploy."
  • "7.5 is not user-friendly, in fact, it's a nightmare. They changed everything on the graphic user interface, the mode where the user interacts with the product."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case for this solution is to automate the development of the infrastructure. I deployed the VM for the development team.

What is most valuable?

I like that it is easy to deploy the infrastructure.

I have found 7.4 to be user-friendly but 7.5 is not, in fact, it's a nightmare. They changed everything on the graphic user interface, the mode where the user interacts with the product. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

7.4 is okay but we have had some issues with 7.5. We have issues with the approval process of the request. The link for the approval doesn't work. I opened a ticket with VMware and I still haven't gotten an answer. I don't like the infrastructure.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have found the scalability to be good. We share infrastructure with multiple machines and infrastructure servers. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support isn't great. I opened a ticket with them two weeks ago and have yet to receive an answer. 

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

We knew that we needed to switch to this solution because our customers asked for it. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. It's easy to deploy. 

The upgrade experience was a nightmare. I upgraded from 7.4 to 7.5 and it's been terrible. 

What about the implementation team?

I am the integrator. I do the deployment for our customers. 

What was our ROI?

Our customers have seen ROI but I don't know the exact numbers. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution a nine and would advise someone looking into this or a similar solution to invest in VMware Orchestrator. It's behind vRealize Automation for almost everything. You should know vRealize Orchestrator first and then try to deploy, install, and configure vRealize Automation. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
SD
Cloud engineer at a government with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Allows the user to deploy on their own and has increased provisioning speed

Pros and Cons

  • "Before it would take months to deploy a VM, now, with this solution, we can deploy many VMs in one hour. We can do a stack of them with Mediaware."
  • "The setup was complex in many ways. The first reason is that we have many teams who work on it so it gets complicated gathering all of the people. The second reason is that it can be complicated to install it quickly, within a reasonable amount of time."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case for this solution is for making a cloud through ICDC. We have to integrate them into many VM masses with vRA.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Before it would take months to deploy a VM, now, with this solution, we can deploy many VMs in one hour. We can do a stack of them with Mediaware.

    This solution has definitely helped increase the speed of provisioning. We can now deploy many VMs in one hour. We also don't need to call in as many teams to deploy them. Now it's just one team and they can deploy the machines way faster. It's very good.

    What is most valuable?

    We like that it gives the user the possibility to deploy on their own, we have found that to be a very valuable feature.

    What needs improvement?

    We have and we haven't found this solution to be user-friendly. In this case, we have another portal in the front because we have some use cases we can add to the products so we use another portal for that to reply to all of the requirements.

    This version has all of the features we want. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability is good. It helps us provide more services and give more capacities. It improved our infrastructure and gives us more possibilities to provide our users. It's a very good product.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is good. We also use other solutions and we are still beginners with these products. We still have to set the time to configure it so that we can maximize its benefits.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    We had to use their technical support only once. We didn't have any issues with them, they were great.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup was complex in many ways. The first reason is that we have many teams who work on it so it gets complicated gathering all of the people needed. The second reason is that it can be complicated to install it quickly, and within a reasonable amount of time.  

    What about the implementation team?

    We have a VMware PSO at work who is very good. He was experienced and had good knowledge so we were very happy. We are very enthusiastic to continue with VMware in the future.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate this solution a nine because we've had a good experience with their consultants. Also, because the product is evolving. 

    I would advise someone looking into this or a similar solution, to test the solution beforehand and to be in contact with VMware for advice and help with configuration. You'll realize this solution isn't so complicated.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    DK
    Systems engineer
    Real User
    Requires an obscene amount of time to get anything done but has increased provisioning speed

    Pros and Cons

    • "The setup was straightforward. We upgraded to a newer version seamlessly. It worked really well."
    • "I have not found this solution to be user-friendly. It's really complicated. The demo shows that you can automate anything but they only show basic scenarios. If you want to do anything more complicated than that, it becomes very complicated to set up."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case of this solution is to automate with our various partners. It performs quite poorly, has a quite steep learning curve, and you have to invest an extraordinary amount of time to be able to do anything.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We did a POC with one of our customers. Their engineers do a lot of daily provisioning so let's say out of eight to ten working hours per day they'd spend around six or seven hours a day provisioning various kinds of stuff. We did the POC and we managed to cut those six or seven hours to around half an hour a day or so. It has helped increase the speed of provisioning. It cut out a lot of provisioning time on new virtual machines and new resources.

    What is most valuable?

    We like the various kinds of tools to automate stuff but not a lot of them have a self-service portal. If you were to compare it to different kinds of automation tools a self-service portal is unique.

    I have not found this solution to be user-friendly. It's very complicated. The demo shows that you can automate anything but they only show basic scenarios. If you want to do anything more complicated than that, it becomes very complicated to set up. 

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see support for multiple hypervisors. At the moment that support is only on paper, it doesn't actually work.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is good enough. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Our experience with technical support hasn't been so great. It can take a long time for them to respond to our questions and often the answer will be "we don't know."

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

    We also looked at Cisco. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup was straightforward. We upgraded to a newer version seamlessly. It worked really well. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    This solution is easier to set up than the alternative we looked at. The other one wasn't as powerful. If I were an automation ninja I could do much more with vRealize than the other solution I evaluated. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate this solution a neutral five. It has a lot of potential but it's very hard to use. It has a steep learning curve and you need to invest an obscene amount of time to be able to do anything. 

    I would advise someone looking into this solution to be prepared to invest some serious time. 

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    MS
    Vice president at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    easy to add more capacity once it's set up but it's not cheap

    Pros and Cons

    • "We haven't hit any limits yet, scalability is good."
    • "It's not cheap."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case is to deploy a private cloud. It has integrated well with an in-house-developed front end. Then we have the vRA's all over the backend and all the deployments in the vSphere. 

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature would be the scalability. It's very easy to add more capacity into it once you've already got it set up. It's just cases deploy, and more hypervisors and we're off.

    In terms of provisioning, it has definitely helped speed-wise. It simplifies making the environment bigger because it's easier to scale out. We don't have the downtime of having to wait to get more hardware and to add it in.

    What needs improvement?

    I have found bits of this solution to be intuitive and user-friendly. We've been on a training course for it because it's quite a big product. We don't really use it the way it's intended to be used. We don't use it the standard way, so it takes a bit more poking around.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We haven't had any problems stability-wise with vRA.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We haven't hit any limits yet, scalability is good. 

    How is customer service and technical support?

    We have a support contract with VMware but we haven't had to use their technical support. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup was fairly simple. It's a matter of integrating it with all the other systems and then getting all the sorts to match with the certain policies we've got.

    What about the implementation team?

    We integrated in-house. 

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

    It's not cheap. It would be more expensive to get an alternative though because we'd have to buy the extras for it.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate this solution an eight. There's always room for improvement, nothing's perfect but we haven't had any major problems because of it or with it.

    I would advise someone looking into this solution to check out the training before you get it and not afterward because it covers all of the deployment.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    MK
    DevOps Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Enables us to cover all use cases using only one product although it is lacking ways it can be automated

    Pros and Cons

    • "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"
    • "I would like to see more automation, more ways to automate automation tasks."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use vRA to deliver automation on top of the solutions we provide which are desktops, servers, and multiple other products. These products require more actions to implement than what the vendor offers. Our primary use case is integrating customer's environments and performing data operations.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The whole VMware 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. The operators are able to provide daily maintenance of the systems and they don't have to take care of multiple deployments. They can just use one setup to serve everyone.

    What is most valuable?

    The integration with the whole VRA ecosystem and in the enterprise environments are the features I have found to be the most valuable.

    This solution is intuitive and user-friendly, although it is missing different ways it can be automated. I would like to use it not only to form the user interface but in a more programmatic way like APIs. 

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see more automation, more ways to automate automation tasks. We are already working on the first evaluations of the next version of vRealize 8 and have found it to be promising.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There are some issues with stability. We discovered some bugs and we constantly have to work with VMware to figure out a way to fix them. There is no ideal product, it doesn't exist, which is why we are okay with this product. We don't have critical problems that are causing our production problems. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We don't have any problems with scale. We are running VRA at a very big scale with multiple deployments and don't have any issues with scalability. 

    How is customer service and technical support?

    We constantly use technical support and we've found it to be okay. At times I would like it to work faster. Of course, I would prefer to have engineers available all the time and to always have direct access to all the engineers that are directly implementing the solution, but I'm aware it's not possible. The relationship we have now requires building trust on both sides.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup that we have implemented in our enterprise is complex. It's not the exact set up that VMware recommends by default to their customers. We get a lot of help from their consultants to help us with our non-standard design. The entire setup took more effort but it's understandable because it's non-standard.

    What about the implementation team?

    Sometimes we need to get help from VMware consultants. They help us to upgrade the infrastructure and fix issues that we can't fix on our own. They are very helpful and we've had a very good experience with the VMware consultants. We don't use them all the time because we have our onsite engineers who integrate the product. For the mission critical stuff, we use consultants from VMware. Our interactions with VMware consultants is one of the best experiences with this solution. This is something I benefit the most from.

    We constantly do upgrades, once they are released, and we have found them to be very straightforward, I cannot complain at all. From our side, it's more difficult because we have customers who are our clients so we need to schedule all the maintenance windows with them. We also need to ensure after the upgrade that everything is properly tested. But these are mostly problems that come from serving big enterprises which have their own policies. But upgrading the product itself is very straightforward and we never get any serious problems.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated other solutions, VMware was one of many that were looked at. The main reason we chose VMware and VRA was because it's a vendor that provides the whole stack, the whole ecosystem of solutions. We didn't want different products from different vendors, we wanted a full stack. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I rated this solution a seven because I wouldn't give a ten to any product since there is no such thing as an ideal product. Developers complain about some minor stuff so it's still not always the perfect product for us. I wouldn't give it a lower score because at the end it does what it's supposed to do. We are using it, customers are happy, it brings customers which makes money. It does the job.

    I would advise someone who is looking into VRA or a similar solution to try to network with other companies, to learn from the mistakes they've made, from the stuff they've discovered. Also, I would advise using VMware to help you design the architecture you are trying to implement, don't do everything yourselves.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    Alain Dalis
    Technical Manager at a pharma/biotech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    It's easy for the end user to set up templates but hasn't been stable

    Pros and Cons

    • "Scalability is perfect. We haven't had any issues."
    • "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."

    What is our primary use case?

    It's a SunBox for the people developing apps for the healthcare company. They can submit the project chapter, implement what they want based on the template that we have in the vRealize Automation, check, compare, and then at the end, they can build a project charter with all the needed components.

    How has it helped my organization?

    In the past, we released several steps to implement an application in the company. The first step was the project charter. You explain what you want to do or how you want to do it and what the costs would be for this. This means that before having the project charter, you don't have any budget. The SunBox is free of charge: they think, they deploy, they test. If it's working, they do a project charter, if it's not working they go back and try other stuff.

    It has helped with provisioning. I know several projects that were going faster with the up to date cloud. In the past, they would implement and if it wasn't the right step they would have to go back, discuss with us getting a new server with the right sizing, then they would implement, test and go back. With this, they implement, they test it, if it's not the right stuff, they just throw it out and implement the new stuff. It's direct. If they just increase the size then it's less work for everybody and everybody can achieve their work easily and quickly.

    What is most valuable?

    It's intuitive and user-friendly for the user, but not intuitive and user-friendly for the implementer because the templates are not easy to set up. For the end user, it's quite easy, but it's a fulltime job for the implementer and we don't have the time for it. This is why we used a service to implement instead of us. We don't have the time to focus on that. 

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see more stability, something that is integrated and that checks that all of the servers are working well. Also, the ability to customize templates. 

    I would like to see them implement vRealize into the cloud. It would be very smart for us to have vRealize in the cloud as a service that can be deployed internally. Then we don't have to implement anything anymore. We only need to take care of templates. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    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.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is perfect. We haven't had any issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have found their technical support to be good. 

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

    It was a logical and smart decision for us to have this solution in place. It makes sense for my business. We used Orchestrate, the original version. It was the first automated system that could deploy complete solutions. We decided to go with this solution because it was evolving and I just followed the evolution. We switched to vRealize three years ago.

    How was the initial setup?

    I wouldn't say the initial setup was straightforward but it wasn't complex.  

    The upgrade experience went well. It's working well.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a service to implement. We did our research and now we have a good guy from VMware services. We plan to keep him. If we always have new people coming into deployment services it can take at least five days to teach them how the system works and to do all of the certifications needed. Our plan is to stick with this guy from VMware services. 

    What was our ROI?

    The ROI that we see is that people don't have to work too hard to have something done and therefore they have more time to market. They save time, which is money. We are an American company so if you save time, any implementation that we do is the implementation of a tool that can submit new work to FDA. One day is like one million.

    I also have a lot fewer people asking me questions or for help. I don't need to be as involved in the discovery phase. People can now do their own job with something free and automated. They are happy.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We conducted studies on other options. We found other possibilities that were cheaper but so far this is what's working well for us and as of now we don't want to change. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    MS
    Project Architect
    Real User
    Enabled us to self-manage firewalls within NSX but the interface is outdated

    Pros and Cons

    • "It's much more stable than the highest available variant."
    • "Most of the time the upgrade experience has been good but sometimes things break after upgrading. For example, some API codes stopped working."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it to deploy virtual machines and for self-managed firewalls within NSX. It's a self-service portal to speed up things.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has helped our company by speeding things up. For example, a year ago it took a long time for a potential VM owner to request a VM and we ultimately wouldn't be able to use it. Now, we can request it for ourselves with our self-service portal. We're using NSX firewalls and it's easy to protect ourselves. We had a Hadoop cluster and the data must be protected within the that cluster. The owner created a fence around his own VM's by using the self-service portal and creating a firewall.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature for us is the fact that it is self-service. 

    What needs improvement?

    We have found this solution to be user-friendly but there is room for improvement. The interface is not very modern, although version 7.5 is a lot better.

    I would like to see a richer GUI or Visual Studio. If you create a GUI with Visual Studio, it would be much richer than what we have now with the array. 

    Most of the time the upgrade experience has been good but sometimes things break after upgrading. For example, some API codes stopped working.

    The Orchestrator also has a lot of room for improvement. It's a bit slow.

    I would rate this solution a seven and not a ten because there's still room for improvement. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I'm setting it up as a simple solution. It's much more stable than the highest available variant. We have a lot of intel machines providing a solution.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is good enough as it is.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    We've had to use their technical support and I would say that it's pretty good. We're mostly happy with the service except when a service engineer needs to go to engineering it can take a lot of time. It would be very nice if they would improve that. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was complex. There were a lot of steps. I would suggest for them to cut back on the number of steps to make it easier. Although with every version, the steps are becoming easier. For example, the certificates in the previous versions were a lot more complicated. It has improved. 

    What about the implementation team?

    We implemented in-house. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We already had VMware, it was a logical step to choose this solution.

    What other advice do I have?

    If you're looking into vRA, I would advise that you to choose it but don't customize it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Robin Naundorf
    Systems Engineer at a university
    Real User
    We are able to provision VMs much faster than before

    Pros and Cons

    • "It's quite user friendly. Everyone can use it, even non-technical people. This is good, since we use it to build a self-service portal which even users with not a lot of technical background can use."
    • "We upgraded twice. The last upgrade was a bit problematic."

    What is our primary use case?

    Primary use case is building a self-service portal for students at our university. It has performed quite well up until now.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We are able to provision VMs much faster than before. Therefore, students can click VMs, submit their form, and VMs will be provisioned automatically.

    What is most valuable?

    It's quite user friendly. Everyone can use it, even non-technical people. This is good, since we use it to build a self-service portal which even users with not a lot of technical background can use.

    What needs improvement?

    We upgraded twice. The last upgrade was a bit problematic. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Up until now, it has been quite stable. However, we have not pushed it to its boundaries.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Its scalability looks good, but we have not experienced it yet. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    So far, technical support has been quite good. I have reached quite competent employees of VMware who have helped me a lot.

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

    We did not use another product previously.

    We had to invest in a new solution because we had to react faster to customer demands. Previously, it took a long time from requesting a new virtual machine to provisioning it. Now, it is much quicker for the customer. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    We deployed it ourselves.

    What was our ROI?

    It made the provisioning of the virtual machines easier and faster. We can react more quickly to customers' demands.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did not evaluate anything else. We have so many VMware products that it was a logical conclusion for us to chose this one.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are overall satisfied with the product.

    Give it a try. Try it out in the labs from VMware. Evaluate it quite deeply, and see if it fits for your purpose or company.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    MC
    IT Professional
    Real User
    The stability is very bad. It crashes. The tech support knows the IIS component is a bit buggy.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The customer can set up multiple machine blueprints. Therefore, we are able to customize the template of three machines, then the customer can deploy without knowing anything about the IT business."
    • "The initial setup is very complex because we have a bunch of customization workflows. They were built-in features that we had to program as code with Orchestration."
    • "The stability on the 6.2 version is very bad. It crashes. VMware tech support knows the IIS component is a bit buggy."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for automating the deployment of multiple virtual machines.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Our purchase unit had a lot fears in upgrading their environment into production, so we customized it for them. What we did was virtualized the production environment and set it up to the Lab Manager. Then, they could test on Lab Manager on the application, including upgrades, updates, etc.

    What is most valuable?

    The customer can set up multiple machine blueprints. Therefore, we are able to customize the template of three machines, then the customer can deploy without knowing anything about the IT business. 

    What needs improvement?

    It is not intuitive nor easy to use. Lab Manager was very intuitive, and it was built with VMware functions. However, VMware vRealize Automation bought it, and we have not been happy with it. We would like them to go back to the Lab Manager that we used to use.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability on the 6.2 version is very bad. It crashes. VMware tech support knows the IIS component is a bit buggy.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have 30 virtual machines.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is okay.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is very complex because we have a bunch of customization workflows. They were built-in features that we had to program as code with Orchestration. 

    We haven't upgraded because we had to set up the entire environment with the vRealize Orchestration scripts. We have to do it again from the scratch.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a reseller for the deployment who was great.

    What other advice do I have?

    I think we will be leaving the platform. 

    For our business case, it was the wrong product, but there was nothing else on the market at the time. When we deployed our virtual machines, we had a very big template with 30 to 40 machines. It was difficult to configure all the virtual machines and blueprints. It was locked when it was deployed with vShield, and now, there is NSX and vShield is no longer supported.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    SB
    Principal Systems Engineer at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
    MSP
    It is bleeding edge technology, but at times, it is buggy.

    Pros and Cons

    • "It is mostly for our tech support to test new versions, find bugs, and troubleshoot what is happening at customer sites."
    • "I can make a blueprint with an Active Directory deployment. With everything prepared, people can start installing our products."
    • "It is too broad scale and complicated. It takes too many clicks to do things."

    What is our primary use case?

    It is similar to a lab system for testing our software versions. We also use it for cloning customer environments for troubleshooting.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It is mostly for our tech support to test new versions, find bugs, and troubleshoot what is happening at customer sites.

    It has made it easier for IT to support developers. Our tech support people are happy with it.

    What is most valuable?

    I can make a blueprint with an Active Directory deployment. With everything prepared, people can start installing our products.

    What needs improvement?

    It is bleeding edge technology, but at times, it is buggy. 

    It is too broad scale and complicated. It takes too many clicks to do things.

    I would like a simplified version of the interface for small businesses. We started with Lab Manager. For us, Lab Manager was the perfect tool. It was easy and simple. It had all the screens for machines right up. vRA is too many clicks for the normal, simple user.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability is okay. However, this is one of the products which I have had support work on the most.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is endless. What I would like to see in vRealize Automation is an SMB version, a simplified version, but still have the advanced options. For example, we use a lot of fenced deployments. We have five virtual machines deployed to fenced environments, which is our most common scenario. 

    We are a small office with only 600 people and about 16 technical support personnel.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is very good. I recently had a tech support case last week, and I got the answers that I needed.

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

    We switched because VMware canceled the Lab Manager products. So, we were looking for something, then we started with vCloud, but VMware canceled vCloud too. Thus, it has been a very rocky road. My one message to VMware, "Stick with one direction and stop cancelling products all the time."

    How was the initial setup?

    I have done all the version setups. For one year, we could not get the first version to work. I think this was version 6.0, but the latest version 7 is good.

    What about the implementation team?

    I had a consultant help me a little bit. I did most of the work myself because I like owning the products.

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

    Before, we had the vCloud suites, then suddenly we split out to NSX and had to pay two licenses extra just fenced because we don't use microsegmentation for firewall rollouts. Therefore, a simplified version for small businesses would be good.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We are embedded with VMware. We also use OpenStack, but it requires a lot more investment from IT.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is a complicated product, but you can do anything with it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PP
    Technical consultant at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
    Consultant
    The automation is valuable for us, especially where vRA integrates with vRO

    Pros and Cons

    • "The automation part is valuable, especially where vRA integrates with vRO, because it reduces the amount of effort we have to make."
    • "It's not a smooth upgrade process. For a DTA environment, which is very simple, it is a smooth process, but for our production environment, which is quite enhanced and has a lot of dependencies, it's not easy at all, and it results in a lot of errors... It takes a lot of retries to upgrade which ends up being costly."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case is to automate deployments of virtual machines and data actions. We have automated everything using vRA.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have several customer teams that serve external customers. Previously, each team, when it received a change request to deploy a single virtual machine, had to create a ticket in our ticketing system. Then it had to go through a couple of departments. The time to get that all done was quite long, on the order of days. vRA has helped reduce the amount of time it takes to create a ticket in our ticketing system. We have been able to reduce the process to around 30 minutes. Obviously, it has reduced the cost and amount of work.

    What is most valuable?

    The automation part is valuable, especially where vRA integrates with vRO, because it reduces the amount of effort we have to make.

    What needs improvement?

    This solution is intuitive for the end user. For the guys who need to manage it, it is a bit more complex. It is quite hard to maintain, especially since a lot of work has to be custom-built, which takes a lot of effort.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability is not great, although, the latest release has been better.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is good.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I would rate their technical support as a six out of ten, but that's not completely their fault. A lot of our tickets have to be transferred to engineering. GSS has not been able to solve a lot of our issues.

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

    We work a lot with VMware and were using vCloud Director previously. VMware architects came to our office and, after much discussion, vRA popped up as the best solution that fit our needs.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup, the installation, is straightforward, but only with the latest releases.

    Upgrades are one of the points where incidents are happening. Every time we want to upgrade, a ticket needs to be created and moved to engineering because GSS is not able to help us. We are able to upgrade, but it takes quite a number of retries, which are very costly.

    It's not a smooth upgrade process. For a DTA environment, which is very simple, it is a smooth process, but for our production environment, which is quite enhanced and has a lot of dependencies, it's not easy at all, and it results in a lot of errors.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did it on our own.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did not evaluate other vendors.

    What other advice do I have?

    vRA 8, from what I have seen of it, in a session here at VMworld 2018 Europe, fulfills every need we have. The Service Broker is better. vRA simply speaks with all my other endpoints and I see a lot of benefits in that.

    I would rate this solution as an eight because the way we set it up reduces the effort which would normally have been needed to deploy a virtual machine or perform data actions. I'm not giving it a higher score simply because of the difficulties we have run into in the past with it as well as the difficulties we continuously face during upgrades.

    We are currently discussing if we should stay on vRA or move back to vCloud Director. For now, I would recommend vRA, having seen the roadmap of vRA 8, which, in my opinion, is really good.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    YB
    IT Architect at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Using the VMware vRealize self-service portal, we can better manage the lifecycle

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary use case is the automation of the cyber functionalities. Right now, it is performing well.

    How has it helped my organization?

    For the cyber functionalities, we used to set up the functionalities manually using templates. Now, using the VMware vRealize self-service portal, the user can request a server, and we can better manage the lifecycle.

    What is most valuable?

    Manageability of the blueprints. Integration with the rest of VMware solutions. Availability of the Orchestrator. It is intuitive and user-friendly.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability is fine. Though, we have seen some issues with upgrades or installations. This means we have to raise a call every time with VMware.

    What do I think about the

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary use case is the automation of the cyber functionalities. Right now, it is performing well.

    How has it helped my organization?

    For the cyber functionalities, we used to set up the functionalities manually using templates. Now, using the VMware vRealize self-service portal, the user can request a server, and we can better manage the lifecycle.

    What is most valuable?

    • Manageability of the blueprints.
    • Integration with the rest of VMware solutions.
    • Availability of the Orchestrator.
    • It is intuitive and user-friendly.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability is fine. Though, we have seen some issues with upgrades or installations. This means we have to raise a call every time with VMware.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is good. It has been fine. We have been using it for quite some time and haven't seen any issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Normally, on the first call to technical support, you don't get the right person. The log analysis takes a long time. This is something which should be improved.

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

    We were not using anything previously. We have been using VMware for quite some time.

    How was the initial setup?

    We are trying to set up this new 7.4 in a distributed environment. Every time it was failing with different errors. Finally, we were able to finish it with notes that we had taken, and the help of VMware. However, later on in the product cycle, when applying the same procedure into our production environment, we followed all the guidelines and it still failed. This used to be a one day job, and it has been a one week job.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend use the solution.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    UM
    IT Infrastructure Manager at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
    Reseller
    We receive good attention from the technical support, and they are supportive

    Pros and Cons

    • "The solution is user-friendly and intuitive."
    • "We would like them to improve the automation part. This is an upcoming area that we would like to focus on."

    What is our primary use case?

    We're moving from our normal IT support platform to be a service provider to our hospital. I am with a medical corporation managing more than 95 percent of the healthcare services in Qatar. There are many big hospitals under our IT Operations, and we're trying to move and be a service provider to them.

    How has it helped my organization?

    All the feedback that I have received so far from our administrators is very positive. The solution is user-friendly and intuitive.

    What is most valuable?

    1. Virtualization
    2. The replication to our remote R&D data centers.

    What needs improvement?

    We would like them to improve the automation part. This is an upcoming area that we would like to focus on. We used to rely on other technologies to help us with VMware monitoring, but now, we're coming back to VMware technology. Hopefully, they will not take us down and provide something good. We have been watching their roadmaps, and it's promising. Therefore, I think it will be fine.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    So far, stability has been good.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability has been working fine.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is supportive. We are one of VMware's major customers in Qatar, so we receive good attention from them.

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

    For the virtualization part, we have previously used Veeam.

    We licensed VMware a long time ago. Now, we are moving from our legacy infrastructure to have a proper, private cloud environment.

    How was the initial setup?

    Our upgrade experience was good.

    What was our ROI?

    We are a government service provider, so ROI is not a main KPI. However, we do plan to see ROI with any new implementation of new technologies being implemented within our environment.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We do regular technology refreshment from all our suppliers to be aware of the latest trends in the market and to select the most suitable ones which fit our needs.

    What other advice do I have?

    We recommend VMware technologies to any of our colleagues or anyone asking to compare to other virtualization technologies in the market.

    We have had VMware for more than twenty years. We are very old VMware customers and have a big setup.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
    DV
    Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    The automation of VMs is consistent. The front-end is user-friendly and intuitive.

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for the automation of VMs. It is performing okay.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We use it to deploy databases and testing environments. It spins up quickly and breaks down fast.

    What is most valuable?

    The automation is consistent. The front-end is user-friendly and intuitive.

    What needs improvement?

    It is very difficult to make the automation work well. This is not product specific, but more due to environment and procedures that we have in our company. The back-end has a steep learning curve.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is good.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I used the technical support during upgrades. They came onsite and are very technical. They are very good …

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for the automation of VMs. It is performing okay.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We use it to deploy databases and testing environments. It spins up quickly and breaks down fast.

    What is most valuable?

    The automation is consistent.

    The front-end is user-friendly and intuitive.

    What needs improvement?

    It is very difficult to make the automation work well. This is not product specific, but more due to environment and procedures that we have in our company.

    The back-end has a steep learning curve.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is good.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I used the technical support during upgrades. They came onsite and are very technical. They are very good

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

    I am not aware of a previous solution. We moved to vRA because the business wanted quick, repetitive deployments.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was a complex setup. We had to use the consultant from VMware to make the solution work well.

    The upgrade was a very difficult task. We had to break everything down and build it up new in a new version.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a consultant from VMware for the deployment.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user678801
    Information Technology Services at TUI InfoTec GmbH
    Real User
    It improves the work, making it better. It also makes daily work much easier.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The solution is intuitive and user-friendly. E.g., you have less number of logins."
    • "The stability is okay, but could be improved. We sometimes receive strange errors, which can only be solved with specialists."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it to deploy virtual machines and integrate them into our structured environment.

    What is most valuable?

    The quick provisioning: We get a lot of things done automatically within hours. These things lasts days or weeks in further situations.

    The solution is intuitive and user-friendly. E.g., you have less number of logins.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is okay, but could be improved. We sometimes receive strange errors, which can only be solved with specialists.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We don't use the scalability.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support will handle our requests quickly if understood. However, there are often misunderstandings depending on the information that we provide and they request.

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

    We had another product before this, but we moved away from it to use vRealize Automation. The UI, administration possibilities, and the integration of the overall system were better than the former system, which was not up-to-date.

    What other advice do I have?

    It improves the work, making it better. It also makes daily work much easier.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PS
    Head of Cloud and Technology with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    It can automate the entire technical and business processes related to it. Upgrades are always a pain.

    Pros and Cons

    • "It is possible to completely automatize the creation and removal of a virtual machine."
    • "Upgrades are always a pain."

    What is our primary use case?

    We're using it to automate the lifecycle of all the VMs that we are managing.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It is possible to completely automatize the creation and removal of a virtual machine. Not just technically, it also automates the monitoring and asset management. It can automate the entire technical and business processes related to it.

    What is most valuable?

    The portal is the most valuable feature. The Orchestrator with automation is also valuable. We try to leverage the automation and self-service portal. We trust these two feature allow us to increase time to market, agility, etc.

    For the customer, it is intuitive and user-friendly.

    What needs improvement?

    The product was bought by VMware and they are trying to add features, which could be improved. For example, there is a Windows component and appliances with two different databases that have to be maintained in sync. This is a pretty nightmare to maintain.

    I would like to have infrastructure simplification, such as one box and one appliance which does everything. Having to have a Windows machine with dedicated DBs is sort of crappy.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Now, it's pretty stable, as long as you do not touch it. However, upgrades are always a pain.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We do not need to scale it. One instance is sufficient.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support has improved. Usually it takes some time for an engineer to respond. We try not to open basic tickets. Our tickets are usually linked to the box and can take several weeks to get a solution.

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

    We used the Orchestrator that was free, but started to build some automation on top of it, then we needed to evaluate different tools in the market.

    How was the initial setup?

    We have something that is very simple to set up: a single instance with minimal infrastructure. However, we have quite some customization.

    Always something breaks when we do upgrade them. We tried to install the latest artifacts two weeks ago, then we had to rollback. We sent the log to support, and we're still waiting for a response.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did the integration directly through VMware.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We assessed the market. We looked at VMware, Cisco, and a third vendor. VMware came out on top because of the integration. The service that we were providing the most is a virtual machine. So, it made more sense to use a VMware product to provide a VM machine.

    What other advice do I have?

    I recommend going directly to the cloud which already has the self-service portal and other fancy features.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    RE
    Solution Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    It is stable and works fine with the exception of integration with public clouds and multi-tenant data centers

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it mainly for cloud automation with private cloud solutions. It works fine with the exception of integration with public clouds and multi-tenant data centers.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has been pretty successful for many of my customers so far. vRA is user-friendly. It has the same layout and walk-through GUI, similar to other VMware products.

    What is most valuable?

    Orchestration Out-of-the-box integration with Database-as-a-Service Storage-as-a-service Backup-as-a-service

    What needs improvement?

    More integration and out-of-the-box use cases would be nice.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable, especially for high availability features.

    What do I think about the scalability of the

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it mainly for cloud automation with private cloud solutions. It works fine with the exception of integration with public clouds and multi-tenant data centers.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has been pretty successful for many of my customers so far.

    vRA is user-friendly. It has the same layout and walk-through GUI, similar to other VMware products.

    What is most valuable?

    • Orchestration
    • Out-of-the-box integration with Database-as-a-Service
    • Storage-as-a-service
    • Backup-as-a-service

    What needs improvement?

    More integration and out-of-the-box use cases would be nice.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable, especially for high availability features.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It has some limitations for scalability, especially for remote data center management. For some components, everything need to be centralized.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    We only used tech support during the PoC and design phases, but they were good.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is complex. There are too many components to integrate, especially when we integrated with different storage types and backup vendors. All the integration made it more complex.

    We haven't upgraded yet.

    What other advice do I have?

    If the use case matches, it is the perfect product for you.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    Carsten Fraszcak
    Team Lead Private Cloud at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Our users can order VMs using the API

    Pros and Cons

    • "Our users can order VMs using the API."
    • "It would be better if VMware would provide API documentation for developers and customers on the Internet."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use vRealize Automation for our customers. We are an internal service company and use vRA for a SAFE Self Service portal for our customers to provide VMs.

    We started five years ago with normal virtualization. Then, the platform grew and our customers requested additional services.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It provides faster SAFE services.

    What is most valuable?

    • It has the possibility to combine different clouds. 
    • We can provide internal VMs and also VMs from AVS for our customers.
    • Our users can order VMs using the API.

    What needs improvement?

    The API support could be better, because if your customers are developers, the first thing they do is Google, "How will this API function?" If you have vRA in the API, Google returns nothing. Therefore, my colleagues programmed an internal wrapper so the customers can talk with the API. We have to create our own documentation. 

    It would be better if VMware would provide API documentation for developers and customers on the Internet.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalable is okay.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    We have business-critical support, so this is the best support level available from VMware.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup process is good.

    My team did the upgrade, but I did not hear anything bad about the experience.

    What other advice do I have?

    The new version is user-friendly and intuitive. We have upgraded to 7.5, and this has been a good step for the product's usability.

    Today, I would start with the vRA device. In the beginning, we did a lot of stuff with vRealize Orchestrator, so we had to develop our workflows on our own, which is a bit more complicated. So, vRA is good idea if you want to start and get quick results.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    AE
    Head of IT at Interswitch
    Real User
    It provides visibility into the VM space

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it to be able to see everything within our VM space.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has helped our organization tremendously.

    What is most valuable?

    It provides visibility into the VM space. It is user-friendly to a greater extent.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is scalable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have used the technical support once or twice, and they were good.

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

    We are highly virtualized, so we like anything related to VMware because we need the visability their products provide. We need to know what is going on, so we can supervise our…

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it to be able to see everything within our VM space.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has helped our organization tremendously.

    What is most valuable?

    It provides visibility into the VM space.

    It is user-friendly to a greater extent.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is scalable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have used the technical support once or twice, and they were good.

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

    We are highly virtualized, so we like anything related to VMware because we need the visability their products provide. We need to know what is going on, so we can supervise our operations.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup is difficult. You need a technical person to help you set it up.

    We have not upgraded yet.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend this solution.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Brent Tate
    Senior Systems Administrator at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Video Review
    Real User
    Enables us to automatically reboot, power up servers, add applications

    What is our primary use case?

    We have used it mostly for our internal IT. We haven't really published it for customers or other groups to be able to use it. But we've actually just hit the surface. We've used it for rebooting servers, adding applications, automating some scripts; general things like that.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has improved our organization by automating some of our processes. Automating processes saves us time. If we are able to schedule, say, a server reboot, instead of actually having to log in at 8:00 at night, when we wouldn't normally be on our network - scheduling a reboot after, say, a patch or something. It just allows us to not have to work. It does it automatically.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature of vRealize Automation is being able to - as the name says -automate VMware executions, to be able to automatically reboot; servers, power them up; add applications. That's useful to us in IT.

    What needs improvement?

    To improve the product, possibly the interface could be more informational. There's a nice tree structure on the left, but being able to know what to do with that tree structure could possibly be improved a little bit with right-click menus or more information. I'm sure the Help menu is fine, but just more intuitive, maybe.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We haven't really had any problems with stability. Usually, for what we use it for, it has been very stable, very dependable. I feel like it's done a good job.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I feel vRA is scalable. Being able to develop it more, and get more installations, more things to use it for, will be able to help us scale it out and use it for more people.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    I have not had to use tech support for vRA, so I don't really have any experience with that. But I'm sure it's wonderful.

    How was the initial setup?

    I personally have not upgraded the program, but the people that actually manage it have not had any issues with it. That being said, it's still a fairly small installation, or a very small group of people that use the product. We haven't expanded it to be able to know, with the installation, how it has gone.

    What other advice do I have?

    The solution is user-friendly, to a degree. I feel like you still have to know a little bit of the ins and outs of how to get into it, some of the commands to use for what, exactly, you're trying to do. But besides that, it's pretty user-friendly.

    In terms of increasing infrastructure agility with it, we have, maybe to a small degree. I don't feel that, with our implementation of vRealize Automation, we have really gotten very far. We've only scratched the surface. Like I said, we only use it for our internal IT, and we're just being able to save a little bit of time by the things that we do. We haven't really dug deep into what it's capable of.

    It has made it easier for IT to support developers but I don't feel like we're at that point yet where the developers are involved. We have it as a future (goal) to involve our developers and have them be able to get on a webpage, and be able to do things automatically, without them having to put in a ticket or request us to do something for them; just making it automated. As we get to that point, though, I think it will be very useful.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    AR
    Senior Systems Administrator at Webroot Software
    Video Review
    Real User
    The infrastructure has helped us to greatly increase our agility

    Pros and Cons

    • "Our QA department is able to spin up a new instance of Windows virtual machine and test whatever use case they have, then turn it back down whenever they are done."
    • "The infrastructure has helped us to greatly increase our agility."
    • "For the administrator, it can be a little challenging. For the administrator, there are a lot of moving parts. It is fine once you figure out where the knobs are you need to twiddle, but it can be a challenge to get it up and running."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case is for our QA department. They use it to deploy machines when they need to test something out. It has performed well. They are able to spin up a new instance of Windows virtual machine and test whatever use case they have, then turn it back down whenever they are done. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    The infrastructure has helped us to greatly increase our agility.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is that I do not have to create a virtual machine for these people and have them do a small task with it, then dispose of it. 

    What needs improvement?

    I find the solution to be intuitive and user-friendly for the end user. For the administrator, it can be a little challenging. For the administrator, there are a lot of moving parts. It is fine once you figure out where the knobs are you need to twiddle, but it can be a challenge to get it up and running.

    There are a lot of moving parts. It could be improved if the solution were more consolidated.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is good.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is fine when you go with the high availability deployment.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    I have had to use tech support, and they are really good. 

    How was the initial setup?

    I was not involved in the initial setup. I was involved in the upgrade, which was fine with support.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate the solution as an eight out of ten. It has been extremely useful for our end users. To administer, it has been a bit more difficult.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Brian Wurtzel
    Systems Administrator at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Video Review
    Real User
    Used by developers to spin up their own VMs and destroy them at will

    Pros and Cons

    • "It is probably 90 percent quicker to get something out the door than it was before. For developers, depending on who is building VMs for them, sometimes they request anywhere from 20 to 100. Now, we can deploy them in a matter of an hour, where previously it might have taken me three days to deploy out 100 VMs."
    • "The big benefit is it will spin up VMs quickly so it would take about 13 to 15 minutes to deploy a virtual machine. Whereas, if I were doing it based on an email from users who are requesting VMs, it might take time for me to hear back from them. This could be anywhere from an hour to a day."
    • "It's extremely convenient to be able to spin something up and be able to work on other things, because it's already done it, making my workload lighter."
    • "It would be nice in the next release if they added in tool tips. Whether you're putting it together, adding a blueprint, or you're making a change in the system, highlighting or selecting something and having it tell you what it does or what it will do would be nice. Because it's such a complex system, it's hard to work with unless you've been using it for years to know what everything is doing."

    What is our primary use case?

    It is primarily used for developers to spin up their own VMs and destroy them at will, afterwards my group spins it up in production machines. Probably, its most valuable feature is it takes time off of my schedule to quickly, securely, and conveniently deploy virtual machines, then I can work on other things.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The big benefit is it will spin up VMs quickly so it would take about 13 to 15 minutes to deploy a virtual machine. Whereas, if I were doing it based on an email from users who are requesting VMs, it might take time for me to hear back from them. This could be anywhere from an hour to a day. It's extremely convenient to be able to spin something up and be able to work on other things, because it's already done it, making my workload lighter.

    Quantifying can be a little difficult because we recently rolled out. It is probably 90 percent quicker to get something out the door than it was before. For developers, depending on who is building VMs for them, sometimes they request anywhere from 20 to 100. Now, we can deploy them in a matter of an hour, where previously it might have taken me three days to deploy out 100 VMs.

    What needs improvement?

    It would be nice in the next release if they added in tool tips. Whether you're putting it together, adding a blueprint, or you're making a change in the system, highlighting or selecting something and having it tell you what it does or what it will do would be nice. Because it's such a complex system, it's hard to work with unless you've been using it for years to know what everything is doing.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Less than one year.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    So far, stability is great. We haven't had anything crash or be taken down by bugs that we've come across. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We left room to be able to expand in the future. This was the job of our consulting company.

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

    Previously, it was just me manually building VMs. 

    When my workload started increasing and I started getting more tasks, my manager noticed that it took longer to deploy VMs. At which point, our senior admin knew about this product and suggested that we move forward with putting it into the new environment.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup process isn't intuitive and user-friendly, but once it's set up everything after that is easy. It can be as hard as you want it to be, or it could be as easy as you want it to be depending on how you're setting it up. 

    It is completely upgraded to the newest right now. 

    What about the implementation team?

    I spent about a month working on the set up. It was pretty complex. 

    It takes a smart person well-versed in anything from JavaScript to building out blueprints to somebody who knows vCenter and vSphere. 

    To deploy it, we brought in a consulting company because were strapped for user availability to set it up. Therefore, having a consulting company sped up the process of putting it together.

    What was our ROI?

    Since it's fairly new, we don't know the ROI yet. 

    As far as value is concerned, it has been essential to our environment. We have been able to deploy VMs quickly and the developers have their own sandbox, so they can spin up and destroy VMs at their own will. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    It was always going to be VMware, because that's our primary virtual machine deployment. 

    What other advice do I have?

    It is a solid 10. It's completely taken a lot of time off my plate so I can concentrate on other things, including learning the product as well as vRO, vRealize Orchestrator. 

    If it's too complex for you, get a consulting company, because it makes the process a lot easier. I would definitely speak with other people who have implemented it in their environment. We've actually done that in the past for other products. It's nice to hear what other companies think about the product. It will help accelerate your decision.

    Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

    1. Ease-of-use.
    2. Functionality to the point where it's not going to break, and there are no bugs in it. If the product has been long known to contain very harsh setup routines, it's going to take a long time for bugs get fixed, or there are multiple bugs which keep showing up in every version, this is something that I don't want to deal with.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Bob Plankers
    Solutions Architect at a university
    Video Review
    Real User
    It improves time to market and makes a developer's life easier

    Pros and Cons

    • "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."
    • "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."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case for the product is self-service IT. VMware builds it as a portal for self-service and infrastructure as a service, which is what we are using it for, as we roll forward automating and orchestrating more tasks and being able to push things out of the hands of sys admins and into the hands of the users and app admins.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Digital transformation is more of a people problem than a technology problem in many cases. It is getting people used to the idea of self-service people and not having to go talk to the sys admin all the time, and empowering people to get things done. That's a real big thing. That's probably the biggest part of the change that this tool has on our organization: empowerment.

    What is most valuable?

    The solution has increased the infrastructure agility from people's perceptions of the infrastructure: Having an actual private cloud or something on-premise, which people can turn to a Window and provision things when they need it. The end result is it appears to be more agile, then the back-end is just the back end. 

    • 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.
    • It has improved time to market. Just by improving them, making provisioning increases, time to provision, time to market is a definitely improved. 
    • It makes a developer's life easier. They don't have to interact with their sys admins for everything anymore. It's an empowering thing.

    We can automate a number of things which weren't automated before, then tie into things like VMware NSX and vRealize Operations Manager. We put things into their hands directly that were never there before, so not only do they feel empowered, but they can get their job done faster.

    What needs improvement?

    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.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    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.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    In terms of scalability, vRA has connections to a lot of different systems. It's very flexible and an impressive product. It's almost scarily flexible.

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

    We came to the conclusion that vRealize automation was right for us as part of an effort on our campus to consolidate IT from a real distributed model into a less distributed model, but still retain a lot of local control with departments.

    A lot of higher education institutions have similar problems. People want to retain local control, but all the IT is spread out all over campus. This is a real problem. 

    As we talked to people, a private cloud was the way we felt we needed to go: To be able to do self-provisioning and self-service for groups who really wanted it. We also wanted to be able to add additional advanced features, workflows, integration points, and approval processes, and vRealize Automation could do all of that. 

    We were able to span from our simplest customer to our more complicated customer in the same product. This is why the product appealed to us.

    How was the initial setup?

    I was involved in the initial setup of our environment.

    The vRealize Automation team, when they released version 7 awhile ago, made immense improvements as far as being able to install and deploy the product, which has been super helpful. 

    We track vRealize automation versions pretty closely. There are always new features which are of interest to us, bugs which have been fixed, and the upgrade process has been really smooth lately.

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

    There is confusion between licensing levels. There are three different licensed versions of vRealize Automation, and there are different things which can happen in each of them. This is confusing.

    vRealize automation really should be a front door to the whole VMware suite of products. The front door to a cloud: Just open it up, and let everyone do whatever they need.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We've been with vRealize Automation for a while now. 

    OpenStack was pretty immature at the time that we were evaluating the solution. We also looked at Embotics and their stuff.

    There are a lot of good options in this space. There is a lot of competition now. Do your due diligence around it. The VMware solutions stand on their own, but look around. Know what you are after: 

    • Are you after infrastructure? 
    • Are you after multi-cloud? 

    Everything has a different focus.

    What other advice do I have?

    The solution is getting better. VMware has been paying a lot of attention to it lately, and it's been inheriting a lot of their cloud efforts, user interface improvements, and getting more intuitive. It's a nice thing. To be able to build custom forms and do more things, which directly respond to our customer's needs.

    If I had to rate the solution one to ten, I would give it a seven. There is room for improvement, but it looks like they are making those improvements and putting a lot of work into it.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    Daniel Pratt
    Infrastructure Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Video Review
    Real User
    Solution is extensible, and customization of community-provided Blueprints helps as a basis for automation

    Pros and Cons

    • "The extensibility of it and the customization of a lot of the Blueprints, that you can customize, and the community as a whole. There's a ton of community-generated Blueprints that might be (helpful) to set up a design for your automation needs, that you can use as a base and go on from there and make changes to it."
    • "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."

    What is our primary use case?

    Primary use case is, generally, a DevOps lab-type environment that we have, spread across multiple locations throughout the United States. It's meant for a DevOps shop, for our developers to spin up, spin down VMs or applications, and do their testing.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Big-time cost savings on administrative overhead without having to constantly manage virtual machines, spin them up, spin them down, manually. We can automate all of that now and most developers will be able to access a page, landing zone, and do that all themselves, rather than having an admin or someone on the team have to do it for them.

    As far as increasing the infrastructure agility, that goes back to the cost savings. Being able to tear down entire development enclaves, essentially by pushing a button or invoking a command line, and spin them all back up, is immensely valuable for an Agile development shop.

    It does help, to an extent, with speed of provisioning. But to me, I'm also thinking on the back end, the technical end, depending on which environment I'm on, it might have flash or, in some areas, it might have old spinning disk. So the speed is going to be limited to that as well. But as far as the software itself and using the API calls, it's definitely speedy.

    It has definitely made it easier for IT to support developers. That is one of the main aspects of the product line. It's for having that in place, to not have to call up Joe Shmo Admin to say, "Hey, can you go manage this for me, spin this up for me?" You can have a portal for a developer, another user login, spin up the resources, shut them down if they need to, request apps, and all without having to bother your admin next door. 

    What is most valuable?

    Valuable features include the extensibility of it and the customization of a lot of the Blueprints, that you can customize, and the community as a whole. There's a ton of community-generated Blueprints that might be (helpful) to set up a design for your automation needs, that you can use as a base and go on from there and make changes to it. That would probably be the biggest thing.

    Once it's deployed, managing it is pretty intuitive.

    What needs improvement?

    The deployment mechanisms for the initial deployment of the product line lack the appropriate documentation to give someone who's never used it before... Obviously, you want people who are knowledgeable in the product line before they deploy it, but 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.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I haven't had any stability issues with it.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability, I have no issues with that as well. As long as I have the compute, storage, and network bandwidth to support it, the underlying infrastructure is there. It's pretty expandable.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Technical support has been fine, adequate. I have not really had any need for it, per se. It's more so self-taught and people going to training and learning how to use it. If we have an issue, it's generally really rare that we'd have to reach out and talk to tech support. So I don't have a lot of experience having to deal with them on it.

    How was the initial setup?

    The deployment of it is not overly intuitive. It does require some knowledge about putting it out there and deploying it.

    I have had the opportunity to upgrade it and that is definitely not the easiest of things to do, generally. As long as you follow the checklist, and which product line you're updating in the specific order, you won't break your system. But if you don't follow the sheet or "the law," you will definitely mess yourself up big-time.

    What other advice do I have?

    Make sure that you know what you're getting into, first off, what it's for and what you might need it for because I might recommend maybe a less robust product line for your needs as opposed to something that's more of like a higher infrastructure, corporation-level product line, like vRealize.

    Every version, they've updated the UI, scalability, added new products to be able to work with different cloud vendors. Overall, that part of it's fine, there have been improvements from version to version.

    As far as automation techniques, like Chef or Puppet or Ansible, it's the age-old thing: Mac, Windows, Linux, whatever works for what I need, I'll use. I don't really have a preference, as long as it works for what I need.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    AN
    Systems Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Video Review
    Real User
    Allows us to deploy more quickly, tying into our CI/CD pipeline and giving us more agility

    Pros and Cons

    • "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."

      What is our primary use case?

      Our primary use case for the product is automating the basic rollout of a VM.

      Our experience with it has been very good. It's one of those things where, if you don't have to think about a product, it just does its thing, it's in the background, you don't have to worry about it, that's always handy.

      How has it helped my organization?

      We're not too complex, we're not a dot-com, but it does help us with smoothing out the variability of things. It makes it so that we can deploy things very easily. We don't use a lot of the higher features it has, but the basic things we do, we can just knock them out on a daily basis. It's not a problem to use.

      The flexibility it has given us in being able to deploy things very quickly and easily, taking it from having to build up an image, and deploy something manually, which would take several hours or a day, we can do in 20 minutes; just roll out a template very easily. If we want a half-dozen different systems, we don't have to manually build them. We just point a domain to each: bang, bang, bang, done.

      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 CI/CD 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.

      It has made it easier for IT to support developers because we can stand up boxes a lot quicker. We can have a test environment, we can actually just clone off something and make it a lot quicker and easier for them to deploy; quicker deployment, quicker testing, quicker into production.

      What is most valuable?

      The most valuable feature 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.

      The tool is also usable for Windows and Linux and Mac. We have people who access the tool who have different requirements. For example, I'm in Windows, but we have a Linux group that also uses the tool, and some of the people in the networking department use Macs. So it's very usable across different functional groups.

      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. The networking group, which doesn't access the finer features of VMware a lot, we give it to them. When they want to deploy a tool, they can see what it's doing very quickly. It's not something that you have to understand a scripting language for to see what it's doing.

      What needs improvement?

      I honestly don't see much room for improvement, but how can I take a new employee and ramp him up so he can be productive quickly? How do we get the training materials standardized so we can get him up and running really quickly?

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      The stability is good. It's one of those things that we can just stand up and forget. We haven't really had any problems with it. It's just there, and we can rely on it.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Scalability is one of those things we haven't used or needed. But it's there when do. We have confidence that it will meet our needs when we need them.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      We haven't had to use tech support for the product. Part of that is that I do my own support. During the initial deployment, I had a few questions. We already had a VMware representative up there. So I asked him my questions. The support was good.

      How was the initial setup?

      We have gone all the way from version 5.5 to version 8. VMware provided us the steps that we needed to do to go from this version to this version to this version, the progression we needed. From there, it was very straightforward.

      What other advice do I have?

      I would easily give vRA a nine out of ten. It has done everything that we need. We're not the most complex use case, but it's done everything we need, we can just forget about it in the background.

      It's a nine and not a ten because of the training stuff. It would be helpful to have a nice flow of training for a new employee. I'm the "old guy" of the shop and we're bringing on new people or new use cases. For example, the user-services department needs to start using it. How do we bring in new people to use its fleshed-out features, in addition to just our using it, where other departments are using it? How do we bring those people in? That's the only thing we really need.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      AR
      Solution Architect at a aerospace/defense firm with 51-200 employees
      Real User
      Automation enables us to do more with fewer people

      What is our primary use case?

      We mostly use it for generating VMware instances.

      Things are getting to a point now where you need to be able to do more with less. Anything you can automate is always going to help you in the long run. I'm in the government sector. We're in extreme "do-more-with-less," so we're constantly looking for solutions where we can automate things that we're doing on a day-to-day basis. That's especially true when you have repeatable processes. Automation becomes paramount to get your mission completed in a timely fashion.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It has helped us through time savings. We can do more with fewer people. It probably does, ultimately, improve time to market. But there's so much bureaucratic process in everything we do in the government sector, that it's really hard to improve time to market for anything we do.

      What is most valuable?

      When I've been on the console, I have found it very intuitive. There is not a lot to it; it's pretty self-explanatory. It leads you in a direction where you know what you're doing.

      What needs improvement?

      I would like to see more improvement in the way it integrates with other systems. That certainly wouldn't hurt.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      We've been using this product for a while and the stability is fantastic. As long as we keep our hardware maintained, and we're doing everything we can on that front, I don't see any issues with stability.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      The scalability is fantastic. It's there.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Personally, I have not had to use technical support. I know we, as an organization, do so frequently. We have our TAM who is onsite, so any time we do have any issues, the TAM is there to help us, assist us in getting to the right person, and in getting where we need to get to.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup is straightforward. Not for us, again, because of the bureaucracy, but, in and of itself, it is very straightforward. I've done a lot of it in the lab, and hands-on training. It's pretty straightforward and simple.

      What was our ROI?

      There has been a return on investment, although it's hard to measure.

      What other advice do I have?

      In terms of advice, being here at VMworld 2018 is a start. I'm sitting through a lot of these presentations and there's a myriad of information available that is located right here, as opposed to me having to go search for it across the web.

      When we consider working with a vendor, for us, government certifications help. From our perspective, ATOs and STIGs and all those types of things being in existence before we start to work with them are important, because having to obtain all those things from us is a difficult portion of it. Also, product support for integration with other systems, that's always a key to us. Those are the two main factors.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      Wilson Pardini
      Executive Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
      Real User
      Creating machines is super-fast and managing the process is simple

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it for about 1,000 clients at Santander Bank in Brazil and, nowadays, we have about 22,000 machines. It's performing very well.

      How has it helped my organization?

      Before, it took us two days to provision new machines, and today the whole process is done in about two hours. Previously, there were a lot of complaints about how long it took to create a new machine. The process was manual. We had to create the machines and put the data on the CMDB but, nowadays, it's super-fast, magical, too easy. About two years ago, the process was based on 15 people. Nowadays, we use three people to manage things.

      What is most valuable?

      The most valuable feature is the process it provides us and the time it takes us to deliver to our clients.

      I also find it to be intuitive and user-friendly.

      What needs improvement?

      They need to help in managing the change of corporate culture involved in establishing the solution.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      One to three years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It is a stable product.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It scales.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Tech support is very good, responsive. They provide us with support in Portuguese in Brazil.

      How was the initial setup?

      I was not involved in the initial setup but I have been involved in the upgrade process. It was very easy. The whole process was too easy.

      What other advice do I have?

      I rate it nine out of ten because of the simplicity of the solution. It's so easy to manage

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      BK
      Ops Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
      Real User
      Self-service, from onboarding to the end, is helpful, but upgrades are not straightforward

      Pros and Cons

      • "The self-service capabilities are by far the best that we've seen in terms of features. If the user is being able to log in and make requests himself, from the onboarding process all the way to the end, that's very helpful."
      • "The upgrade experience is horrible. It's not straightforward, there are a lot of failures, a lot of support interactions. It's not something that we are able to pull off ourselves. I've been with vRA since it was termed vCSA. We've gone through multiple rounds, and it has never been easy."
      • "The stability needs a lot of work. The troubleshooting component of vRealize is a pain. The administration and the upgrades are not up to the mark. If they were able to improve on that, that would be the best thing and would make it much easier to run it in the enterprise."

      What is our primary use case?

      Initially, we used it for private cloud. Now, we are trying to go with a hybrid model.

      In terms of performance, right now we're making revisions to ensure that it is hybrid-compatible. We have multiple engagements with VMware to facilitate it that.

      How has it helped my organization?

      Productivity has definitely increased. We are not relying on engineers to actually build out the infrastructure anymore. That's the main benefit. From an infrastructure perspective, it has definitely increased productivity, ensuring that the engineers' time is well spent on other, more important tasks, rather than the basic provisioning that they were doing earlier. 

      What is most valuable?

      The self-service capabilities are by far the best that we've seen in terms of features. If the user is being able to log in and make requests himself, from the onboarding process all the way to the end, that's very helpful.

      What needs improvement?

      I'm curious to test out the features that have been announced. We'll see how that goes from a hybrid perspective. I'm looking forward most to the hybrid capabilities.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      The stability needs a lot of work. The troubleshooting component of vRealize is a pain. The administration and the upgrades are not up to the mark. If they were able to improve on that, that would be the best thing and would make it much easier to run it in the enterprise.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Since we are looking at public-cloud scalability, as long as that model works, I think we should be good. We're not too focused on the scalability on-prem but we want to see how it scales out to the public cloud.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Our experience with technical support has not been great. There seem to be multiple rounds of escalations surrounding support for vRealize Automation issues that we have encountered.

      How was the initial setup?

      I was involved in the initial setup and it was complex. The certificates, the distributed install, wasn't straightforward, I'll just leave it at that. We had Professional Services come in for the first round of install. During the second round of install, when we tried to do the update ourselves, there were multiple points of failure. It was not easy. The install, the upgrade features, are not easy at all. The administration part is what is very problematic with vRealize Automation right now.

      The upgrade experience is horrible. It's not straightforward, there are a lot of failures, a lot of support interactions. It's not something that we are able to pull off ourselves. I've been with vRA since it was termed vCSA. We've gone through multiple rounds, and it has never been easy.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      We were initially thinking about vCloud Director but we're a VMware shop so we wanted something that is native to VMware technologies. We didn't approach a lot of other vendors. One of the things that is important for us when selecting a vendor is whether it fits in with our footprint or not.

      What other advice do I have?

      I rate it at six out of ten right now. To get to a ten, they definitely need to improve on the administration and the troubleshooting. From an operations perspective, it is a nightmare. From a user perspective, it is pretty good.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      MW
      Systems Engineer at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Vendor
      Allows us to deploy much faster, but sometimes deployments fail and we don't know why

      Pros and Cons

      • "Instead of deploying a VM from a template and going through the process of configuring that VM, with vRA we're able to click once and it does everything: grabs an IP, joins it to the domain, loads whatever configuration agents are needed. It does all of that without manual intervention."
      • "usability; Ease of use, the GUI, is probably the best feature, so that really anybody can use it. You don't have to be technical to be able to deploy a VM. I find it to be intuitive and user-friendly. Regarding some of the files that you feed it, you don't have to do a ton of development. You can feed it pretty standard configuration files. You don't have to be a developer, you don't have to know C# or Java or the like to get it going."
      • "My impression of its stability is "middle of the road." We've had some issues where it seems to be a little bit sensitive, where deployments fail and we don't really know a specific reason why. We'll dig through logs and try and figure out what's going on, but it's not always apparent as to why it failed. And you can kick it off again and it'll succeed. So stability could be better."

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it for server deployments, typically. It's mostly for managing our own private cloud, for infrastructure-as-a-service deployments. It has performed well. We just recently went through an upgrade that had some hiccups to it, but it's been performing well for us.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It allows us to deploy servers on a much faster basis. Instead of deploying a VM from a template and going through the process of configuring that VM, with vRA we're able to click once and it does everything: grabs an IP, joins it to the domain, loads whatever configuration agents are needed. It does all of that without manual intervention.

      It has definitely improved the speed of provisioning over the old-school way of deploying a VM from a template.

      What is most valuable?

      Ease of use, the GUI, is probably the best feature, so that really anybody can use it. You don't have to be technical to be able to deploy a VM.

      I find it to be intuitive and user-friendly. Regarding some of the files that you feed it, you don't have to do a ton of development. You can feed it pretty standard configuration files. You don't have to be a developer, you don't have to know C# or Java or the like to get it going.

      What needs improvement?

      An improvement - and maybe this is already a feature that I don't know about - would be to be able to deploy to public cloud. Deployments to the public cloud would probably be a good feature if it's not already there, to be able to deploy to AWS or Azure, etc.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      My impression of its stability is "middle of the road." We've had some issues where it seems to be a little bit sensitive, where deployments fail and we don't really know a specific reason why. We'll dig through logs and try to figure out what's going on, but it's not always apparent why it failed. And you can kick it off again and it'll succeed. So stability could be better.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      The scalability is okay. You can't, to my knowledge - and I could be wrong - tell it to deploy like this: "I want 20 VMs all configured this way," and have it go ahead and spin them off. You have to do them one at a time. So, from a scalability standpoint that's not great, but it could also be that we're just not using it correctly. We don't actually have the need to do that very often, but from time to time we'll get a request such as, "We need five SQL Server VMs." It would be nice to be able to do it once and be done with it, rather than repeat that process five times.

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

      To my knowledge, I don't think there was a previous solution.

      How was the initial setup?

      I wasn't involved in the initial setup but we just went through an upgrade. It was not without its challenges. Some of the challenges were probably on our side, being able to support the newer infrastructure. But I seem to recall there being some issues importing some of the old settings and from vRA 6 into vRA 7 so that you could destroy VMs that were built in 6 from within the 7 UI. There were some challenges in getting that done. It's done, but I believe that there were some speed bumps to that.

      What other advice do I have?

      I rate vRA at seven out of ten. There's some room for improvement, but it's better than the old way that we used to do things. It's a good product, it could just use some ironing out.

      The most important criterion when selecting a vendor, to my mind, is support: a support network, whether it be knowledgebase articles online, forums online, or calling into actual, paid support.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      NW
      System Engineer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
      Real User
      Helps us with speed of deployment, but upgrades and tracking down logs are difficult

      Pros and Cons

      • "The most valuable feature is the way that it plugs into our monitoring systems, and Infoblox and Puppet."
      • "I don't find the solution to be intuitive and user- friendly. The GUI is really complicated. Tracking down logs and errors is very hard. Then, it takes a specialized JavaScript person to build. Also, I'm not sure how the upgrades are going now, but they definitely need to evolve the upgrade process. Finally, the logs are very generalized. Giving more of an indicator of what's actually going wrong, rather than just a generic error code, would help."
      • "We had a lot of issues at first. Especially with doing any kind of upgrades, it was a complete tear-down and a complete rebuild of all the Blueprints. The upgrade process was not easy or intuitive at all. But it seems to be getting better."

      What is our primary use case?

      The primary use case is to automate systems, and at a faster pace, so we can give them to our end-users faster.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It has cut down the time for building out a machine. A process that used to take three hours is down to 20 to 30 minutes. If the users need a machine fast, we can get it presented to them quicker. So it has absolutely helped with the speed of provisioning.

      What is most valuable?

      The most valuable feature is the way that it plugs into our monitoring systems, and Infoblox and Puppet.

      What needs improvement?

      I don't find the solution to be intuitive and user- friendly. The GUI is really complicated. Tracking down logs and errors is very hard. Then, it takes a specialized JavaScript person to build.

      Also, I'm not sure how the upgrades are going now, but they definitely need to evolve the upgrade process. 

      Finally, the logs are very generalized. Giving more of an indicator of what's actually going wrong, rather than just a generic error code, would help.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      One to three years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      We had a lot of issues at first. Especially with doing any kind of upgrades, it was a complete tear-down and a complete rebuild of all the Blueprints. The upgrade process was not easy or intuitive at all. But it seems to be getting better.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It's easy to be scalable on it. You're as scalable as the infrastructure you have behind it.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      I have used technical support, but more on the infrastructure side, not on the system side. My experience with them has been good. They get back to us quickly. We're a TAM customer, so we get quite a bit resolved pretty quickly.

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

      We didn't have a previous solution. We were doing manual. We still are, but we're within 15 to 20 days of deploying it. We went with this solution because of the partnership with VMware. We have vCenter, we have a bunch of their products, so it just made sense to try to go with a simple approach.

      The most important criteria when looking to work with a vendor are the ability to adapt to us and our needs, and that the vendor be quick on responses.

      How was the initial setup?

      I came in about halfway through the initial setup. It was very complex. We had VMware projects going on, so we had a couple of consultants giving us full-time personnel to help us through it. We had VMware there, and AdvizeX was another one. Then we had the specialty people from VMware that they deployed out to our place.

      What was our ROI?

      We still haven't gotten it into production yet. But once we do, our value is going to be the ability to turn around virtual machines a lot faster.

      What other advice do I have?

      Read as much as possible and then take it slowly and don't try to jump in full force. Make sure you have a good plan going into it. That was one of our mistakes. We were expecting, "Oh, this will be pretty easy," but once we got into it, was a little more complex than we were thinking.

      I give the solution about a seven out of 10, given the process we've gone through with it. We've had it now for three years, but we haven't been able to really deploy it in production. I don't know if it's because of the documentation or just the ability to be able to use it and make it functional.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      AJ
      Senior Infrastructure Design at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      Helps us provision servers much faster but the learning curve is steep for sysadmins

      Pros and Cons

        • "I don't think it's intuitive or user-friendly. I think it's a good tool. Any automation tool, these days, the learning curve is kind of high. You're teaching sysadmins who never developed stuff. Maybe they modified a little bit of code and now you tell them, "Hey, here's the tool, use it." But you have to know a little bit of DevOps. So you have to train them how to do the scripting."

        What is our primary use case?

        Primary use case for us is how do we consolidate, how do we provision machines as fast as possible, provision databases? Also, how do we go from on-prem to cloud?

        How has it helped my organization?

        We like vRA because it helps make systems available on time for our customers, on demand. Previously, if a customer requested machines or servers it would take three or four days to deliver. But now we can give them specific tools, or a portal, where they can shop and select which server they want. We provision servers faster. For example, to get a database machine provisioned it would take a week. Now it's a matter of 30 minutes.

        Also, we now have control over the network, the server team, the storage. We only need a single team, customers are only talking to one team.

        What needs improvement?

        I don't think it's intuitive or user-friendly. I think it's a good tool. Any automation tool, these days, the learning curve is kind of high. You're teaching sysadmins who never developed stuff. Maybe they modified a little bit of code and now you tell them, "Hey, here's the tool, use it." But you have to know a little bit of DevOps. So you have to train them how to do the scripting.

        They could also improve a lot on the interface itself.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        We have not had any outages or crashes so far.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        Scalability is very agile. You can scale it however you want.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        If you have the Premium Support you might get somebody. Other than that...

        How was the initial setup?

        I was responsible for the upgrade. It was very complex. One the reasons was that we were going version to version. We learned that some of the objects that were supported in previous versions were duplicated across the board. So we had to clean a lot of the databases to get the new versions.

        What was our ROI?

        We are still at an early stage so our assessment is probably going to be at the end of the next quarter.

        What other advice do I have?

        My advice would be to hire Professional Services. Don't do it yourself.

        When looking to work with a vendor, the most important factor is skills. They need to have the right skills, especially when you don't have time, your project timeline is very short. Skills are the key: someone who knows the product, who has lot of experience, and who has done it before.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        PJ
        Cloud Services Engineer at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
        Real User
        Access provisioning enables us to separate access to different Catalog items, but menus and stability need improvement

        Pros and Cons

        • "The most valuable features are the Catalog View and the access control business group. Access provisioning is probably the main use case for us, so we can separate access to different Catalog items among the different business groups and have that tied back to our AD LDAP systems."
        • "I don't find it to be entirely user-friendly. There are a lot of complicated menus within menus within menus. Things move around from version to version."

        What is our primary use case?

        Our primary use case is production IT, VM provisioning workloads. It performs pretty well most of the time.

        How has it helped my organization?

        It's the backbone for VM deployments for our main production data center.

        What is most valuable?

        The most valuable features are the Catalog View and the access control business group. Access provisioning is probably the main use case for us, so we can separate access to different Catalog items among the different business groups and have that tied back to our AD LDAP systems.

        What needs improvement?

        Early on, we had a lot of troubles. Most of those were short-knit runs. And we do have difficulties trying to upgrade.

        I also don't find it to be entirely user-friendly. There are a lot of complicated menus within menus within menus. Things move around from version to version

        We're looking forward to some of the Catalog enhancements that I know are coming in the upcoming versions.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        Earlier on there were some problems and with upgrades, and there were some other problems as well. But in between, it tends to run pretty well. We leave it alone.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        It has met our needs scale-wise, in that environment.

        How was the initial setup?

        The setup was complex. Even with the Professional Services, it took days and days to try and get it installed and working right.

        We have had the opportunity to upgrade and it failed. We're having troubles with that. We're still working on it.

        What other advice do I have?

        If you have the validated designs or PSO guidance for setup, go with that now. Try to keep it as out-of-the-box as possible, in a supported configuration.

        I rate this solution at seven out of ten. By now, it does the job we need it to do most of the time. There are definitely areas where it could use some improvements.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        MT
        Principal Vendor Manager at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees
        Real User
        Performance and optimization provide good value, but it may not keep up with changing technology

        How has it helped my organization?

        Without it in our data center, we would have to have a different solution. It's what we thought was the best architecture for our company.

        What is most valuable?

        What I like about the software are the performance and the optimization, based on the unit pricing.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        More than five years.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        It's very stable. And due to the software contracts - we have a subscription membership - we get the newer versions. It's going be around and, from what I heard at one of the sessions today at VMworld 2018, it's going to be around for a while.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        It's scalable. We're such a large company, we would never even consider using it if we didn't think it had a lot of room to grow, for the capacity that we utilize.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Technical support is okay, VMware is fine. I work with both Dell EMC and VMware and, of the two, VMware has more of a commitment to us and makes sure that the products are working in the way that they intended and sold to us.

        In addition to production-level support, we buy mission-critical support. Mission-critical support makes sure that we get responses quickly. They actually know who we are when we call.

        I rely on the Technical Account Manager from VMware to give us the solution for our network or data center. I'm not an SE, so we also rely on our internal SEs to provide us the right version and capabilities. It's customized for us.

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

        We've been with VMware for such a long time, in excess of a decade, and because of that, I wasn't working here when they had an earlier solution.

        How was the initial setup?

        We upgrade it anytime we do a technical refresh. It's just like anything else. We're in a complex environment, so to upgrade it, it's almost like you have to migrate the data that is utilized underneath. It's not simple, but it is done periodically.

        What other advice do I have?

        You should look at the complexity and size of your environment, and when utilizing that background for your requirements, I personally would recommend VMware. You should look at what your deliverables are in this solution. If you do that, you have something you can measure it by, to determine if it's a good fit for you. But I do suggest that you look at VMware as a potential vendor.

        I rate the solution at seven out of ten because I don't believe it's a perfect solution. It fits in our data center and it works for our organization, so it's a good solution for us. Yet, at the same time, technology changes so quickly today that a solution you bought three years ago, even if it's upgraded, isn't the solution that's going to fit. For example, we're all going to the cloud or on-prem/off-prem, and because of that, that solution may be in the cloud tomorrow, so I won't be buying it anymore, I'll be buying the cloud version of it because it's utilized through a different service provider.

        My most important criteria when working with a vendor are really easy. I evaluate the vendor based on these things: 

        • What is their reliability? 
        • What is their pricing model?
        • Is it a partnership versus our just being a customer that they want to make large margins from?
        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        JK
        Sys Admin at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
        Real User
        Self-provisioning speeds up machine creation, but the solution is not user-friendly

        Pros and Cons

        • "It allows some of the tenants to self-provision their machines, so they don't have to wait for us to create the machine for them."
        • "I don't find it to be user-friendly or intuitive because, in my case, when I have to deploy SAP systems, I need to jump between the vRA, the vRO, and the actual vCenter itself. I need to go back and forth to do different things... I wish they could make it just one application, just vRA, that does all that. There might be a way to do it but I haven't figured out how to do it yet."
        • "vCenter and vRA, I believe they share two different databases so sometimes you have to somehow sync them up. I wish there was only one database between the two or, somehow, one database would rule over the other one, so if you have both products, the vCenter might use the vRA database. Otherwise, when you do stuff in vCenter, you have to write a command on vRA to update the databases."

        What is our primary use case?

        We mainly use it for deploying SAP machines, SAP-type systems.

        How has it helped my organization?

        It allows some of the tenants to self-provision their machines, so they don't have to wait for us to create the machine for them. They can just do it themselves. It has helped improve our infrastructure agility.

        What is most valuable?

        All you do is just press a button, it cranks it out and everything is consistent, so that's one nice thing about it. The speed is also a valuable feature.

        What needs improvement?

        I don't find it to be user-friendly or intuitive because, in my case, when I have to deploy SAP systems, I need to jump between the vRA, the vRO, and the actual vCenter itself. I need to go back and forth to do different things. For example, with the vRA I'll deploy the base machine. With vRO, that's where I may have to get an IP address. If somebody's SAP machine has a secondary, virtual name, I need to get the next available IP address from vRO. And then, inside the vCenter, I need to do some firewall stuff, NXS. So it's not that user-friendly.

        I wish they could make it just one application, just vRA, that does all that. There might be a way to do it but I haven't figured out how to do it yet.

        Also, vCenter and vRA, I believe they share two different databases so sometimes you have to somehow sync them up. I wish there was only one database between the two or, somehow, one database would rule over the other one, so if you have both products, the vCenter might use the vRA database. Otherwise, when you do stuff in vCenter, you have to write a command on vRA to update the databases.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        It's pretty stable. Once in a while we'll have a problem, but it will be something that's inside the vRA database that got corrupted somehow and they have to clear something out. For example, sometimes, when I deploy a machine, it'll be in the request queue and it'll stay there for a while. Then someone will have to go in there and do something to clear that queue.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        It's scalable, in terms of adding Blueprints.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        When looking for a vendor I look for a quick response to problems, and reliability. When there is a problem, VMware will help you chase it down. They'll follow up. I like their response times to our issues. They will also escalate.

        What other advice do I have?

        My advice is: Get training.

        I give vRA a seven out of ten, for now. In addition to the database issue I mentioned, it's not quite clear how to do certain things. I have not been given training on it. The learning curve is steep. For me, a lot of it is on-the-job training. There might be a better way to do things, a quicker way, but I don't know what it is right now. For now, I don't find it that intuitive to use.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        JS
        Systems Admin at a consultancy with 11-50 employees
        Real User
        Templates enable me to streamline the initial deployment of systems

        Pros and Cons

        • "I find the system to be intuitive and user-friendly. In general, I'm quite happy with the entire setup. Once you configure the system, navigating the portal is pretty simple. They use a lot of the vSphere UI interface structure so it's intuitive, especially if you have used anything vSphere-related before."

          What is our primary use case?

          Everything that takes away from my having to do my own tasks is a very big plus. With Automation and a lot of the components we are looking at right now, I will be able to template everything out and streamline the process, which is going to save me a lot of time. My main focus is COOP sites and disaster recovery, so automating those makes my job easy.

          How has it helped my organization?

          It decreases a lot of manual labor involved in the initial deployment of systems. Instead of my having to go deploy a template and join it to the domain and add software to it, all that is pre-staged once and never done again.

          It has also increased the infrastructure agility a lot. A perfect example is that I use Veeam Backup, so I deploy additional proxies whenever our network changes. I don't have to go out and sign in to the vSphere host because I have a different location. I can add additional resources from one location to my disaster recovery management console.

          What is most valuable?

          I find the system to be intuitive and user-friendly. In general, I'm quite happy with the entire setup. Once you configure the system, navigating the portal is pretty simple. They use a lot of the vSphere UI interface structure so it's intuitive, especially if you have used anything vSphere-related before.

          What needs improvement?

          I don't know if it can integrate with vRealize or vROps in order to already manage what has been done. Right now I'm very big into vROps to pull reports on all my VMs. I don't know if that capability is there already, but if I could integrate it more, if they went hand-in-hand, it would be easy. Not only could I deploy everything in one place, but I could go to another place just to pull my reports on what has been done.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          I'm happy so far, I haven't had any stability issues.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I'm extremely happy with the scalability.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          I have used technical support, but not for vRA. I used it to help with reverse-engineering my vSphere vCSA because it completely crashed and both sectors were corrupted and I needed to get it back. They were helpful.

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

          We didn't have a solution that does exactly the same. For other systems, we use Chef, but I know that that is more for the application side of things. We haven't used anything like this.

          What's important when looking for a vendor, for me, is that they take their time to actually see what we have and what we are trying to do, before pushing an agenda. If they could see what we have and create a design out of that, before suggesting anything else, that would make me want to work with that vendor more because then I would know that they are not pushing something, that they are giving me what is better for me.

          How was the initial setup?

          Once I understood what it was trying to do, and what it was requesting of me, it was simple. But originally, it took me by surprise. I was not used to the setup yet. One of my main issues was having multiple SSL domains. It took me a while to see how those play a part.

          What other advice do I have?

          Make sure that you know what your infrastructure looks like before you start.

          I rate this solution at eight out of ten, with potential to grow. I still have to learn a lot more about it. Once I learn some of the additional features and add-ons that  I can implement, I think it will increase.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          IC
          Product Engineer at a tech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
          Real User
          Enables us to be hybrid, to provide services cross-platform to a variety of clients

          Pros and Cons

            • "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."

            What is our primary use case?

            Automation and operations.

            How has it helped my organization?

            So far we haven't really implemented it on our own organization as far as using it with IT in the workplace internally. But vRA has helped us bring in a lot of customers because they use things like Chef and Puppet, and this works in that same kind of realm. So it has drawn those customers to us. We are, as part of our VMware venture, working on our expertise in that realm.

            Where it is implemented, in the little bits that we've labbed it out, internally, it has, obviously, increased our infrastructure agility. Otherwise, we wouldn't be continuing to implement it. Once you get all the pieces together, it improves delivery times for internal labs for our internal teams.

            What is most valuable?

            We like the seamless, non-vendor-specific application that we can provide with it. We're a service provider, so we have all kinds of different clients and they have different applications. Automation works with all of them, pretty much across the industries. The ability for it to be compatible across many different products is really what's important to me because that's what's selling: being able to go cross-platform and be hybrid. That's the most important feature.

            After that, ease of use would be up there too. We also like the GUI display which ties in the non-devs with the devs and helps them work together.

            What needs improvement?

            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.

            Also, I expect it's going to come with time, but there is not too much documentation out there because it's fairly new, and not very many people use the little niche product. So more documentation.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            So far, VRA seems stable to me. I don't have any complaints.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            We haven't had any scalability issues yet, but we are approaching that potential, whenever we get larger customers. The customers that we do have on, if they do use it, they're just testing the waters with it.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            They're very helpful. We have Premier Support with them, so we're always working with them. Our TAM is always on top of things. It's good.

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

            Before vRA, we were using a combination of Chef and Ansible. We moved to vRA because I'm on the VMware side of the house, so naturally, that was part of it. Also, we switched because we foresaw the need for hybrid cloud and wanted to be relatable to VMware, so we could have an answer to compete with business units. We wanted to say, "We have vendor-supported vRA that does the same as your third-party or your open-source." We wanted that name brand with it because that's the department I'm in.

            Compared to the previous solutions, while I don't have too much experience with them, from what I understand, from what I have heard from the people I work with that helped me on that side, it is a lot quicker. In the small test bed that we have, it is performing better as far as being able to deliver, and being consistent in its delivery.

            How was the initial setup?

            The setup is straightforward. There are plenty of hands-on labs and guides. It's more the, "What can I do with this?" As a project engineer, I try to translate from the vendor to the customer, according to whatever they're doing at their end.

            We haven't really had any bumps in the road deploying it.

            What other advice do I have?

            My advice would be to go to hands-on labs to see if it's exactly what you're looking for because, as far as the reality versus the expectation goes, it might be a little bit of a shock, especially for the non-technical person. If they're going to say you, "It's going to be great. You're going to know everything," there are some things you might have to take into consideration. They might have to do a little tutorial for you. I would just try to set your expectations.

            I rate it at eight out of ten. I believe it's intuitive and user-friendly. Could it improve? Yes. Could it be worse? It could've been a lot worse. So it's okay.

            The extra two points are because one of the first issues, on one of the first versions that I took training on, was around the idea that, yes, here's your dashboard so people can deploy resources without having to know too much, but it seemed kind of bare as far as presenting it to those people. That's the only gap that I see and it's just going to be filled in with user experience and people like me saying, "I'd like a little bubble to pop up," or something to hover with information when someone has to give approval. I'd like for them to be able to see why they are approving this, without having to go dig into why we set up that limit. 

            It would be nice to have a tooltip that says, "This was agreed upon..." or whatever comment I want to display. For example, if I want to reference a ticket number internally: "Approved, XYZ," or "Related to mass ticket maintenance ABC," so they can say, "Yes, that's right, this is the DFW migration," or the like. They're non-technical and those are the kind of terms they use. I find the UI is missing that part. I have to explain it to them. And then, of course, they're going to forget, or they're going to get a new guy in, and he's going to say, "Why do I keep having to approve these things?" It would be really nice if it just told him right there. This is why you're approving it because of mandate such-and-such, or memo number 123.

            From other products that we work with - I came from the troubleshooting operation side of the house before I started working in Product, so I worked with VMware on ESXi and vSAN - they have always been good at taking our opinions. For vRA, I'm starting that process with them, so I'm not expecting them to have a turnaround yet, but I'm expecting them to take our feedback, for sure.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            AB
            Field Service Engineer at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
            Real User
            Decreases development and testing time, but stability and performance need work

            What is our primary use case?

            As a VMware partner, we use it to help us automate the deployment of VMs.

            How has it helped my organization?

            It has helped IT to support development. For example, one of our customers has a development team and, before this solution, it would take ten days to develop and test their solution. Now, it is down to one day.

            What needs improvement?

            The user interface is not that intuitive. If it is for technical people like me, it is intuitive, but not for the common man. It's intuitive for me because I know what the technology is behind it. For me, because I use it repeatedly, the same type of use case, it's okay, but for our customers, it would be very difficult.

            I would also like to see a test environment, testing before implementing, to see how it will relate to existing things. That would make it feature-rich.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            One to three years.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            If you don't make any technical changes, it works. You need a test scenario before implementing changes.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            It's scalable. It's very good in scaling.

            How is customer service and technical support?

            Technical support is good.

            How was the initial setup?

            The implementation for vRealize is straightforward. The upgrade experience is pretty good, satisfactory.

            What was our ROI?

            I would say our clients see an ROI of 30 percent.

            What other advice do I have?

            I recommend this solution, though it is not that great. It is okay for what it is for. When it works it's great. For me, personally, I don't want a call from a customer that it failed. Most of the time it works. If it doesn't, then we do troubleshooting.

            I rate it a seven out of ten because it needs improvement in stability, performance, and quality.

            Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
            EK
            Engineer with 5,001-10,000 employees
            Real User
            The automation of redundant tasks and implementation of ServiceNow are advantages for us

            Pros and Cons

            • "The automation of the redundant tasks and the implementation of ServiceNow are huge for us..."

              What is our primary use case?

              We use it to automate redundant tasks. We're limited to two guys, so automation is beneficial and we'll probably implement it with ServiceNow, down the road.

              How has it helped my organization?

              In terms of benefits, we haven't gotten there yet, but increasing our infrastructure agility, speed of provisioning, time to market, application agility, and making it easier for IT to support developers, are all reasons we have it and are looking to get it working. We have had it set up for six months or so.

              What is most valuable?

              The automation of the redundant tasks and the implementation of ServiceNow are huge for us, as we are a cloud provider to the campus. It will allow us to automate a lot of tasks that constituents need done, which is very important to us.

              In terms of it being user-friendly and intuitive, from what I've used, the little bit I've done in hands-on labs, it's been pretty easy.

              What needs improvement?

              That ServiceNow implementation is a little rough, but those guys in Ohio are doing a great job on it. Seeing things like that, things that integrate would be great. Anything that has REST APIs should have a plugin, that's really what makes it powerful.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              Less than one year.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              So far, so good, in terms of the stability.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              The scalability is very good. That's one of the reasons we like it. Is scales great.

              What other advice do I have?

              Understand your business processes before working with it. That's what we're doing right now: getting a better grasp of our business processes and how the lifecycle of these VMs work, so we can better utilize vRealize Automation.

              I rate it at eight out of ten because of its intuitiveness, its ease of use, and the features that it will bring to us - a two-man team - will be like having a couple of extra guys on hand. And that's really great. I know PowerCLI is there and we can always script it out. But automation is really a powerful tool that we're looking forward to using, that will make it a lot easier. It covers a lot more. So we're happy about that.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              GN
              Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
              Real User
              Enables us to offer our customers a complete virtualization solution, at all levels

              What is our primary use case?

              We are looking at doing automation at the enterprise-class level.

              How has it helped my organization?

              The product is really excellent. VMWare provides a complete ecosystem. And it covers multi-cloud, which is where the market is going. We are able to cover compute, network, storage, etc. We have been able to take it to the next level where VMWare is providing the validated designs, VVD. 

              What is most valuable?

              Let's take compute, for example. At compute we have seen, in a session here at VMworld 2018, with AWS or Azure or GCP, you are able to create an abstract layer on top of it and manage it. That's what automation at the cloud level is.

              Similarly, when we are talking about hypervisors, whether it is Linux or Windows, we have been able to create hypervisors and to deploy the solutions on the same server. That's the kind of automation which we are bringing in. It's a complete solution.

              Looking at the desktop level, desktop virtualization, VDI-related solutions are there.

              What needs improvement?

              A lot of automation issues are coming up in the market. Customers are looking at containers, among the new technologies which are coming up. How we can integrate with the multi-cloud? I can see, in the sessions happening here at VMworld 2018, that all these things are getting addressed, but the container-related solutions are something I am looking forward to.

              We are thinking about containers. PKS is one of the issues. We would like to do a container service. In addition, the VMware Kubernetes Engine is something which we are focusing on.

              From the storage perspective, we will bring in vSAN; NSX-T from the networking perspective. But what is the is the overall solution? How would this compare with what the Cloud Native Computing Foundation is providing? That is something which we have to look at it. 

              VMware has something called VVD, VMWare validated design. How far the container solutions are going to be a part of that is also something which we'll be looking at.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              It is absolutely stable, at this stage. We are able to meet our customers' expectations. VMware is a company which has already grown up. That's the reason we're opting for these new technologies, even though it's taking some time. Even if it is going to be a little bit slower, it's going to be stable. We trust VMware.

              How is customer service and technical support?

              I have not used technical support but I have heard it is good. My engineers say that it's good.

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

              Our customers feel it's very costly. But when VMware is providing so many things, the cost is on par with what they're offering.

              It's really about whether you want to buy the full solution today and utilize it, or if you want to bring in a lot of people, integrate, and spend on that. Overall, if you look at five to ten years of time, either you buy the full solution or you will bring in the people and try save some costs, but it is going to be almost the same.

              What other advice do I have?

              If your requirements are on par with what VMware is providing, we would recommend it.

              I would rate VMware solutions, overall, at eight out of ten. Whenever we talk about VMWare, people only think about the hypervisors, virtualization. But it's not only about the virtualization at the compute level, it's also at the storage level, at the network level, at all levels. It's about a complete solution. It creates an abstract layer on top of all these things.

              Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
              BM
              Computer Repairman with 5,001-10,000 employees
              Real User
              Enables server virtualization within our environment and grows with our needs

              What is our primary use case?

              We use it for server virtualization.

              What is most valuable?

              It's scalable. As the needs of the university grow, it's growing with us.

              What needs improvement?

              There is room for improvement but, hopefully, everything is being been addressed already. For example, integrations. VMware is going crazy with M&A and integrations take time, so I can't complain.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              More than five years.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              It's a stable product.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              I'm very happy to see the partnership with AWS.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              Technical support is fantastic. They're responsive with tickets.

              Which solution did I use

              What is our primary use case?

              We use it for server virtualization.

              What is most valuable?

              It's scalable. As the needs of the university grow, it's growing with us.

              What needs improvement?

              There is room for improvement but, hopefully, everything is being been addressed already. For example, integrations. VMware is going crazy with M&A and integrations take time, so I can't complain.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              More than five years.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              It's a stable product.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              I'm very happy to see the partnership with AWS.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              Technical support is fantastic. They're responsive with tickets.

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

              We used a little bit of everything.

              How was the initial setup?

              The initial setup was complex. It's improving now.

              What other advice do I have?

              I'm happy with the product. I would absolutely recommend it to a colleague.

              When you compare it to other products in the market, it depends on what you're trying to do.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              LH
              Sr Virtualization Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
              Real User
              Enables us to flex up or flex down the environment quickly; makes our DevOps processes more consistent

              Pros and Cons

              • "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."
              • "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."

              What is our primary use case?

              Our primary use cases are around deployments supporting DevOps, around service provisioning of IP addresses, DNS; self-service entitlement or enablement. And then, driving some workflow processes from our service marketplace, through automation, to actually have them execute within the infrastructure.

              It's performing pretty well.

              How has it helped my organization?

              Speed to market. It helps us to improve the rate at which we deploy and the consistency in which we deploy. It has allowed us to scale up and scale down very quickly.

              As we meet our open enrollment periods and then we come off of those enrollment periods and go into a normal operational state, we now have that ability to flex down that environment or flex up the environment quickly.

              Another side of the coin is the supporting of DevOps. Now, 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. So we can build workflows around DevOps processes that are more consistent. Our past configuration was that they would spin up whole DevOps environments of full, physical machines and they would run indefinitely. That was "Bob's" Dev environment and then "Joe" would come and say, "I want one." And then we'd have all these environments. Now, I can give him his environment for 48 hours and I can take it away and he can spin up another one. Or I can archive it. It allows us to be a little bit more agile.

              What is most valuable?

              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.

              What needs improvement?

              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.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              One to three years.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              It is very stable. I've had no downtime from the vRealize Automation appliances or components. I think the biggest challenge is being communicative in the infrastructure as you change the infrastructure underneath the automation. This goes back to the naming conventions and the consistency, but you need to be cognizant, as you change your underlying infrastructure - whether that is new storage arrays you're adding, new DV switches you're creating, or new hosts that you're taking out or putting in - you have to be cognizant of your automation.

              It would be nice if this product was a little bit more intuitive regarding what's connected to it.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              We could scale horizontally with Automation but we're looking more at containers to scale some of our apps more horizontally. But yes, it does integrate very well with other vSphere products that allow us to scale horizontally as well.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              The technical support is very good. I've actually been able to turn over my operations to use technical support. They can actually walk me through the problems within the product. That has been great because I tend to focus more on infrastructure or the underlying components, so for the code components, the support is great.

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

              We were manually spinning up clone templates and building them.

              We recently took over and built our IT after 50 years of being under HPE. About five years ago we decided to internalize our IT and take everything back. We built a new IT organization literally, out of this solution; it is one of the tools that made us successful. Once we virtualized our infrastructure, automation is what made us be able to work with it.

              Our important criteria when looking at any vendor are support and communication.

              How was the initial setup?

              I was involved in the initial setup and the PoC. It was very complex on the initial setup because we started with the 6.x version and eventually migrated to 7. The way it was architected, with the Orchestrator being outside of the vRA appliance, was difficult to set up and configure. The next versions made it a much more straightforward configuration.

              We did not do an upgrade. We did a parallel build. Several upgrades actually blew up and failed and destroyed the environments, so we gave up attempting to upgrade a 6.x environment and built a brand new 7.x. At the time, we did not have Code Stream so we could not laterally migrate. An important component of this is Code Stream. For the ability to scale and have multiple automation instances, Code Stream is essential to be able to move that back and forth. If you already have an existing automation environment, you should look at Code Stream very heavily, rather than redevelop.

              What was our ROI?

              We have seen quite a bit of return on our investment. We've actually been able to really change the way that we're doing build and deployments of virtual machines. We've reorganized around that capability. At one time we had a dedicated build team, separate from Windows and LS teams. Now, we've integrated them together because those teams are actually spinning up and building their own VMs right out of Automation.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              We did look at some automation around the Red Hat stack itself. Our environment tends to be larger on the Linux side than it is on the Windows side, the Microsoft side. So we did give some consideration to maybe automating through Ansible and some other processes. But because of the simplicity of development, relative to the other options, we chose vRA. We also chose it because of the integration with our vCenter. We wanted to be under vRealize. We wanted to be one consistent stack, whether it's monitoring, spinning up, security, or containers. We want to try to keep everything under one platform.

              What other advice do I have?

              I would definitely recommend vRealize Automation.

              One thing that we've had to realize about this product is, it's dependent on some back-work that you do inside your vSphere environment to prepare for it: things like tags, things like folders, things like naming conventions. We've discovered that these are very important when you're attempting to roll out this product because you already have an established vCenter environment. For instance, in our case, where we had multiple data centers, we may have had different implementation times and perhaps may not have had the same standards around things like naming conventions, DV switches, or storage. Because they map, you have to very cognizant of that.

              That's been an issue, not only on the Automation side but across the whole vRealize Suite. I also manage all of the vROps, the analytics, and the integration between the analytics, the vCenter, and the Automation.

              It can be tricky. You need to be detail-oriented on how you configure and set up your vCenter so that you're consistent in all implementations. If you have a multi-vCenter environment, you want to make sure you use the same naming conventions across them.

              We already had established standards, but as new people came on board, they may have varied something thinking, "Oh, I can just shorten this," or "I'll hyphenate this VLAN_, no, actually I'll do a VLAN-". When you go to map that, to automate that, and you go to read your available VLANs, suddenly it doesn't recognize them because you're not consistent in your conventions. That's one thing we really discovered in automation.

              The second was using naming conventions that are consistent and searchable so that you can understand different applications and environments. That's going to be very important when you're actually building automation and workflows.

              It's something that the customer needs to be cognizant of and vigilant about as they move towards automation. Automation is taking the existing infrastructure and attempting to automate it and use it and leverage it in a way that's dependable and consistent. I think that's the greatest thing we get out of Automation. It isn't speed, it's consistency; consistency in deployment, consistency in execution.

              I give the solution a nine out of 10, based on my satisfaction with the product. My experience with its growth over time - the last few versions I've looked at, 7.3 to 7.4 - is that it is going to give us some capabilities in integration that we didn't have before.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              VB
              Network Lead at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
              Real User
              We are able to provide self-service to all of our IT and development teams to expand and decrease their environments at will

              Pros and Cons

              • "We are able to provide self-service to all of our IT/development teams to expand and decrease their environments at will."
              • "value; It has provided my development team a pure self-service portal. We deploy thousands of machines and reclaim. So, their time to business, and their time to market has been improved exponentially."
              • "The initial setup was not straightforward. It was not simple, and we had a PoC. We had VMware help us deploy it, and it took them an exorbitant amount of time."

              What is our primary use case?

              The primary use case is that it fronts VirtualCenter for our entire development environment. The current version performs well.

              How has it helped my organization?

              It provides us with rapid deployment and reclamation of servers. It has also increased the infrastructure agility, application agility, improved time to market, and made it easier for IT to support developers.

              What is most valuable?

              • Self-service for the servers
              • Reclamation
              • Self-service for all of our IT or development teams to expand and decrease their environments at will

              What needs improvement?

              Other than the features that are supposed to already be in place with the new version - meaning the tight integration with vROps, which they said was there but wasn't - the ability to migrate between clusters is a big deal right now. If you try to migrate a current client, create a research pool for a client, and they have multiple ESX clusters, you can't get it. It's so painful to do. The new version that we will be going to is supposed to do that automatically. And I will believe it until it doesn't work.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              Its first iteration had some hiccups. It wasn't as streamlined. It crashed a lot more. This version has been way more solid.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              Scalability has been excellent. It scales well horizontally. Vertically, you'd have to do a lot to make that happen. It will scale both ways. One way is easier. Horizontally is way easier to scale. It's just the nature of the way the product is built.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              On the current version, support is much better. I have a TAM and I have mission-critical support, so I usually get to somebody.

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

              We were previously using a product from CA that CA no longer supports. They got out of the business.

              How was the initial setup?

              The initial setup was not straightforward. It was not simple, and we had a PoC. We had VMware help us deploy it, and it took them an exorbitant amount of time.

              Upgrading hasn't been without its pain. We've had our issues, we've lost some data. There have been some hiccups along the way. We're confident that this next upgrade will be smoother, since it has been getting more stable over time.

              What other advice do I have?

              The solution is intuitive to the end-user, absolutely. I've created a web portal, through vRA, in which users' specific requirements are built-in. Now, to develop that was not overly fun, but, overall, it is good.

              I give it an eight out of ten because it has provided my development team a pure self-service portal. We deploy thousands of machines and reclaim. So, their time to business and their time to market has been improved exponentially.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              ND
              Virtualization Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
              Real User
              Historical data enable us to see trends and where contention may exist in the future

              Pros and Cons

              • "The most valuable features are the metrics and reporting aspects. The historical data and extraction enable us to tell where the trends are and where contentions may exist in the future."
              • "It would be nice if, at the director level, the manager level, there was a pretty graphic. They don't like to see numbers and line items, they want to see graphs and scales and real world pictures. That would support better reporting."

              What is our primary use case?

              We use it for deploying, data recovery, and DR.

              How has it helped my organization?

              In terms of recovery, it takes only a tenth of the time that's required compared to a human element. It gives us time savings, which equals cost savings, which equals personnel savings.

              Having the visibility of the infrastructure at that level helps greatly with infrastructure agility, application agility, and speed of provisioning.

              What is most valuable?

              The most valuable features are the metrics and reporting aspects. The historical data and extraction enable us to tell where the trends are and where contentions may exist in the future.

              I also like that it reduces the human interaction and requirement.

              What needs improvement?

              It would be nice if, at the director level, the manager level, there was a pretty graphic. They don't like to see numbers and line items, they want to see graphs and scales and real-world pictures. That would support better reporting.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              Thankfully, where we're at, we don't have the need for the criticality, we don't need a quick reaction to stability issues. But having the right resources available will help the stability.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              We have scaled up. For me and my team, it's very easy.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              On a scale of one to five, I would rate technical support a four. It's not always associated with the correct team on the first go-round, but eventually, we get the right people to get the right solution taken care of.

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

              There is a war on wasted initiative and on waste of time, more than a concern about environmental resources, unfortunately. The war has been identified on multiple levels, especially deploying in our realm.

              When looking to work with a vendor, the important criteria we look for are

              • professionalism
              • the value of the product for the return on investment
              • personally, I look at energy costs and savings as well.

              How was the initial setup?

              Without the right technical expertise, the initial setup can be a little more cumbersome, but with the knowledge and the backing of the infrastructure and the engineering, it's fairly simple.

              We have upgraded many times. We know how to do it. It's fairly simple for us. We don't get the admins involved. The engineers take care of it all.

              What was our ROI?

              As far as ROI goes, we see it in the human time element in deploying, that's been a really big improvement. Cost savings go with that inherently.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              We looked at a couple of other vendors but we went with VMware because VMware is standard. Why not go with the best?

              What other advice do I have?

              Give it time to save you time.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              TG
              Systems Engineer with 10,001+ employees
              Real User
              Automation of VM creation reduces the work involved and results in less human error

              Pros and Cons

                • "It is not intuitive or user-friendly. It's complicated as heck. We actually hired VMware Professional Services to come in. I understand the newer version, which we're not quite on yet, is easier and that the interface is better. But the product is really a profession unto itself. The user interface could be improved on."

                What is our primary use case?

                We use it to automate workloads and it works well. The performance is as advertised.

                How has it helped my organization?

                It automates the creation of new VMs for us, so there is less human error, less work. It has simplified provisioning for us.

                What is most valuable?

                It integrates with our backup solution.

                What needs improvement?

                It is not intuitive or user-friendly. It's complicated as heck. We actually hired VMware Professional Services to come in. I understand the newer version, which we're not quite on yet, is easier and that the interface is better. But the product is really a profession unto itself. The user interface could be improved.

                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                It's stable. Doesn't die.

                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                We have not yet had to scale it but I understand that the product does scale.

                How is customer service and technical support?

                I've used VMware tech support frequently. It's good, always good. They deliver. It's easy to get the person I need.

                How was the initial setup?

                We did hire VMware to come in and do it, of course. I was not there, in this role, at the time. They came and it works.

                We haven't gone through an upgrade process yet. That's on the roadmap. We'll do that before the end of the year but we also have to do vSphere and the rest of VMware stuff.

                What was our ROI?

                I don't think there was an ROI attached to the project. We just needed to automate some of these provisioning processes.

                What other advice do I have?

                I would recommend vRealize Automation. 

                If you don't already have experience in it, you're probably going to hire a partner to help deploy it and make it tie into your environment. Make sure the third-party stuff works with it, make sure the APIs are open. We use it to automate. During the provisioning process, we use it to talk to the Infoblox with the DNS stuff and the IP provisioning, and to talk to our Veeam too. Just make sure that the rest of your stuff is going to work with it.

                I rate it a nine out of ten. To get it to a ten they should make it easier to use and to understand what it's doing.

                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                Ashok Padmaraju
                Technical Manager at Gilead Sciences, Inc.
                Real User
                Significantly reduces the staff required to manage our environment

                Pros and Cons

                • "Today, if I want to provision one VM, it takes me five minutes. Earlier, it would take a minimum of 30 minutes to go and choose everything. Now, I can just do one click and it can provision my whole VM. We also integrated with our Alexa, so even through voice functionality, I can create a VM. One of the guys at VMware, along with our partner, deployed that in our environment. If I say, "Hey, Alexa, I need a VM with four gigs of RAM," it will go and start creating it."
                • "The most valuable feature is, instead of doing the VMotion manually, we have automated everything with a script, using vRealize. That means I don't need to think about things like compatibility. The system will do everything for me and just give me a report."
                • "usability; It's very user-friendly. It is not hard to go and find things. There is a one-click Help that you can use to find all the documentation you need to manage it."
                • "compare-to-competition; Citrix was on our short list. But over the last ten years, we have been a big VMware shop. We wanted to continue with VMware because we are confident that VMware can address any kind of problem situation, any challenges. But with Citrix, we didn't find that kind of credibility when we did solution testing, a PoC."

                  What is our primary use case?

                  We use vRealize Automation for monitoring and for some administration tasks. Anytime we do upgrades or patching, we just read the reports and it makes our lives easier.

                  How has it helped my organization?

                  Earlier we used to spend a whole day to collect all the information regarding upgrades or patches. When we introduced vRealize, it reduced the time to between 30 minutes and one hour to finish the whole job.

                  It has also improved provisioning a lot. Today, if I want to provision one VM, it takes me five minutes. Earlier, it would take a minimum of 30 minutes to go and choose everything. Now, I can just click once and it can provision my whole VM. We also integrated with our Alexa, so even through voice functionality I can create a VM. One of the guys at VMware, along with our partner, deployed that in our environment. If I say, "Hey, Alexa, I need a VM with four gigs of RAM," it will go and start creating it.

                  In addition, it has reduced our CapEx and OpEx, especially the OpEx values. Initially, we had 25 people to manage it. After going with vRealize, 15 people can do all the jobs and they can concentrate on other improvements as well. It's good for our company.

                  What is most valuable?

                  The most valuable feature is that, instead of doing the VMotion manually, we have automated everything with a script, using vRealize. That means I don't need to think about things like compatibility. The system will do everything for me and just give me a report.

                  It's very user-friendly. It is not hard to go and find things. There is a one-click Help that you can use to find all the documentation you need to manage it.

                  What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                  From a stability perspective, VMware is number one compared to other products that are available in the market. We have never had any major downtime, after going to vSphere 6.5 and afterward. Earlier, yes, there were challenges, but nowadays it's very smooth and very straightforward.

                  What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                  VMware products are meant for scalability. For example, today my environment is 1500 VDS's. We acquired a company with 300 users. To merge them, I didn't need to worry about anything like hardware because it was already there. I was able to do it on the fly in one shot.

                  How are customer service and technical support?

                  What we like about VMware, especially if I compare it with other vendors, is the support. When we call directly, the technical people jump in and start supporting us. Deploying the solution is, maybe. a three-month process. After that, managing it can be painful. So when a vendor is ready to offer that kind of support, a customer is ready to adopt their solutions. That's why we like VMware support.

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

                  We are a VMware shop. We also have Citrix and Microsoft hypervisors but, compared to both of them, VMware is the best for us, for our environment.

                  When selecting a vendor, price is not the only criterion. The product availability and how much better their support is, are also important.

                  How was the initial setup?

                  In the initial setup, I took care of the hardware part, but the software layer and other things were taken care of by my engineers. It was straightforward.

                  Currently, we are upgrading the environment. Compared to the earlier versions, from my experience, the upgrade process is easier; for example, the compatibility checks. I also don't need to go and find out the resources that are required. It tells me in one report what the current environment is like and, if I want to go to the next level, what things I need to take care of. Based on that I can make things happen.

                  What was our ROI?

                  In a year, I used to spend, say, $10 per user. Now it's $5 per user. That is our approximate return on investment, 

                  Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                  Citrix was on our short list. But over the last ten years, we have been a big VMware shop. We wanted to continue with VMware because we are confident that VMware can address any kind of problem situation, any challenges. But with Citrix, we didn't find that kind of credibility when we did solution testing, a PoC.

                  What other advice do I have?

                  I rate VMware a nine out of ten. To get to a ten there are a few areas they could improve, especially vSAN. Performance-wise, there are no challenges, but from a product perspective, it is not that flexible. What we have in vSphere today is very flexible, but vSAN is not.

                  Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                  MU
                  IT Solutions Architect at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
                  Real User
                  Enables us to pre-install the applications users have selected, when we deploy VMs

                  Pros and Cons

                  • "We also use it to pre-install the applications that the people selected when they ordered the machine, so they get a fully functional machine."
                  • "In terms of usability, It has had its challenges. It requires a lot of custom code to integrate into our environment. It can take a little while to get it to do what we want, takes some code instead of having built-in functionality. Part it is how we use it. It would be a lot easier to use in a greenfield scenario versus brownfield, which is the way we using it."
                  • "I would also like to see them streamline the install. It's split between Windows and Linux appliances, and it would be easier if it was all appliances. I think they're going that way."

                  What is our primary use case?

                  We use it to deploy virtual machines in our traditional VMware environment. We don't use it as a front-end for our customers but it works fine for us, on the back-end.

                  How has it helped my organization?

                  We can use some of its functionality to avoid having to write custom code for the placement of virtual machines. That is the main way we get use out of it. Also, the deployment time is less than it was before. It's all automated, it's quicker than when it was done by hand.

                  What is most valuable?

                  The most valuable feature is the automation of the deployment of the whole machine.

                  We also use it to pre-install the applications that the people selected when they ordered the machine, so they get a fully functional machine.

                  What needs improvement?

                  In terms of usability, It has had its challenges. It requires a lot of custom code to integrate into our environment. It can take a little while to get it to do what we want, takes some code instead of having built-in functionality. Part it is how we use it. It would be a lot easier to use in a greenfield scenario versus brownfield, which is the way we are using it.

                  I would also like to see them streamline the install. It's split between Windows and Linux appliances, and it would be easier if it was all appliances. I think they're going that way.

                  What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                  The stability is pretty good now; previous versions, not so much, but it has improved. In earlier versions, we had issues with crashes, but the latest version has been much better.

                  What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                  We have not had any problems with scalability. We're not pushing the boundaries on the number of deployments with it, but no issues.

                  How are customer service and technical support?

                  Technical support has been good. We have MCS, the mission-critical support, and they've been good. The occasions when it is taking a while to get back to us is when the technical support person needs to contact engineering. That handoff between engineering and support takes some time, at times.

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

                  We had a little homegrown thing but that doesn't really count.

                  When selecting a vendor, if we already have an established relationship with the vendor, it's easier than going to a new vendor and establishing a new relationship.

                  How was the initial setup?

                  Setup in the previous version was not so straightforward. They have made big improvements in the later versions. The first one was a pain but the new one is fine. A couple of versions back, they added an automated install that did not exist in the earlier versions that we deployed.

                  Upgrading took a little while because we did a side-by-side upgrade. There was a code migration, all our custom code needed to be migrated, so it took a little bit of work. But, overall, it was fine.

                  What was our ROI?

                  Time savings are our ROI, the time to deploy machines. I haven't done any studies on the exact ROI, but saving time is always good.

                  What other advice do I have?

                  Right now, it works for what we use it for. We're not using all its features, but the pieces that we use work fine.


                  Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                  SS
                  Senior Systems Admin at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
                  Real User
                  One interface to control multiple environments makes it easier to monitor and manage

                  Pros and Cons

                  • "Scalability is probably the best part about it. You can take things that you've already defined, that you've already built once, and build them again multiple times, without significant effort."
                  • "The stability is 95 percent. There are some situations where it gets a little bit clumsy. When it gets really big, when you're dealing with a very large deployment, it can be a little bit difficult, but it's better than nothing. It does a significant job, given what it's tasked to do."

                  What is our primary use case?

                  We use vRealize Automation not only to track the utilization of the environment but to deploy new VMs on a regular basis. When DevOps decide they need a whole bunch of VMs spun up for a new version of an application we are already running, we can duplicate everything we've already got, spin them all up, get them running. When they're done with whatever test case they have going on, we can either move them over to staging or we can completely wipe out the entire environment, and that's a lot easier to monitor and manage.

                  How has it helped my organization?

                  Simplification. It gives us one interface to control multiple environments. It's an easier way to look at how a large chunk of information or data or processors are being used, and what they're being used for.

                  What needs improvement?

                  I would like to see it expanding, growing in all of the cloud-based stuff that they are really pushing towards, and have it be more capable of what it is already doing. But in reality, that's probably our own fault because we're a little bit behind on the version of VMware that we're running. It's probably just that we need to get caught up on our version.

                  What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                  The stability is 95 percent. There are some situations where it gets a little bit clumsy. When it gets really big, when you're dealing with a very large deployment, it can be a little bit difficult, but it's better than nothing. It does a significant job, given what it's tasked to do.

                  What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                  Scalability is probably the best part about it. You can take things that you've already defined, that you've already built once, and build them again multiple times, without significant effort.

                  How are customer service and technical support?

                  I haven't used technical support but my co-worker has, more than once, to deal with issues we were having while we were in the process of setting it up. I was off on other tasks so I never really had to deal with tech support. But, from what he said, it worked out well. They knew what they were talking about, they helped us get it sorted out.

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

                  There were other solutions that were used previously, but this one is the main one I have used, personally. Before coming to Bass Pro, where I am working now, it was a lot of VMware on bare metal and dealing with it directly. vRealize wasn't there.

                  What was our ROI?

                  We see our ROI is in terms of the reduced workload, because we can see a lot of things on one place and don't have to spend a lot of time going out looking for them, and in the simplification of deployment. Again, we can go to one place, do what we need to do, go off and work on other projects and come back and it's taken care of it itself.

                  What other advice do I have?

                  I give the solution a nine out of ten. Again, that's probably our own being behind. It's entirely possible the newest version is a ten. It's the whole extension, further into more modern technology, but we're not on the newest version at the moment. So it's probably already there and we don't see it yet. We're trying to get everything pulled together between our company and several other companies, to be on the same version. We're in the process of upgrading to the 6.5 and then, hopefully, very soon to 6.7.

                  Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                  David Gangwish
                  Systems Engineer at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                  Real User
                  The portal allows us to assign permissions enabling users to request and provision catalog items themselves

                  Pros and Cons

                  • "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."
                  • "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."

                  What is our primary use case?

                  Our primary use case is to automate the end-user request for either a VDI or a server virtual machine.

                  It has taken some time to implement vRA. Over the different versions, we had a lot of problems doing some upgrades, but as of right now, it's working really well.

                  How has it helped my organization?

                  The benefits are that it reduces the administrators' having to manually make all these VDIs and deploy servers. It's really an optimization tool for administration. It helps by reducing the amount of time that administrators and engineers have to spend to provision and manage specific VDIs and servers. It puts that work on the end-user, and then the automation engine does it.

                  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, add those nodes to the load balancer, request SSL certs, and do SSL termination at the load balancer so that it's not encrypted behind the scenes - all of which has really been helpful. So it has helped to increase infrastructure agility, speed of provisioning, time to market, application agility, and made it easier for IT to support developers.

                  What is most valuable?

                  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.

                  What needs improvement?

                  We do partner with VMware on their beta testing, so we have already communicated some of the features we'd like to see back to VMware. I don't know that I'm allowed to speak about it because it's on an NDA.

                  What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                  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.

                  What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                  Scalability is good. We have extended its reach out into our DR site and out into the hybrid cloud. The extendability is really much better than it was in the early days of vRA.

                  How are customer service and technical support?

                  I haven't personally used tech support. I know that we have used VMware's preventative tickets when we're getting ready to do upgrades so that we have support on-call when something goes wrong, because something usually goes wrong.

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

                  We had no automation engine before we started vRA a couple of years ago. It was something that our directors and our management really wanted to get into our environment so we could automate some of these processes that are very redundant.

                  When selecting a vendor, interoperability - whether it can operate with the other solutions that we've already implemented - is important. Also, how much the vendor is willing to help and work with us to make their solution viable is another factor.

                  How was the initial setup?

                  We have had the opportunity to upgrade the solution multiple times. The upgrade to vRA 7.3 was painful. The most recent upgrade we did to 7.4 was very sleek, it was smooth, it went really well.

                  What was our ROI?

                  We have seen value from it. 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.

                  Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                  We haven't really looked at a lot of competitors. We do use SCCM, which isn't really a competitor, but it's a different type of management. It seems that vRA works a little bit better in the vSphere environment because it can connect to all the other VMware products really easily.

                  What other advice do I have?

                  Use it, but be ready to invest a lot of time, man-hours, into building it out in the way that you want to use it. It can do a lot of things, and that's one of the problems - that it can do a lot of things. So you have to know what you want it to do before it'll do what you want it to.

                  In terms of it being intuitive and user-friendly, from an end-user perspective, I believe it is. From the administration and development side, it's a little bit complex. It takes a little bit of time to understand how everything works behind the scenes of vRA and vRO, but once you start learning it, it's kind of intuitive, once you get your feet wet with it.

                  I rate vRA about a nine out of 10, because of some of the "gotchas" that aren't really well documented. But it is very valuable for us in how we've implemented it and how we're utilizing it.

                  Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                  TR
                  Solutions Architect at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
                  Real User
                  We are able to deliver a unified, three-tier app in a fraction of the time

                  Pros and Cons

                  • "We had a lot of config drift before, and this really helps us keep it on track. Speed to provision is probably our biggest, significant gain."
                  • "Valuable features include integration with Infoblox, for IP management; and three-tier app deployment as one unified Blueprint."
                  • "Our time to deliver a fully unified three-tier app, at the right version, is one-twentieth what it was before. There is no manual intervention. No IP management. It just dramatically simplifies all of our processes."

                    What is our primary use case?

                    It is used to deploy and manage unified configs in an engineering environment. It has performed pretty well.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    It has improved things, absolutely. We had a lot of config drift before, and this really helps us keep it on track.

                    Speed to provision is probably our biggest, significant gain.

                    What is most valuable?

                    • Integration with Infoblox, for IP management
                    • Three-tier app deployment as one unified Blueprint

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    I haven't had any issues with the stability.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    We've only used it within our lab engineering environment, which is up to 1,000 VMs at any point, so it's been pretty solid.

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

                    I was a VMware consultant for years and I saw successes with it in other people's environments.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    The initial setup was very easy. The upgrade was also pretty easy. It was not quite as easy when I piloted it through Lifecycle Manager, but that was in its infancy. It has probably gotten better.

                    The solution itself has a learning curve to get used to building the Blueprints, but once you've done it, it gets much quicker.

                    What was our ROI?

                    Our time to deliver a fully unified, three-tier app, at the right version, is one-twentieth what it was before. There is no manual intervention. No IP management. It just dramatically simplifies all of our processes.

                    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                    I haven't had the opportunity to use many comparable products.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    My advice would be, use it with NSX and with Infoblox.

                    I give it an eight out of ten, mostly due to the learning curve to catch up to where you need to be. Some third-party integration, that would still be nice to see.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    AO
                    Technical Project Manager at Bilgibim
                    Real User
                    VM creation time was reduced from many days to less than an hour

                    Pros and Cons

                    • "Now the customer can manage their own server requirements directly. This is very important because, before that, the process included signing off on forms and sending them to the IT Director. It took at least 10 days to create a VM and send it to the person who needed it. Now, it's no more than a half hour to activate a new VM at the customer's site."
                    • "Another valuable feature is the flexible user interface. They can manage all of the servers, the full lifecycle of VMs, on one screen."

                      What is our primary use case?

                      My customer is the largest in Turkey, a university. The university has more than 48 servers in its data center, and they ask for between at least five to ten virtual machines daily.

                      They were looking for a solution that automates VM creation, especially for SQL sites, because they have a very large SQL Server requirement, especially for project management. They are looking for an HPC solution. We performed a PoC at the customer's site using vRealize Automation. After that, they bought it for all their sockets, approximately 100 sockets.

                      How has it helped my organization?

                      Now the customer can manage its own server requirements directly. This is very important because, before that, the process included signing off on forms and sending them to the IT Director. It took at least 10 days to create a VM and send it to the person who needed it. Now, it's no more than a half hour to activate a new VM at the customer's site.

                      What is most valuable?

                      The most valuable feature is the automation. They now save time because there is one person who manages all of the virtualization servers and the storage sites at this university. 

                      Another valuable feature is the flexible user interface. They can manage all of the servers, the full lifecycle of VMs, on one screen.

                      What needs improvement?

                      Turkey does not have a big presence on the automation side. We have only one customer. Maybe some new applications can be added based on the technology. For example, maybe SAP could be added, because the customer is currently only using it for the database site, and the other VMware systems.

                      For how long have I used the solution?

                      Three to five years.

                      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                      It is stable. We haven't had any problems with vRA and it has been working for more than three years. We upgraded to the new version without any problems, and the customer is using it.

                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                      In terms of scalability, this customer is looking to expand and they have to plan to buy and multiply their resources. After that, because they like vRA, they want to buy vSAN because they also want to automate the storage scalability and storage for the VM sites.

                      How was the initial setup?

                      The setup is very easy. We performed the installation with the customer.

                      What other advice do I have?

                      Buy the solution. There is no problem. For the last three years, our customer hasn't had any problem. With vRA, the customer saves time.

                      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
                      Brian Wurtzel
                      Systems Administrator at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                      Real User
                      Helps us push server provision automation, saving us significant time

                      Pros and Cons

                      • "To manage when VM's aren't being used, we have it set up so that it will auto-destroy them after a certain amount of time, obviously with permission from the user who owns it."
                      • "value; It does a lot of things automatically that would take our group, when we're already strapped for time, a lot of time to go through and clean stuff out of databases and the like."
                      • "I want to see HTML5. I want to get rid of JavaScript... we have a lot of issues with Java crashing when we're using vCenter. I obviously don't want that to happen with the vRealize Automation and Orchestrator side."

                      What is our primary use case?

                      We use it to push out automation for all of our servers, not only to developers who are requesting what we call "cattle" - they want hundreds of servers to be able to test - but also to start getting away from the "onesie, twosie" builds, to save us more time on deploying so we can work on other projects.

                      How has it helped my organization?

                      Time savings. It takes about an hour less for me to deploy a VM using automation then it would if I had to do it manually.

                      It does a lot of things automatically that would take our group, when we're already strapped for time, a lot of time to go through and clean stuff out of databases and the like.

                      Overall, it has helped to reduce the time it takes to troubleshoot issues and improved the quality of service to users.

                      What is most valuable?

                      To manage when VMs aren't being used, we have it set up so that it will auto-destroy them after a certain amount of time, obviously with permission from the user who owns it. 

                      What needs improvement?

                      I want to see HTML 5. I want to get rid of JavaScript. First off, I know nothing about JavaScript. That doesn't mean I'm going to know anything better about HTML 5, but I do know that we have a lot of issues with Java crashing when we're using vCenter. I obviously don't want that to happen with the vRealize Automation and Orchestrator side.

                      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                      So far it's very stable. We haven't had any crashes, any issues with it. The problems that we have had have been in configuring things because we're already in the last stage where we're accepting the consultant's work. So we're finding little things here and there.

                      But otherwise, generally, the system has been up. We haven't had any downtime with it, other than the stuff that needs to be configured a little better.

                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                      It should be scalable. We have left room for it to be scalable. But right now we have a target area that we have it set at, and it's perfectly set that way.

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

                      I was doing it by hand.

                      How was the initial setup?

                      The end-user portion is user-friendly. When you're actually building it, it's a little complicated in setting it up.

                      For example, in vRealize Automation, there are a lot of different areas where you have to go in and set up key components that have to link to other areas. We had a consultant come in and build our system. If I had to do it on my own, I'd have been spending a couple of hours trying to figure it out. And whether it would work or not, obviously I'd be testing it. But once I actually get to know the product it would be a lot quicker.

                      What was our ROI?

                      I've seen ROI on my end because I've been able to deploy some VMs quicker which has left time for me to go into vRA and configure it a little better. We have not pushed it out to our developers yet, but that's coming soon.

                      What other advice do I have?

                      Absolutely go for it. I believe in it. I've seen and I've heard companies talk about how valuable it is. My only suggestion is, if you're strapped for time, get a consultant or some third-party or VMware Support to help you with the deployment. There are a lot of "gotchas" in there that we didn't know about and I'm glad we did go with a consulting company.

                      I give it a nine out of ten. I never really like giving something 100 percent because there's always room for improvement. I feel that it's a very solid system but there are little tweaks in there that could be done better.

                      For example, HTML 5, which I hear is coming. But also, to me, they should make it easier to figure stuff out. It's a little hard when you're trying to branch out and do it on your own. If the consultant goes away for a day and you're trying to figure things out, tooltips or some sort of help or some sort of highlighting of things that would give little tidbits indicating you need to link this to this over in this direction, etc; that would help out new people.

                      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                      KB
                      Senior Associate at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
                      Real User
                      Helps eliminate the need for our engineers to be involved in provisioning resources across multiple cloud platforms

                      Pros and Cons

                      • "I personally spend a lot of time in vRealize Orchestrator, so being able to directly tie into the back end on the APIs, I find that to be what really is the most advantageous thing for me."
                      • "The solution is intuitive, but not necessarily user-friendly. In particular, it's the documentation. It's a lot of going-through-the-weeds types of scenarios. There is just an abundance of information, so it's a matter of understanding how the objects or the relationships exist, and then, obviously, being able to access that information and knowing how to make use of it."
                      • "There is certainly room for improvement with some of the little things I was talking about, like either better managing of the upgrade process, or just making the infrastructure deployment a little bit easier. It feels like all of the pieces have been automated on one level or another, like with the PowerShell scripts, doing all the IS, Windows boxes preparation. They just need to get it to be more end-to-end."

                      What is our primary use case?

                      The primary use case is going to be managed services. We're a hosting provider and we're looking to provide provisionable resources across multiple cloud platforms and to be able to support Day 2 Operations. We're trying to fully manage the lifecycle process as well as fully integrate with all of our management end-points, whether it would be inventory, ITSM, or backups, etc.

                      How has it helped my organization?

                      Eliminating the need for our engineers to do any of this manually, and being able to focus their efforts on the deeper level customizations at the OS level - like installing applications and leveraging things that we would not necessarily want to offer in an automated sense just because of the diversification of the implementation - that has been of value to us.

                      What is most valuable?

                      I personally spend a lot of time in vRealize Orchestrator, so being able to directly tie into the back end on the APIs, I find that to be what really is the most advantageous thing for me.

                      What needs improvement?

                      The solution is intuitive, but not necessarily user-friendly. In particular, it's the documentation. It's a lot of going-through-the-weeds types of scenarios. There is just an abundance of information, so it's a matter of understanding how the objects or the relationships exist, and then, obviously, being able to access that information and knowing how to make use of it.

                      If there were a tighter integration with either AWS or Azure - being able to have a little bit more out-of-the-box, flexibility-wise, and the ability to realize that - it would help. You're getting out-of-the-box workflows that will literally allow you to provision, but there's a large development gap to cover the use cases that we're trying to provide or support.

                      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                      The stability of the product has been good. However, I feel like the upgrade, doing more of the infrastructure administration, has been more problematic for my organization. But otherwise, it's been a good product.

                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                      Scalability is good. We haven't had any real concerns over that because we have a data center footprint. We haven't had any real limitations on acquisitioning new hardware so, at the rate at which we're growing, we're making the right projections and we haven't really exceeded our availability.

                      How are customer service and technical support?

                      VMware tech support is not terrible. At times I feel like it's hard to get to the proper person to speak with, because I deal with vRealize Automation. It's a matter of trying to get straight to the second tier.

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

                      We just had vCenter. Ultimately, we were looking to take that to the next level. We wanted to allow our customers to be able to potentially consume the catalog items and to better leverage things, and to give more transparency to what we can provide. At the same time, we wanted them to not have to go through all of the ticket-raising process. We wanted to be able to allow them to get right to it.

                      How was the initial setup?

                      The initial setup is pretty straightforward. I've done it many times though, so at this point I can almost do it without documentation.

                      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                      Compared to alternative solutions in this space, the feature set of this solution is unrivaled. I can't really think of anything else that has a better management platform, that would be as mature as this software.

                      What other advice do I have?

                      Do your research beforehand, because the architecture itself can get you tripped up if you don't properly align your certificates. You definitely have to have an idea of where you want to end up.

                      There is certainly room for improvement with some of the little things I was talking about, like either better managing of the upgrade process, or just making the infrastructure deployment a little bit easier. It feels like all of the pieces have been automated on one level or another, like with the PowerShell scripts, doing all the IS, Windows boxes preparation. They just need to get it to be more end-to-end.

                      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                      RT
                      Virtualization Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
                      Real User
                      The automation, the alarms when there are issues, help keep the lights green

                      Pros and Cons

                      • "The benefits are that it gives you a heads-up display and dashboard of the way everything's running. The ability to automate around those tasks is really where we get the value."
                      • "It's also absolutely easy and intuitive. It uses the same basic layout as the rest of the product suite so it's really easy to navigate, find your way around between the tabs and the areas."
                      • "I think they could probably do more if they created more actions and more use cases to automate things."

                      What is our primary use case?

                      We use it to monitor our production VMware infrastructure. We use it to watch for things like resource contention and to automate around mostly similar needs.

                      How has it helped my organization?

                      The benefits are that it gives you a heads-up display and dashboard of the way everything's running. The ability to automate around those tasks is really where we get the value. It helps click the buttons and keep the lights green when nobody's there to do it for you. The automation really is priceless.

                      Without a doubt, in our infrastructure, we mostly use it to keep the lights green in a day-to-day operational way. But absolutely, in the future, we plan to use it for automation and deploying a more DevOps mentality and products, which should speed up our time to market.

                      What is most valuable?

                      The most valuable feature is the capacity to automate around the issues that come up, the alarms.

                      It's also absolutely easy and intuitive. It uses the same basic layout as the rest of the product suite so it's really easy to navigate, find your way around between the tabs and the areas.

                      What needs improvement?

                      I always like to see some improvement. I think they could probably do more if they created more actions and more use cases to automate things.

                      For how long have I used the solution?

                      Three to five years.

                      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                      It's very stable. We haven't had any downtime whatsoever.

                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                      I haven't run into any scalability issues with it yet.

                      How is customer service and technical support?

                      I can't recall any specific instances where we have had to use technical support.

                      How was the initial setup?

                      I've deployed multiple versions of it, but I have not upgraded. It's not the simplest deployment, but the documentation is there and it's easy to follow. Googling helped with the implementation as well.

                      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                      There are always features that could be added. I've looked at other solutions such as Turbonomic. They check a lot of the same boxes, but I prefer the VMware interface and usability.

                      What other advice do I have?

                      My advice is "do it."

                      Functionality really is the most important criterion when selecting a vendor. If I can purchase a product or a service that is going to check all the boxes, that's more important to me than price, personally. The company signs the checks though, so they might see it differently.

                      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                      CN
                      Director of Infrastructure at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
                      Real User
                      The blueprint functionality of the product is intuitive and user-friendly

                      Pros and Cons

                      • "The blueprint functionality of the product is intuitive and user-friendly. The concept of the blueprints is visual and easy to use."
                      • "We have faster delivery times through its automation."
                      • "I would like to see support for Google Cloud and Azure. Because they don't support Google and Azure today, we need something that's cohesive with our entire landscape. There is a gap right now with VMware. If you want support for these environments, you have to go elsewhere right now."
                      • "The basic support is not there for Google Cloud and Azure. They are unable to provision nor do cost controls. Google is still left out. It is great that they have done AWS, but we are a retailer which means nothing to us because it is a competitor. Azure is good, but Google is where a lot of our development environments are."

                      What is our primary use case?

                      Automating the data center.

                      How has it helped my organization?

                      We have faster delivery times through its automation.

                      What is most valuable?

                      The blueprint functionality of the product is intuitive and user-friendly. The concept of the blueprints is visual and easy to use.

                      What needs improvement?

                      I would like to see support for Google Cloud and Azure. Because they don't support Google and Azure today, we need something that's cohesive with our entire landscape. There is a gap right now with VMware. If you want support for these environments, you have to go elsewhere right now. Hopefully, product management will listen, hear, and change this.

                      The basic support is not there for Google Cloud and Azure. They are unable to provision nor do cost controls. Google is still left out. It is great that they have done AWS, but we are a retailer which means nothing to us because it is a competitor. Azure is good, but Google is where a lot of our development environments are.

                      For how long have I used the solution?

                      Trial/evaluations only.

                      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                      Stability is good.

                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                      Its scalability still has room to improve when supporting Google Compute Engine, Google Cloud Platform, and Azure.

                      What was our ROI?

                      The solution has helped to increase infrastructure, agility, speed, and provisioning in the time to market.

                      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                      We are currently looking at CMPs which give the functionality that support VMware and Google Compute Cloud, as well as Azure.

                      What other advice do I have?

                      We moved to the solution because it is pushing the agility of IT.

                      The upgrade process was fine.

                      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                      DW
                      IT Manager at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
                      Real User
                      Upgrades have been simple because of their Lifecycle Manager product

                      Pros and Cons

                      • "Upgrades have been extremely simple with their Lifecycle Manager product."
                      • "It has saved us a lot of time and work. It helped us to reorganize some of our service lines, so we could be more efficient. For example, on our open system server team, we had 15 people building servers, now we have two."
                      • "It has a learning curve."

                      How has it helped my organization?

                      It has saved us a lot of time and work. It helped us to reorganize some of our service lines, so we could be more efficient. For example, on our open system server team, we had 15 people building servers, now we have two.

                      Once you've learned the product, it is very easy to use.

                      What is most valuable?

                      The entire automation orchestration of it. It integrates into all of the other products that we have, e.g., ServiceNow. 

                      We have a self-service portal, and it does that very well.

                      What needs improvement?

                      It has a learning curve.

                      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                      We have no issues whatsoever with it. It's very stable.

                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                      We have no issues whatsoever with it. It's very scalable.

                      How is customer service and technical support?

                      We have a technical account manager, but we also rely heavily on VMware's support team, who is excellent to work with.

                      How was the initial setup?

                      Upgrades have been extremely simple with their Lifecycle Manager product.

                      What about the implementation team?

                      We actually used a lot of VMware services because we didn't want it sitting in the box too long. We had them come in, then they had it up and running in two days. There was a lot of tweaking to do, but it was up and running in two days.

                      What was our ROI?

                      We have seen significant ROI. We used to have physical servers, it took 90 days to get a server, order it, buy it, and get it in. We have it down to 10 minutes, building a server with virtualization, and now that's too slow. So, we let the customer do it at their speed. Therefore, it is pretty much up in a couple of minutes and they have a server.

                      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                      We usually look at least three other vendors minimum. 

                      We chose VMware years ago. We have also had Hyper-V and KVM. So, we've had different products from different vendors. However, now, we are down to just VMware, because it's very stable and reliable.

                      What other advice do I have?

                      Talk to a lot of different companies and people that have done it. Find out what not to do and what to do. It will make your journey easier.

                      We are working on a lot of the digital transformation right now. We are working more on the Pivotal Container Service (PKS) product, and a lot of integrations that they're doing with the performance monitoring, the metrics, and KPIs. This is very important to us.

                      Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

                      • Transparency: Be very open with us. 
                      • Be very knowledgeable about their products, so that we don't have to go through three or four different people to get one answer.
                      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                      Craig Debban
                      IT Director at a tech vendor with 201-500 employees
                      Real User
                      Giving our developers the ability to provision has enabled them to put up environments faster

                      Pros and Cons

                      • "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."

                        What is our primary use case?

                        As a software development company with a smaller staff, we've got a lot of technical people - the operations team and myself. 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.

                        How has it helped my organization?

                        As a development company, we have different versions that need to be provisioned constantly, and the build-up/tear-down of this, for the IT team, used to take forever. We have a lean staff. We haven't increased in people but we have increased our company size. To be able to do more with less, that's one big piece of it.

                        Also, having a fixed capacity plan, that's another piece, for budgeting. The organization it provides has been truer to the needs of spending.

                        We've just shifted to an Agile development as well, 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.

                        What is most valuable?

                        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.

                        In terms of it being user-friendly, we have a technical group, so understanding what they're provisioning, what subnet they're going to be using, the security profiles we have, with a straight developer that doesn't have all the bells and whistles, that's one part. If it needs to be on a certain VLAN, they can put it there if it's going to be used for a different purpose. It's that ability and flexibility to provide the different choices for our team in a straightforward format so they can do the services themselves.

                        What needs improvement?

                        Regarding that networking piece, more hands-on pieces, that come with that purchase to help you get to that good spot might be an area that would help.

                        For how long have I used the solution?

                        One to three years.

                        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                        It's very stable. The one little hiccup we had was with some of the networking but I think that was more our physical switch configurations, supports and protocols. When you try to lock things down you have to know it end-to-end. But once it's in place, it's rock solid. I think the stability on the network side is there. It was more on us, to be honest.

                        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                        Right now, we're also installing a vRealize Automation in India and expanding. The fact that we're moving from the US to India just shows the power of being able to add capacity, CPU to it, as much as we need. If we need to grow that fixed capacity, we can.

                        It scales horizontally too with users, more systems, it's easy.

                        How are customer service and technical support?

                        We have used technical support in the past. Not through me but through my team. We have a high expectation, we need that fast turnaround. We've had nothing more than a day or two, tops, in terms of turnaround time. They're very knowledgeable.

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

                        Before, it was piecemeal. We had templates. We had some VDI pools for some of these things. It was just a constant revision of that and it would sit idle for too long. So, for the whole pool, if one or two people were using it, great; but if 10 were using it, then it was not the most efficient way to operate.

                        When selecting a vendor the most important criterion is the relationship, to be honest. Pricing, you can beat people up and have negotiations on it. Pricing, obviously, at some point was an issue, that factors into it. And we need to make sure all the technology fits. But having a relationship with the vendor that can be with you through the good times but also the bad, that makes it worthwhile.

                        How was the initial setup?

                        I was not involved, my team was. We did not bring in VMware to help. We have some knowledgeable folks. They knew it pretty well, so I think they liked the hands-on approach a little bit more. They got it up. It wasn't quite perfect but with some support, they were able to round it out and make it the great solution it is today.

                        We've got education credits through VMware, so we are training on this constantly. I think it's a matter of using the resources that are out there and focusing on this.

                        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                        Rubrik is one we are looking at. And the whole AWS Hybrid Cloud is definitely on my roadmap.

                        What other advice do I have?

                        For a specific business, you need to know what you're trying to do. For ours, it's a match that I wish we would have had immediately. It has paid dividends.

                        I give vRA a nine out of 10. Sure, there's room for improvement. I don't know all of those areas, I'd let my more technical people speak on that. For us, this has been one of those solutions where ownerships loves it, appreciates it, sees the difference.

                        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                        EM
                        Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                        Real User
                        Self-service enables end-users to deploy their own machines with minimal training

                        Pros and Cons

                        • "It has definitely increased speed of VM deployment. When a normal server-request would come in, it might take anywhere from three to four days to deploy. Now, within 15 minutes, they can click and have something up and running."
                        • "The IT support for developers is nice as well because they are able to manage the environment themselves."
                        • "We have it deployed in a highly-available environment and scalability is nice because we just had another ESX host and then we are able to increase the capacity."
                        • "Something as simple as formatting the catalog in a different way would be helpful because there is no option for doing so. A lot of the contents for the virtual machine, blueprints that you can request, are hidden from view and there's no way to change the view."
                        • "It does go down from time to time. We have some issues with the appliances sometimes and we have to do reboots in the middle of the day. That affects the ability for them to deploy."

                        What is our primary use case?

                        We are using it for developers to test code. Our Customer Care uses it to troubleshoot customer issues. We also have a training business unit and they deploy classes for customer training.

                        We've been using it for four years now. It performs well. It does the functions we need. We do have some issues from time to time. I wish there was a little bit of more maturity out of the product, but it is getting better with every release.

                        How has it helped my organization?

                        It has definitely increased speed of VM deployment. When a normal server-request would come in, it might take anywhere from three to four days to deploy. Now, within 15 minutes, they can click and have something up and running.

                        The IT support for developers is nice as well because they are able to manage the environment themselves.

                        What is most valuable?

                        Self-service: Letting the end-users deploy their own machines so the administrators are hands-off at that point.

                        The user-friendliness is seen in the minimal training that is required to get them up and running, to start deploying machines and accessing.

                        What needs improvement?

                        Something as simple as formatting the catalog in a different way would be helpful because there is no option for doing so. A lot of the contents for the virtual machine, blueprints that you can request, are hidden from view and there's no way to change the view.

                        For how long have I used the solution?

                        Three to five years.

                        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                        It does go down from time to time. We have some issues with the appliances sometimes and we have to do reboots in the middle of the day. That affects the ability for them to deploy. Existing stuff that is already deployed, there's no downtime for that, but it does keep them from deploying at that time.

                        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                        We have it deployed in a highly-available environment and scalability is nice because we just add another ESX host and then we are able to increase the capacity.

                        How are customer service and technical support?

                        Technical support is helpful. Sometimes they can take a little while to get back to us, but for the most part, we end up finding a solution to cases.

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

                        We were using Lab Manager before but that was decommissioned so this was the next solution. We chose it because it did everything we needed it to do, it was the logical step from Lab Manager.

                        The criteria for the selection process included that we needed to have a self-service environment for our developers, that Customer Care be able to deploy machines, destroy machines, complete the entire VM lifecycle - and this does it.

                        How was the initial setup?

                        The setup is fairly complex, but we've been using it for a while so I'm pretty knowledgeable about it now. Upgrades are pretty straightforward. We had a lot of problems originally deploying it, with some certificate issues. We had an engagement with VMware so they were able to help us get a proof of concept environment set up as well. So that was helpful.

                        What other advice do I have?

                        It's a good solution. The deployment can be complex so I would recommend engaging professional services for setting up a proof of content environment to evaluate it.

                        I rate vRA at eight out of 10 because of issues with the stability of the appliances. But other than that, it's a pretty solid product. It does exactly what we need it to do and we are happy with it.

                        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                        AN
                        Systems Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
                        Real User
                        Helps to automate the building of our VMs, significantly decreases provisioning time

                        Pros and Cons

                        • "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."

                          What is our primary use case?

                          Primary use case is for automatic deployment of VMware guests.

                          It's performing as we want. We're not really asking anything too complex of it, but it does what we ask of it.

                          How has it helped my organization?

                          Our organization started to move a lot more towards automating all the things that we can. We're catching up to that, but we're definitely heading in that direction. It's one of those things that enables us to tie in with our other pieces, with automating the operating system, etc. VMware is then able to automate the build of our virtual machines.

                          In terms of infrastructure agility, we're still getting our feet under us in some areas, but it's definitely playing it's part and doing what it does well.

                          Our speed of provisioning has also 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 that we update every so often and it takes about 20 minutes. We can take an existing template, build it back up, add some configuration for it, specific applications, turning things into what the developers need, and then we can have them deploy it off that. It makes it so that we can have customization within a framework.

                          What is most valuable?

                          The most valuable feature is the integration with some of our other automation platforms. We're starting into Jenkins, and it has a plug-in for other automation of operating systems and things. So it works together with our infrastructure. We don't have a very complex environment, we don't have NSX yet or anything really crazy, but all the things we do have, it has been able to interoperate with them.

                          It is intuitive and user-friendly. It took some growing. We had to figure it out in the beginning, but that was a couple versions ago. We like the improvements that have been made over time, so it's definitely been able to progress with the environment.

                          What needs improvement?

                          We don't have too complex of an environment, we're not doing machine-learning or any of the advanced features all that much. We're a pretty straightforward IT shop. We just provide servers, and then, from there, it's what the customer wants. The next step we would probably like to see is to have a customer portal, so instead of our having to punch the button, the customer could. But I believe that VMware offers enough that setting that up is more on us, rather than waiting for them offer it.

                          We needto learn more, advance our usage of the product. We're doing what we can with what we have, but we have to learn a bit more. Better training, or training modules, wouldn't hurt. I haven't personally looked through what the portal has, but more training is always good, so we could take a new employee and point him to the training and get him up to speed quickly. I have had 10 years or so experience with VMware, but I'm the old the guy in the department. Everybody else is newer than me on this and not everyone has my experience. So the training would be nice.

                          For how long have I used the solution?

                          Three to five years.

                          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                          I've been impressed with the stability so far. It does what we ask it to. That's always nice. You don't have to think about it. We haven't had any downtime.

                          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                          We can scale it up or down. We haven't needed to yet, but we can.

                          How are customer service and technical support?

                          We haven't had to use technical support. I do a lot of blog reading, so I look up my answers on my own. But tech support, on other issues, has been where we need it to be.

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

                          We weren't using much. This was right at the beginning of when we were starting to automate things. We saw the VMware automation and decided that, since we had VMware, it would be the logical choice. And then we started with Jenkins for a lot of our other operating system features. Jenkins, of course, has plugins that talk to VMware natively, so it was a natural fit.

                          When selecting a vendor, the biggest thing for us is multi-operating system support. There is the classic divide. I'm on the Windows side. We have a Linux department also. When looking at different tools, something might be better for Linux but we have to have something that will work for both of us. We don't want to have two different tools for two operating systems. Whereas the Linux team wanted to use Puppet instead of Chef, Chef supports Windows and Linux both, better. The nice thing about VMware, aside from it being a lot more OS-agnostic, is that both teams can use the product. One product for both operating systems. That was one of the primary things. We could have a tool that runs great, but it might be a situation where, "Oh yeah, your Windows support is lame." That's the big thing for us, the interoperability between operating systems.

                          How was the initial setup?

                          I thought the initial setup was straightforward. The biggest thing, once we had it set up, was to integrate it with the vCenter, but that was pretty straightforward. That was part of the workflow. It is automated within the product as part of the initial deployment, which is really handy.

                          The upgrade experience was also quite easy.

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

                          Better pricing is always handy, but I feel it's at the right price point.

                          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                          There were not too many on our list. VMware was the natural fit. We saw the automation. We liked it. Chef, technically, will do automation. It has connections into VMware. We preferred having the VMware automation handle it. Chef will do it, but it doesn't have as many things. We would have had to write a lot more tools for it. It's one of those things where, instead of Chef's being the one tool to rule them all, where we do that for everything, we branched out to VMware automation to handle its subset.

                          Jenkins is a Swiss Army knife. It will do literally everything. The problem is that you have to tell it to do everything. You have to build all of the features into it that you want. There's a language to do it, but it just says, "here's the entire toolbox, do whatever you want." It doesn't have as many pre-packaged things. VMware has the ability to build things, but it has a lot of things preconceived, which is very handy. If I just need the basics, I need to stand up some VMs, it already has those workflows built in. Jenkins doesn't have nearly as many things built in. They can both expand to what we need, but VMware had some pre-provided things that were very handy to get off the ground quickly.

                          What other advice do I have?

                          vRA has a very nice toolset for being able to integrate with VMware. It is great for being able to automate things within the VMware environment. We probably need to learn more about it, so we can fully realize its use, what the plugins for other things are. But it's doing everything that we need for now. We've seen that it has room to grow with us.

                          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                          EricSturm
                          Technical Architect at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                          Consultant
                          Provides a single pane of glass for our cloud tenants to deploy, monitor, access, and manage their VMs/guest operating systems

                          Pros and Cons

                          • "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."

                            What is our primary use case?

                            The primary use case for deployment of vRealize Automation was to facilitate a service provider web portal front-end to our Hosted Private Cloud and Business Continuity solution. This is a fully automated virtualized SDDC, using VMware as the base hypervisor. We also incorporate NSX for network automation, vCenter Orchestrator for workflow execution, and additional software packages to support the service as a whole (vROps, Log Insight, Network Insight, NSX Manager, etc.).

                            Our core networking is made up of a spine/leaf architecture using Cisco ACI/APIC and our storage is virtualized behind a Hitachi (HDS). We use SnapMirror and NetBackup as our DR tools.

                            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.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            vRealize Automation is improving the way we host and serve up our fully hosted private cloud solutions as a cloud service provider. It has created efficiencies in how we deploy, manage, monitor, and develop within the service. 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.

                            From a service provider perspective, its ability to integrate with vRealize Operations and vRealize business management suites provides a window for being able to execute predictive and reactive analysis that you can use to automate your cloud solution from a resource, management, and/or customer perspective.

                            What is most valuable?

                            vRA provides that single pane of glass for our cloud tenants to deploy, monitor, access, and manage their VMs/guest operating systems. vRA allows a cloud service provider to quickly build out a web portal front-end interface that easily integrates with all of the VMware vRealize products, providing an all-encompassing cloud solution.

                            Additional features also allowed us, as the service provider, to configure branding options for the site itself, as well as full integration into the orchestration layer, including workflows, security control, reporting, billing for our cloud admins, tenant admins, and end-user (customer).

                            The most valuable feature is vRA’s ability to integrate whether with additional VMware vRealize suites or other vendors' cloud products.

                            Also, vRA in combination with vCenter Orchestrator makes it very easy to design, import, and deliver quality workflows and blueprints. These can be used for various functions within the cloud portal, from both a production as well as a business-continuity perspective. Examples include automated failover activities in combination with SRM and SRA Replication, VM deployments based on a catalog, being able to roll out an entire LAMP stack dev environment with the click of a button, or ingest and inject data into back-end CMBDs, etc.

                            Its fully integrates with network and storage virtualization via NSX and workflow development, and secure APIs are available to customize automation using other vendor tools such as Puppet, Chef and/or PowerShell.

                            There are many features that I find extremely valuable but vRA’s ability to be a central hub for all of the parts that make up a hosted private or multi-tenant cloud solution is extremely valuable. Ultimately, the outcome of this design is a highly available and agile solution with a wide array of integration that enables you to provide a fully automated, scalable private cloud solution that can meet the market and customer demands now and in the future.

                            I have listed some additional features below for general reference:

                            • Easy integration into other VMware-based vRealize cloud products via SSO
                            • Single pane of glass interface
                            • Parameterized blueprints to enhance reusability and reduce sprawl
                            • Policy-based optimization of virtual machine placement
                            • NSX integration enhancements
                            • Enhanced control of NSX-provisioned load balancers
                            • Enhanced NAT port forwarding rules
                            • NSX security group and tag management
                            • Automated high-availability for NSX Edge Services
                            • NSX Edge size selection
                            • Enhanced vRealize Business for Cloud integration – cloud nanagement platform
                            • Improvements to high-availability
                            • Health Service
                            • Configuration Automation Framework – Puppet Integration
                            • REST API

                            What needs improvement?

                            Most of the areas for which there was room for improvement are being covered in the latest 7.4 release which will include all new workflows for additional management of a customer’s cloud and infrastructure, directly from the Web portal itself. Some of these features today require the ability to build out your own workflows, which can become complicated if you don’t have the knowledge base.

                            VMware is aware of this and is making the next version of vRA and vCenter Orchestrator with this in mind. They are going to include additional granular-level controls from within the self-service portal itself. This will allow us, the service provider, to pass these additional features on to our customer base giving them greater control and management of their dedicated cloud.

                            Some of the new vRA 7.4 release features include:

                            • New and enhanced curated blueprints and OVF files
                            • New custom form designer
                            • Enhanced multi-tenancy capabilities
                            • vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager now extends to IT content management 
                            • New IT content lifecycle management

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            More than five years.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            No issues with Stability now working on testing out the new version on NSXt via blueprints which will provide a whole new level of control and management for our SDDC virtualized networking stack.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            No issues currently with scalability of the product or its uses cases it was implemented for.

                            How is customer service and technical support?

                            One of the best support and architecture teams we have ever worked with from a vendor perspective. Very knowledgeable and on the cutting edge of virtualization.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The software setup is fairly easy but does require knowledge of the VMware product suite. The complexity comes in whether this a service or a dedicated infrastructure. Normally in service oriented infrastructures which are purpose built for multi-tenancy where you have multiple customers hosting multiple sub-tenant customers which require many layers of micro-segmentation and security to be built in. In a dedicated infrastructure you are building for one business or a single customer even though they have segmented sub-tenants such as account, IT, Operations etc it is all internal to that business. The level of micro-segmentation and security is much less in complexity to provide a final solution.

                            What about the implementation team?

                            We implemented a majority of the service internally and only reach out to the vendors developers prior to making changes in the design that could impact rework to correct bottle knocks and development dead ends. 

                            What other advice do I have?

                            From experience working with other service provider cloud products, VMware vRealize Automation Center is the best out-of-the-box solution to quickly build out your cloud portal and fully integrate it into your orchestration layers, as well as your compute and storage infrastructures. It can support multiple public clouds as well as hypervisors, providing that single pane of glass for management, operations, and reporting. I would give it a nine out of 10 as there is always room for improvement, since cloud is always evolving.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            KP
                            Principal Engineer at T-Mobile
                            Real User
                            We can tell customers, “Here's your server, it's already provisioned and ready for your app."

                            Pros and Cons

                              • "They should make it a little bit more dynamic, a little bit easier to deal with large-scale AD deployments. They need to make it a little more enterprise-ready. That is the one thing that kills us."
                              • "vRO can get out of sync with vRA. We've run into every once in a while."

                              What is our primary use case?

                              We are using it to offer self-service capabilities to our customers, a self-service portal.

                              How has it helped my organization?

                              One of the huge benefits, of course, is that it gives direct control to the customer. They have a direct knowledge of what they're using. They know the resources that they're taking advantage of and how much it's actually costing them to take stuff. 

                              It's helping our operations actually get closer to our applications team because they're now starting to build automation around the information they get from the operations teams; when they build blueprints, for instance. So they're able to build these bigger application stacks and there's a better understanding, from both sides, of what's required.

                              What needs improvement?

                              I would like to see easier custom components for it - that would be the best way I could word it. It's more like custom items for it.

                              Also, the authentication piece could always use some work. They should make it a little bit more dynamic, a little bit easier to deal with large-scale AD deployments. They need to make it a little more enterprise-ready. That is the one thing that kills us. I hate harping on the authentication issue, but it is huge.

                              For how long have I used the solution?

                              Less than one year.

                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                              We have run into some issues with stability. Primarily, some of the components seem to go out of whack with each other sometimes but, for the most part, it's been stable. It's just that when it fails, to be honest, it seems to fail spectacularly. It has to do heavily with the authentication portion of it. That is one of our biggest issues with it.

                              Beyond that, vRO can get out of sync with vRA. We've run into that every once in a while. But it's very rare, compared to the authentication problem.

                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                              It seems to scale well. We haven't really had too many problems. There have been a couple of issues, but they have mainly been with our external systems, not the solution itself. It has been able to handle the churn workload.

                              How are customer service and technical support?

                              Technical support has been really good. There have been a couple of issues, but they've been fixed, mostly in an update or a hotfix. And they've been willing to jump on calls almost immediately with us.

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

                              The solution we were using, technically, was ServiceNow but it wasn't as good for our environment. It was very good at creating small cookie-cutter, but not for large-scale.

                              When looking for a vendor the most important thing is support. Absolutely. If I don't understand the product, I need to make sure I can get an answer as quickly as possible.

                              How was the initial setup?

                              The initial setup was pretty straightforward. Everything was connected. There were little "gotchas" here and there, but either they were easy to resolve with tech support or the documentation usually had some comments about them.

                              What was our ROI?

                              We have already seen the return on it. We've been able to cut down the cost, the time dealing with the back and forth between customers. We can say, “I've got your server, now you can do this,” or, “Here's your server, it's already been provisioned and ready to go for your app."

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Make sure you think out the entirety of your deployment because it's hard to change components after the fact. Make sure that the initial deployment is good. We got that from VMware. They were very good at understanding the size of the environment and they tried to scale it for that environment.

                              I would rate this solution at about eight out of 10. It has been good but, as I said, there are some faults. Overall, it has performed phenomenally and the support behind it has made it absolutely useful.

                              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                              KM
                              DevOps Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
                              Real User
                              It benefits the speed of our development, and the speed of anything we test and send through to production

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "The self service portal: People don't have to come to us to request something. They can just go fill out a form. Within 30 minutes, they have what they requested."
                              • "It benefits the speed of our development, and the speed of anything we test and send through to production."
                              • "I would like them to improve the product training."
                              • "The upgrade process 6.x to 7.3 was a significant effort. I'm hoping that 7.3 to the next version is much smoother."

                              What is our primary use case?

                              The primary use case is to deploy an automated self-service portal for virtual machines for testers and developers to use. It is performing well.

                              How has it helped my organization?

                              It benefits the speed of our development, and the speed of anything we test and send through to production. It helps us get things to market faster. We're able to get the application out and be more agile with it.

                              It also raises the caveat for people who like VM sprawl. We have people who don't clean up after themselves.

                              What is most valuable?

                              The self service portal: People don't have to come to us to request something. They can just go fill out a form. Within 30 minutes, they have what they requested.

                              What needs improvement?

                              Once you get in there and start to understand the product, it is more intuitive. However, for somebody coming in from the outside, it takes a while to understand it. There is a lot of terminology. I am the primary admin on it, but I have some guys who tend to support me when I'm gone, and they try to find stuff on it. They don't know the best place to look because some of the terms don't make a lot of sense to them. This is more of a training issue than just getting better familiar with the product. I would like them to improve the product training.

                              For how long have I used the solution?

                              Three to five years.

                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                              We had a stability issue just this morning. This past weekend was patch day, so it was Monday and patches were done Saturday. The form didn't display properly, so I had to reboot the vRA. Due to the HA, we had to reboot the vRA appliances to get it working again. This might be because the database were ripped out from underneath of it and never reconnected. However, this is not a common occurrence.

                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                              Version 7.3 seems to be more scalable than previous versions.

                              How are customer service and technical support?

                              I have talked to some folks out of Denver who do a lot of the vRA support. We also use a partner out in the UK who helps to support us. Both are responsive.

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

                              We brought in vRA as part of a new product offering for our customers. It's what we have used from the ground up to provision virtual machines.

                              What about the implementation team?

                              I worked with the UK partner to set up the 7.3 version. The upgrade process 6.x to 7.3 was a significant effort. I'm hoping that 7.3 to the next version is much smoother.

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

                              I'm very interested in the integration with Puppet. However, my organization doesn't have the funding for something like Puppet right now. If VMware would integrate that feature set (Puppet) into vRA. That would be very awesome.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Find out what the requirements are and what do you want do with it, then see if it fits. If you're looking to deploy virtual machines through a self-service portal, this product works well.

                              Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: It meets our requirements.

                              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                              DB
                              IT Director at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
                              Real User
                              Allows my teams to create, manage, and retire all of our data center's infrastructure objects

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "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."
                              • "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."

                              What is our primary use case?

                              For us, it's a software-defined data center, automating compute, network security, and storage; all the infrastructure components.

                              How has it helped my organization?

                              Lifecycle management has improved substantially. We're no longer seeing customers holding on to their resources because they're no longer difficult to create or destroy. We've seen substantial amounts of both builds and retirements. 

                              It also cleans up a lot of the manual operations that used to take place - or that maybe didn't take place at all and now do. There's a lot less human error and we're seeing a lot of, let's say, "cleanliness" in our infrastructure now.

                              The solution has helped increase our agility, the speed of provisioning, and time to market. It allows our IT admins to deploy dozens of systems simultaneously, as opposed to operating in serial, building one system at a time. That has been pretty significant as well.

                              What is most valuable?

                              Lifecycle management. It allows my teams to create, manage, and retire all of our infrastructure objects in the data center.

                              Also, the XaaS Extensibility - Anything as a Service. We're starting to utilize that more and more.

                              What needs improvement?

                              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 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.

                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                              We don't really have a stability issue with it. It's not a product that really goes down for us. Although it's not a product we consider to be in our "five nines" of availability, like our other systems are, it's more a tool. We're able to maintain it after hours and patch as needed. But I can't even remember the last time it went down during business hours.

                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                              We haven't had any scalability issues. We're nearly 10,000 virtual machines that are registered to our vRealize Automation deployment. With Orchestrator, we did see some scalability concerns, but we clustered it and added some additional resources and we were able to scale it up. We haven't had an issue since.

                              How is customer service and technical support?

                              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 we call to get support for it.

                              How was the initial setup?

                              Being that we have been involved since some of the early 5.x days, we compare a newer installation to the previous, and each time it gets better.

                              In terms of upgrades, we're just starting to use Lifecycle Manager, which assists with upgrades. I haven't been impressed, so far, with the maintenance of an existing complex infrastructure. But LCM has allowed us to deploy new vRA instances very rapidly, which is helpful for some of our LCM Code Stream movement between our Dev stage and Prod. But for maintaining the existing environment, we just use the out-of-box upgrade capability of the tool, which is so much easier now than it used to be.

                              We no longer have the significant issues we had in the past. Things are just getting better with each version.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              My advice would be to heavily invest in training in vRO. vRO is the backbone of what vRA does. I also recommend that you come up with a plan. Don't try to automate everything in the first step. Find the good use case and make sure you offer new value to the customers that you're building it for, prior to just replacing what they have with something new. IT admins commonly don't like to have their interface changed so dramatically.

                              When looking for an IT vendor that would integrate in the data center, I look for an extensible API. It's very helpful when that vendor gives me the ability to either write a REST plugin, or they've written one themselves, and they're fully familiar with the software-defined lifecycle. It's great when they have a vRO plugin that I can tap into and orchestrate and automate but, if they don't, I need good documentation of their REST API and then we'll write our own vRO plugin. We haven't really seen many vendors integrate directly into vRA, but if they're tapping into vRO then we're in good shape. vRA and vRO, for us, are just brothers.

                              The solution, overall, used to not be intuitive and user-friendly but they've taken some good feedback in the last two years and made some significant improvements that have really helped us out in managing upgrades. It used to be very difficult to upgrade. It's gotten a lot simpler and that has made our lives quite a bit easier. Also, the stability of the distributed, highly-available infrastructure for vRA.

                              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                              RC
                              Solution Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
                              Real User
                              We can deploy blueprints which are easier on day-to-day operations

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "The repetitive tasks which took provisioning storage, network, and compute two to three weeks, now takes five minutes."
                              • "Instead of only deploying templates, we can deploy blueprints which are easier on day-to-day operations."
                              • "VMware should go the way of vROps, with everything in one machine, the ability to scale out, and a more distributed environment instead of having the usual centralized SQL database."

                              What is our primary use case?

                              We use it for the deployment of new environments and multiple stacks, as well as deployment inside of NSX. It is also used for easy application deployment and container management.

                              How has it helped my organization?

                              We can do scripting and do customization after deployment. With vRA, we can integrate everything with a single-click. Then, there is also track management and change management control.

                              The repetitive tasks which took provisioning storage, network, and compute two to three weeks, now take five minutes.

                              What is most valuable?

                              I like the automation that it provides to deploy VMs and multiple apps. The integration with NSX and AWS for endpoints, which allows us to manage workloads, such as the comparison that it does between different VMs. It can do this in AWS or Azure.

                              Any new VM admin simplifies deployment. Instead of only deploying templates, we can deploy blueprints which are easier on day-to-day operations for an organization.

                              What needs improvement?

                              VMware should go the way of vROps, with everything in one machine, the ability to scale out, and a more distributed environment instead of having the usual centralized SQL database. 

                              Three-tier environments are not scalable.

                              For how long have I used the solution?

                              Less than one year.

                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                              They need to get away from Windows.

                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                              It depends, because you are still dependent on the Windows machine that does all the requests and pulls from other agents. It can scale out if you size it right the first time.

                              How are customer service and technical support?

                              We used technical support with previous versions.

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

                              We knew we needed a new solution when we were falling behind and could not deploy what the business units needed.

                              How was the initial setup?

                              The product has come a long way. Now, it is more streamlined and GUI-based. 

                              I have done parallel upgrades, then used my grade settings for it.

                              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                              We also evaluated CA.

                              We chose VMware because we are a VM shop and the product allows multiple endpoints. We could also have endpoints for AWS.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              While it's user-friendly use, you need to know what you are doing with it.

                              Get your requirements beforehand. Make sure of the services that you want to provide and have them nailed out. If you are just writing VMs, then you don't need vRA. If you are providing services, you're going to become a broker of services to people, so you have to plan ahead. Also plan the workloads that you're going to be providing because they will consume a lot.

                              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                              JT
                              Customer Apps Manager at TSTT
                              Real User
                              With the automation, we are able to provision a VM with the click of a button

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "Among the valuable features are the ease and speed of creating the VMs. Originally, we provisioned them manually and it would take us two days to do the provisioning... but with the automation, we are able to provision a VM with the click of a button, within seconds. It cut down on the time as well as cut down on the expense and employee cost in provisioning."
                              • "It is also intuitive and user-friendly... With vRealize, we can have a Help Desk individual, who might not be that techy, provision the different elements quite easily, with no almost training at all."
                              • "I would like to see a simpler way of provisioning it. As is, we can automate the provisioning of a VM, however, when it comes to the external IPs, that is outside of VMware. But that has to be automated as well. If there was a way for us to have the virtual machines connect to switches that are external to VMware, that would be great. That way, it would handle the entire workflow from creation and provisioning of a VM to the connectivity to the external IP addresses which allow our customers to have access to the VM. Currently, that IP configuration has to be done manually."

                              What is our primary use case?

                              The primary use is to automate the provisioning of applications that my organization uses as well as sells to customers.

                              How has it helped my organization?

                              The time for provisioning a VM for one of our clients was cut in half. It's a lot easier, now, for a customer to come and ask for a solution. We can provide that solution to that customer on the same day that the request was made. Previously, it would have taken us days to get it done and, back then, I would find a lot of instances where errors were made, things were forgotten. But with the automation, everything is already in a step-by-step approach, so it makes it easier for us to provision for the customer. And the customer also feels a lot more secure knowing that they've gotten what they've requested, easily.

                              What is most valuable?

                              Among the valuable features are the ease and speed of creating the VMs. Originally, we provisioned them manually and it would take us two days to do the provisioning. We have a lot of internal items that need approvals from lines of business, but with the automation, we are able to provision a VM with the click of a button, within seconds. It cut down on the time as well as cut down on the expense and employee cost in provisioning.

                              It is also intuitive and user-friendly. Those who use the tool, they are techy, they understand the technology. However, with vRealize we can have a Help Desk individual, who might not be that techy, provision the different elements quite easily, with no almost training at all. That in itself is a plus for us, especially with our having a high turnover of staff. In training, they see how easy it is to use. The time for training to bring them up to speed is very short and they are then able to provision the application.

                              What needs improvement?

                              I would like to see a simpler way of provisioning it. As is, we can automate the provisioning of a VM. However, when it comes to the external IPs, that is outside of VMware. But that has to be automated as well. If there was a way for us to have the virtual machines connect to switches that are external to VMware, that would be great. That way, it would handle the entire workflow from creation and provisioning of a VM to the connectivity to the external IP addresses which allow our customers to have access to the VM. Currently, that IP configuration has to be done manually.

                              For how long have I used the solution?

                              One to three years.

                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                              It's stable. To my knowledge, we have not had any downtime. If there was any downtime, it had nothing to do with VMware. It could have been our infrastructure itself. Or what we might have had a misunderstanding regarding how to get certain things done.

                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                              We have not had the opportunity to scale - instances where we need to scale up or down - but I believe it's quite scalable.

                              How are customer service and technical support?

                              Technical support is very responsive. It's more of a partnership, as opposed to a customer-client relationship. They're knowledgeable.

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

                              We didn't have a previous solution. Regarding this solution, I don't think the cost was a major factor in its selection, based on what it offers. It was more of, "Can it meet our growing needs, as well as what is the experience that is out there?" Based on those issues, I am sure that is why it was selected.

                              How was the initial setup?

                              We have another department that is involved in the initial setup. But I understand it's not straightforward and it's not complex. They have gotten the required training and they've been utilizing it for some time now. They, themselves, are quite knowledgeable in the solution. Clearly, they have been trained professionally. They work with VMware to do the initial setup.

                              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                              VMware is not the only solution that we have. We also have Huawei's version of virtual machines. But VMware is our leading solution.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              VMware is great.

                              We have multiple criteria when selecting a vendor. But in general, we look at

                              • support
                              • experience
                              • cost.

                              I rate this solution at eight out of 10 because of the high level of functionality that it has. Why not a 10? Because there are some things that we wish we could have in the application, which the solution will have at some point, from what I'm seeing, but at the present, they're not there.

                              Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
                              Dennis Bray
                              Chief Architect at Ens inc
                              Real User
                              The setup is getting better with each version

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "If you do a deployment for a proof of concept, it is simple."
                              • "The setup is getting better with each version."
                              • "When you start to do a deployment where you need higher availability and more resiliency, then the complexity goes up drastically."
                              • "I would like to see more out-of-the-box blueprints and workflows for the rest of VMware's products and its portfolio."

                              What is our primary use case?

                              • We use it for our own private hosting. 
                              • We do services for departments within the State of California. 
                              • We have a large agency where we design and deploy an automation solution around vRealize Automation.

                              How has it helped my organization?

                              It's done most of what we needed for our customers. However, custom integration had to be done with certain things which are not exotic.

                              What needs improvement?

                              I would like to see more out-of-the-box blueprints and workflows for the rest of VMware's products and its portfolio.

                              We would like them to continuously improve the product with upgrades, as they have been.

                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                              The product is stable. When we used it early on, the changes were so rapid that we had to be careful with versioning. We probably still have to be pretty careful between versioning. The environment includes NSX, as well as vRA. Therefore, we have to pay attention to making sure everything is compatible.

                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                              Scalability hasn't been a problem. For the agency where we have it deployed, there are 4500 to 5000 VMs.

                              How was the initial setup?

                              The first version that we deployed was not long after VMware had acquired the product. This was with version 6 or 6.2 for a production deployment. There was a lot of work to do with certificates, etc. However, the setup is getting better with each version. 

                              If you do a deployment for a proof of concept, it is simple. When you start to do a deployment where you need higher availability and more resiliency, then the complexity goes up drastically.

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

                              From the customer perspective, the value was worth it.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Be particular about requirements and what your goals are with the customer. There is a lot more to this product than doing a deployment, so make sure you understand the use cases.

                              Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
                              JJ
                              IT Manager at a individual & family service with 10,001+ employees
                              Real User
                              We're able to support developers, giving them the box they need within minutes

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "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."

                                What is our primary use case?

                                It's our private cloud platform.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                My engineers were able to pick it up quickly and we provisioned and created a private cloud in roughly three months.

                                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.

                                It's also easier for IT to support developers. As soon as the developer wants a box, we can pretty much put it out there in a few minutes, instead of wading through a lot of manual paperwork and forms and email boxes and the like.

                                What is most valuable?

                                The solution is intuitive and user-friendly. It only took three months to start a private cloud. It was very good. Guys that didn't have a lot of knowledge in scripting picked up on it. Then I hired a VMware solutions architect and it just skyrocketed from there because he knew the ins and outs.

                                What needs improvement?

                                I can't say what new features I'd like right now because we're looking forward to the stuff that's in 7.5. I need some stick-time on 7.5 and then I can tell you what I want to see in 7.6 or 7.7.

                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                One to three years.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                It's very stable. We haven't had any issues and we've been using it for roughly two years. We're upgrading to the 7.5 now.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                It scales fine. We've been scaling on storage but we actually have two divisions. We just deployed it to another division to help them out. The company I work for grows by acquisition so the new acquisitions are now getting this pointed to them so they can provision faster, with basically the same standards, instead of doing stuff manually.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                Regarding technical support, because we have a solution architect on board, we have a lot of problems but his questions are not normal questions. His questions almost have to be escalated to a developer immediately. He doesn't ask anything simple or even just plain hard. His stuff is nearly impossible.

                                From that perspective, technical support has not done very well. But we have rockstars on the team and there's no way you're going to get great support because these guys are asking questions that even the rockstars of the VM world are scratching their heads about.

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

                                I brought VMware into the company in 2004. Before that it was manual, bare metal boxes.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                I was involved in the initial setup but not as an engineer. Before I hired Alex, we had a guy put the stuff up. He did it in a couple of days. It was straightforward and it was functional, it worked really well. Then we got this new guy and he had so much insider knowledge. He worked out of Moscow. He was doing all the work for the all the other customers and we hired him in.

                                We're on 7.4, we're going to upgrade to 7.5 after Labor Day. Since we've gone live, we've done three upgrades and they've all been really good. No issues.

                                What was our ROI?

                                I can't provide numbers off the top of my head but going from three or four days to seven minutes to create a VM - and that seven minutes can go up to 50 servers wide - means it has worked beautifully.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                We evaluated Hyper-V, that was a big failure. We looked at KBM, that was pretty good. We're using Acropolis Hypervisor right now. Everything is still primitive, but among the other ones, AHV from Nutanix seems to be the most stable functionally but it is still missing a whole lot of toolsets that you need. So we're not moving in that direction any time soon.

                                The other competitors are throwing everything at you for free but they don't have any management. You don't have the feature set that you have in vROps. vRA is much more sophisticated. You get what you pay for with VMware. You're getting all the feature set. Where everybody else is trying to give you stuff for free, they're harder to work with and then you spend more man-hours.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                Start with VMware vRA. Other solutions haven't been in the game long enough. You're going to have a lot of custom-scripting that VMware already puts in there.

                                I rate it an eight out of 10 only because I wish we had a way to get through the technical support department faster. We've been with them long enough - and I've already talked to the sales guy about this - that they should almost have an "express lane." You lose two or three days going through the normal process. It goes to level-one and he bounces it to level-two, to level-three, when pretty much, because we've got this long history, they should know that when we call, it needs to be bounced all the way up to the top. That's just the reality.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user587121
                                Linear Dimensions, Consultant at a government with 10,001+ employees
                                Consultant
                                Significantly decreases the time to market for our customers

                                Pros and Cons

                                • "The most valuable features are that it's multi-tenant and the ability for scale."
                                • "Our customers don't have to manage HVAC and space and cooling and all of those things that they used to have to do. Today, all they have to do is provision a server and manage their users."
                                • "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."

                                What is our primary use case?

                                We use vRealize Automation for all of our court locations and the customers are able to, on any day of the week, 24/7, provision VMs at will and maintain them.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                As opposed to the old days where customers put in a ticket and they waited three or four days to get a server provisioned for them, today they can get servers provisioned in five minutes. So, the time to market for our customers is much better, much improved. It's multi-tenanted, meaning one court customer doesn't see the other court customer. They're very happy about that.

                                For time to market, it's absolutely incredible that a court customer can come in and, within a few days, have the service provided to them. They can then spin up one or 100 servers. Before, it would take them six months to a year to get there. So, for time to market, there are incredible savings. And there are cost savings from their perspective as well. They don't have to manage HVAC and space and cooling and all of those things that they used to have to do. Today, all they have to do is provision a server and manage their users, which is what they should be focused on.

                                We don't know what they run, we don't manage them. We just provide the infrastructure and they are saved from having to purchase infrastructure, having to purchase licensing, and having to maintain servers internally. So it's a win-win for the courts and for us. We love the product.

                                What is most valuable?

                                The most valuable features are that it's multi-tenant and the ability for scale.

                                From a customer perspective, they log in and they have Catalog: what services are available to them. They simply click on that and then there's an option: I can have a Linux server, I can have a Windows server. They select it, configure it, how many CPUs, how much memory, how much storage, and hit the button, submit. It's that easy.

                                What needs improvement?

                                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.

                                Also virtual desktops. 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. I know NSX is getting more and more integrated. We talked a little about vROps. I see that integration coming in.

                                But for vRA, DR would be a service we'd like to be able to offer to the customers, and it should be integrated, in my opinion, in vRA.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                We scale, we have 180 plus customers in the environment and we have courts with as few as maybe four servers and as many as 80. So it's a very diverse range of systems and they absolutely love it. It scales great.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                vRA is pretty reliable. We use technical support more for upgrades.

                                In the event that we've had issues, cluster-wise perhaps, within VRA, we've had to use technical support, but very seldom. I can't point to an outage related to vRA. The outage is probably something else related to either NSX or vCenter itself, perhaps the PostgreSQL Database is filling up. But vRA itself has scaled incredibly well for us.

                                When we've needed it, the support itself is good, very good.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                You have architectural design questions that you have to address. We have multiple sites, multiple data centers. One of the fundamental questions is, how do you get HA in vRA? Do you have active-active, active-standby? Today, for vRA, we deploy it out of one site and we use remote execution managers at the other site. We're kind of in an active-standby mode, if you will. We're semi single-point-of-failure, in that respect. We probably should move to get an active-active scenario, but we're not there today.

                                But the setup was not too bad. It's nothing like a vROps, for example.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                vRA is great. If you're looking for a multi-tenanted solution that is very easy, from a customer perspective, to use, and make it seamless for the customer to actually get what they're looking for, i.e. a server, developers love this. For the customer, from the time to market and ease of use perspectives, you can't go wrong with vRA. It's that good.

                                I would rate it at about nine out of 10. If they would integrate DR, that would bring it to a 10.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                DL
                                Principal Architect at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
                                Real User
                                It can predict to move workloads before hardware failures

                                What is most valuable?

                                • Reliability
                                • Scalability

                                The product itself is future rich, because of the HA componentry. The DRS VMotion gives you the ability to lose physical hardware. It can predict to move workloads before hardware failures. That is a new feature with VMware. It senses the hardware is having issues. Another feature is it now has predictability built into it, which is something new.

                                What needs improvement?

                                The costing and pricing models of their product.

                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                More than 15 years.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                It is a stable product. You can run your Tier 1 and Tier 2 apps on it.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                No issues.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                When you are calling support, I would be considered more of an advanced user. When I am calling support, I have pretty much leveraged everything they have, like knowledge based articles and that type of thing. The support has been very good. When you call support, it actually works. Sometimes you get bounced around, and sometimes, you don't. I call support, and I get an answer, then you just kind of move on. 

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

                                We did have a previous solution 15 years ago, but we switched due to scalability.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                The initial setup was straightforward. My mom could install it. 

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

                                Pricing needs to be improved.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                No other options were evaluated. It is all based on the requirement, whichever problem you are trying to solve. A lot of the times the stuff I deal with is more on the enterprise side (larger). The product has been stellar. 

                                I have used the SMB Market as well; small media markets without issues. 

                                What other advice do I have?

                                VMware is the pioneer of virtualization. They are way ahead of everybody else. Some of the other products have caught up, which has been fantastic because it has driven innovation. It is forcing the industry to evolve more quickly, innovate, and come up with better solutions. 

                                It is a very popular product. You have to do is you have to have a good understanding it. You can't just jump into it, especially half in. You have to understand what you are trying to solve. Have a good understanding of what you are trying to set up, like a defined solution.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user746751
                                Senior Systems Admin at a consultancy with self employed
                                Video Review
                                Consultant
                                It has the ability to deploy heavy workloads quickly

                                What is most valuable?

                                Automation Ability to deploy heavy workloads quickly Ease of use and the flexibility

                                What needs improvement?

                                Ability to mimic more VCD functionality. Ability to share blueprints among tenants, or have a master blueprint repository, so you don't have to move the stuff between tenants. That's probably the number one feature. Improve functionality that we're looking for longterm.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                It is very stable. It works well. It is easy to use once it's deployed, and is also easy to deploy.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                We're starting small, but we see the ability to scale quickly and easily.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                It's very good. I noticed with vRA, they are…

                                What is most valuable?

                                • Automation
                                • Ability to deploy heavy workloads quickly
                                • Ease of use and the flexibility

                                What needs improvement?

                                • Ability to mimic more VCD functionality.
                                • Ability to share blueprints among tenants, or have a master blueprint repository, so you don't have to move the stuff between tenants. That's probably the number one feature.
                                • Improve functionality that we're looking for longterm.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                It is very stable. It works well. It is easy to use once it's deployed, and is also easy to deploy.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                We're starting small, but we see the ability to scale quickly and easily.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                It's very good. I noticed with vRA, they are starting to ramp up more support. It started off slow, but it seems to be getting better.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                Early on with version 6, it was very complex. When 7 was released, it was easier. Now, with 7.3 and cloud foundations (and everything), it's a lot easier.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

                                1. Reputation.
                                2. Support, reliability, and longevity of the company.
                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user746754
                                Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                                Video Review
                                Consultant
                                Needs more stability and is fairly complex, but scales

                                What is most valuable?

                                Automation Catalog Blueprints

                                What needs improvement?

                                Probably more stability and just ensuring everything works out-of-the-box. There is still a bit of a gap in terms of product maturity based on all the forums and things that we've seen, so we would like it to be much more mature than what we currently have.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                There's some issues that we've encountered while standing it up.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                As of now, it seems like it does scale. However, we haven't hit the point where we are deploying in a large scale.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                So far, we haven't had too many issues reaching out to tech support.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                What is most valuable?

                                • Automation
                                • Catalog
                                • Blueprints

                                What needs improvement?

                                Probably more stability and just ensuring everything works out-of-the-box.

                                There is still a bit of a gap in terms of product maturity based on all the forums and things that we've seen, so we would like it to be much more mature than what we currently have.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                There's some issues that we've encountered while standing it up.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                As of now, it seems like it does scale. However, we haven't hit the point where we are deploying in a large scale.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                So far, we haven't had too many issues reaching out to tech support.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                It's fairly complex. The documentation continuously evolves and the product seems to change every couple months. It's trying to piece together different forums and documentations to figure out how to get a working solution.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                Most important criteria for selecting a vendor: Brand recognition, but also VMware being the biggest. We thought that might be the best route in terms of support and community.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user746757
                                Software Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                                Video Review
                                Consultant
                                Easy to use, just drag and drop VMs into Blueprint Composer, but needs Horizon and better NSX integration

                                What is most valuable?

                                I think the ability to create blueprints and define our lab environments and vRAs. It's really easy for anyone to use it. Just drag and drop VMs and all these other components into the Blueprint Composer.

                                I think having the ability to create different tenants, having a catalog items, and having a different user base go in there and having them pick from the specific items that they want; have them be more living in control.

                                What needs improvement?

                                The additional features I would like to see are better integration with Horizon, or actually integration with Horizon since it doesn't seem to be existent, more integration with NSX, and also better integration with Code Stream.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                So far, it's been stable. Although, we have a few issues with it. Mostly, the issues that we encounter have been integrations with Horizon, integration with NSX, and a little bit the integration with Code Stream as well.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                Scalability is great. They allow you to deploy in different situations and scale up. If you want a bigger vRealize Automation installation, you just spin up more of these appliances.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                They are very responsive, but I for one of the issues that I had, they were not able to answer my question. I had to get into more of the low level of the application and try to figure out a solution for it.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                It was somewhat complex. The documentation is very long, and I was able to install it based on a blog that I found online. Someone had already previously installed it. They went step-by-step. I thought that was more useful than the documentation.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                No, we were happy with what they demoed, and what they showed us.

                                I think the support and the feedback that we got from the salesperson, the response time that we got, we were really happy with it.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                I give it a six out of 10 because we still haven't met what we intended it for.

                                It works very well just spinning up VMs, creating blueprints, for doing some of the basic stuff. But doing some of the more advanced stuff, it still needs a little bit more work.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user746712
                                EVS Engineer 3 at Cabela's
                                Video Review
                                Vendor
                                We're able to script things for monitoring, for patching - it's saved us a lot of late nights

                                What is most valuable?

                                There are a lot of different benefits with this product, because there are a lot of things that we're trying to automate. There's another guy within my group, he's the administrator of vROps. He's been able to implement a lot of things, and help us script things for monitoring, for patching, and a whole lot of things. It's definitely got a value and it saves us a lot of time.

                                What needs improvement?

                                I could see improving by just knowing how to script a little better, but other than that, I think the product itself is fine.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                Very stable solution. We've had very good luck with it.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                It's scalable. There are a lot of different things you could do with it. Really it's whatever you want to do. Whatever you want to put your mind to, to make it scale, it'll do it.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                It's good. It's excellent. We haven't had any trouble. If there is something that we have trouble with, call them, and we're on the phone with engineering. They're good about taking care of us right away.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                It's pretty straightforward. You can read some of the white papers on it. It's not difficult.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                It's a great product. It saves us a lot of time. It cut down a lot of late nights for us.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user746724
                                IT Manager at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
                                Video Review
                                Vendor
                                Provides a lot of flexibility and enables us to automate our VM provisioning processes

                                What is most valuable?

                                vRA is a great tool. It gives a lot of flexibility. It gives the customer an experience to automate their processes, their provisioning process. So, we widely adopt that into our environment to automate a lot of provisioning processes to automate the VM provisioning. Thus, it's a great tool, which actually gives a lot of flexibility in terms of provisioning and orchestration.

                                What needs improvement?

                                I would say maybe a better interface. It looks very plain. So, a more user-friendly interface, so the vRealize Automation tool could be improved.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                It is a very stable solution. It's a state-of-art kind of solution. It gives a lot of flexibility. It's customizable. You can tailor it according to how you want vRA to work for your organization. So it's a very stable tool. It's a very cool tool.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                • It's scalable. You can scale it to whatever you want to do.
                                • It's customizable. You can tweak it to how you want to use the tool.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                The tech support is pretty awesome. Whenever you have issues, you engage them. They are on top of the issues, and they get a resolution for you. It's a top-notch type of support from VM tech support whenever you face issues with vRA.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                It is straightforward. It's not very complicated. Most of the tools that VMware develops are pretty straightforward. You just click off buttons. It's easily understandable, and it's easy to implement and use it.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                It's one of the cool tools in the industry. Go get VMware.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user746703
                                Enterprise Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                                Video Review
                                Consultant
                                Offers agility, flexibility, and scalability, helping us to serve our end customers

                                What is most valuable?

                                • The agility that it offers.
                                • The flexibility that it offers.
                                • The scalability that it offers for us to serve our end customers.

                                That's really helpful.

                                What needs improvement?

                                At this point in time, it's support for multiple platforms. It already supports certain platforms, so extending that to the multiple cloud platforms and services, that's where we are looking to go.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                We have been using it for the last couple of years, and it has pretty much worked for us without any issues.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                It is very scalable. We are currently using some 20,000 workloads across multiple customers.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                VMware support has been very helpful throughout the journey of using all of the VMware products. I rate them five out of five.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                The basic setup is pretty easy, but then into the next phases it all really depends on what services you want your end customers to subscribe to. Depending on that, the complexity will vary.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                The most important criteria when selecting a vendor include:

                                • What is it really offering, for us as a customer, and for our end customers?
                                • How much flexible they have in understanding our needs and accommodating those needs.
                                • Support: How much support are they ready to offer, what are their capabilities in terms of getting us live, through the product lifecycle, and then helping us manage that product as we move along?

                                I think vRA stands at the top of the list of the products that we rate, because of the problems that it has helped us to solve, in terms of providing the services to our end customers. I think it has helped us a lot.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                ITCS user
                                Lead Engineer at SynchroNet
                                Video Review
                                Consultant
                                Has reduced a months-long process down to a matter of hours for us, yet naming scheme needs more flexibility

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                What we do with it is we've taken a very lengthy deployment process and we have shrunk it from what was a months-long process down to a matter of hours.

                                We've also had benefits with configuration consistency because the machine is doing it for us. We aren't manually typing in, editing config files, and all that.

                                Security, it's helped us integrate other products like VMware's NSX product, so we have the east-west traffic security rather than just north-south. The cost savings that we have with the man hours that used to be sunk into actually deploying these VMs is a huge savings for us.

                                What needs improvement?

                                I spend a lot of time talking with some of the product's team members making requests. Machine prefix, which is what they call their naming scheme, I wish that it was more flexible. Right now, you're relying on creating your own system and leveraging vRealize Orchestrator to handle it if you have something more complex than their basic needs, which is just the name and then the number at the end.

                                Version control for blueprints: As it stands, you can make any changes you want. There's no record of it. Everything else is pretty much how I want it.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                I will say the VRA has its problems. We have had issues with stability. We initially deployed on Version 7.1, and there are issues with the high availability feature that it had. It forced you to manually failover the database, and so it wasn't an actually automated HA feature. That has been solved in 7.3. I haven't seen any issues with it, yet.

                                I haven't had it deployed for very long, but just like small things like selecting stuff, the blueprint design campus, I've noticed, has a really bad memory leak, so it can be hard to edit blueprints. Overall, as long as you know how to administer the IaaS boxes, you should be good to go.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                It gets a rap for being an incredibly complex product to deploy, specifically because it's a highly scalable solution. You have to know how to set up all these different pieces, deploy Windows boxes, set up IaaS, configure your load balancers, whether that's in NSX or, say, an F5, which is what we use, or whatever else you're going to use.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                Technical support is usually pretty good. I've gotten hot fixes turned around in two or three days. Sometimes, it's very tough because of how complex a product is, to know where exactly the problem lies, so it's nice to have VMware support to lean back on whenever that's the case.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                It's very not straightforward. Perspective: I just deployed the newest version 7.3. It took me about a week total, just a solid 40 hours of work, to get it deployed fully. There are issues with some of the documentation. Mostly, it was fine, but there's a bug with the installation wizard that I spent a long time trying to sludge through by myself, but after opening a support case, they were able to get it taken care of really quickly.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                It has a long way to go still but, for what it does, it does well and it helps enable you. Even if there are a lot of problems with the product itself that still need to be fixed, I don't think that they outweigh the actual business value that you'll get by having the product if you do a lot of deployments or if you need to provide access to developers. There's a whole myriad of cases that you could be using it for. If it falls within one of those cases, it can be extremely helpful.

                                Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                                it_user730203
                                Senior Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                                Real User
                                ​Self-service and automation reduce the amount of time to build a virtual machine and related costs

                                What is most valuable?

                                Self-service and automation. They reduce the amount of time to build a virtual machine and reduce the operation costs.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                The requesters create their own virtual machines now, instead of a series of tickets to get things built.

                                What needs improvement?

                                We're still running version 6. When we upgrade to version 7, a lot of our issues should be addressed already. Things like some of the flexibility, and some of the ease of automation.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                It's very stable.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                It's extremely scalable.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                Since we moved to Business Critical Support, it's been very good. I always reach the right person.

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

                                We needed a self-provisioning front end. So, this was the best option.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                Complex. We deployed the original version of vCAC and there wasn't a lot of documentation at the time. There are a lot of disparate parts that have to be deployed on multiple machines that involve a bunch of load bouncers. Issues like that.

                                We purchased PSO resources.

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

                                Licensing's expensive.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                VM was the only one we really looked at.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                The most important criteria when looking at various vendors are reliability, their position within the industry, and the ability to get references from existing customers.

                                Do a lot of planning upfront because some of the choices you make, when you initially deploy, you'll have to live with in the end. Sizing is the main one.

                                I would suggest hiring a PSO.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user730323
                                Enterprise Infrastructure Manager at a mining and metals company with 10,001+ employees
                                Vendor
                                It is our service catalog for our hybrid cloud.

                                What is most valuable?

                                It is our service catalog for our hybrid cloud which is the most valuable feature.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                It allows us to be more agile and provide services to our company more rapidly.

                                What needs improvement?

                                There is room for improvement for mostly stuff around containers and controlling containers.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                This solution is very stable.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                This solution is very scalable.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                I have used technical support. They are excellent. We used their professional services to help us install it.

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

                                I just knew where the industry was going. I just knew that it has been moving for a long time in that direction and I was looking for something that we already owned. Also, the team was knowledgeable so that we could use them for orchestration.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                The setup was complex. It's a lot of independent components that are put together that make up a software-defined data center. So, it's really complex. They sent an in-house team.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                Support, cost, and functionality are the factors that we look for while selecting a vendor.

                                VMware was the only one that we actually looked at because the other option was OpenStack; we weren't going with OpenStack.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                Do it and do it quickly.

                                It depends on what your app stack is and whether your cloud-native or not. However, if you have a monolithic stack like Oracle and the traditional data center apps, it's the way to go. But, if you are cloud centric and use a lot of web services, then it's probably not the right solution.

                                You should form a team, be committed to it and expect to put in a lot of work/effort/time into it.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user730341
                                Infrastructure System Administrator at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
                                Consultant
                                The flexibility to build different components for VMs is a valuable feature

                                What is most valuable?

                                • Automation
                                • The flexibility to actually build different components, in terms of virtual machines.

                                Our group, we do mostly the virtualization and a creation of systems. Therefore, it's not a cookie cutter build of a template, and that's it, it's more dynamic for our group.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                It's increased the efficiency. There's less manual work through vRA. Now, Orchestrator is the one doing most of the work and making everything more automated.

                                What needs improvement?

                                I would like to see this additional features in the next release: The ability to have more dynamic forms. Some of the static forms that vRA provides in the XaaS form, they are good, but they could be a little more efficient. For instance, the calendar selections should have the ability to only go to a certain spot, as opposed to going out to something like 2040, for the requests.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                Stability is really good. Once you got everything setup, even in its HA form, it's pretty stable.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                Not as good, but there are some components in vRA that you can scale out a lot more quickly than other pieces.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                Customer Service:

                                In our group, more of the web solutions and the blog posts helped to grow our ability to use vRA.

                                Technical Support:

                                They are always reachable by person and knowledgeable.

                                But because it's such a dynamic solution, at times VMware does have to go gather more resources in order to figure out the solution to things.

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

                                We had a previous VMware product called Lab Manager, then we had grown out of that box and decided to go with vRA.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                I was involved in the setup. In the original version 5, it was very complex. Version 6 got a little better. Version 7 is much more improved.

                                What about the implementation team?

                                In the first deployment, they sent an in-house team.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                Microsoft.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                Advice for looking at VM solutions:

                                Definitely research the product and see what's out there.

                                Look at blog posts of vRA. There's quite a few resources that you can search and find on the web which will basically get you on the ground running for deployment, even simply XaaS forms.

                                Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

                                • Support
                                • The cost is always important.
                                • The ability of their features to match with ours.
                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user730173
                                System Infrastructure Architect at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
                                Vendor
                                Provides automation for my customers to have guard rails on what they can deploy

                                What is most valuable?

                                Being able to provide automation for my customers, essentially having guard rails on what they can deploy and how much it is they're deploying in my environment.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                We're still rolling it out. It's starting to help a little bit and people are starting to be able to see the power of it. I expect it will help, but we're still early in the journey.

                                What needs improvement?

                                Improvements in the API. Make it easier because that's where we tend to struggle when we were working with other groups. We spend time trying to digest the API to figure out how to actually consume it.

                                The UI could stand a lot of improvement as well. It doesn't look like a modern UI, so it needs some work.

                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                I've been using it for four or five years.

                                But in my current employer, I've only been there for about eight months. They had it, but nobody was actually pushing the solution.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                I haven't really had any issues with stability over the last four or five years that I've been using it.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                We tend to do smaller deployments than huge deployments of it because we're usually targeting multiple groups.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                I haven't contact technical support yet, but I do have a contact with VMware that I feel is knowledgeable.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                I didn't set up this environment, but I have done the setup previously.

                                The process has gotten better. It's still a bit of complex. Once it's setup, you shouldn't have to touch it much.

                                Upgrades have gotten easier as the solution has progressed. It used to be much more difficult. Now, the process is a lot more streamlined.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                Not applicable. The company already had the product when they brought me onboard.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

                                • Features
                                • Stability
                                • A community who know the product and can share information about it.
                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                SH
                                Cloud Architect at Dyntek
                                MSP
                                Reduced provisioning time from weeks to an hour or less but stability has been an issue

                                What is most valuable?

                                The ability to provision to on-prem and public cloud using a standardized set of blueprints.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                It has reduced provisioning time from roughly three to six weeks to about an hour on a private cloud, and about 25 minutes on public cloud.

                                What needs improvement?

                                The ability to provision native cloud services as well as the ability to provision Azure VMs in the same way we provision AWS VMs. Right now, it's a broken process. Azure is kind of a work around. It would be good to have native address support and paths servicing offerings from Azure and AWS offered natively through VRA.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                On a scale of one to 10 stability is a seven.

                                There are a lot of moving parts and we often have difficulty with like an individual service on one of the components failing and bringing down the entire stack, and that's pretty regular. We've been using it since version 6 and that's been pretty consistent. As the components have been compressed, it's gotten better, but for each of the Windows servers and components that we have, there are regular service failures.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                Scalability is excellent.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                We use BCS and that makes a difference. Typically, it depends on what time of day we're calling and what region we're in. Usually out of Cork, Ireland it's pretty good and out of the U.S. it's good. But when it gets sent overseas we do have some issues.

                                Other than that, support also has a problem with complexity. For a vanilla build of vRealize Automation, they generally know how to support it very well, but because we have a lot of customizations - we have a lot of custom software components and integrations - by the time we're able to get the support call up to speed on what's going on, we've generally figured it out on our own. That's not to say it's anyone's fault, it's just that we have a lot of customizations in there.

                                When we call we don't always get the same person. Sometimes it requires an escalation and we eventually find someone whose good. But it's something like every third time that we get someone who is good from the beginning. Other than that, two out of three we'd have to work through an escalation process.

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

                                We were using vCenter Orchestrator just by itself but it was only used by our internal teams to build for other users. vRA has enabled us to give self-service to all the end users.

                                In terms of switching, honestly, a VMware sales team came by. We were getting complaints from a lot of our end users on provisioning time, and we would generally get people that were requesting more than they needed because of the time constraints. So we wanted to simplify the process and make it a self-service portal and that was the reason to switch.

                                It was the best solution at the time we started the project, which was about two and a half years ago. It may not now, be but we are pretty heavily invested in the stack so we don't want to throw all that money away and kind of switch platforms and start from scratch again.

                                The most important criteria when picking a vendor is their ability to solve a problem that we have; and then second would be cost.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                DynTek. We used Presidio as well as ServiceNow.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                Really look at the competition that's come a long way. Cisco's product, ServiceNow's product, Red Hat even has a product that is competing and, depending on their workload type and their end point type, there are potentially better solutions. But if you are a fully integrated VMware environment, this is still the best option.

                                Regarding implementation, you should have a very well documented process for your current provisioning. You should have documented all the types of workloads and blueprints you would potentially need based on user demand, not based on what the admins think. We made that mistake. We offered what we thought the user would want and most of the blueprints we created went unused. But then when we went the opposite way in the newer release. We basically poled our entire community and they gave very specific responses. So, focus on what the users tell you they want otherwise they're not going to use the product.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user730179
                                Manager Of IT Operations Back End at a leisure / travel company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                                Vendor
                                Improved our delivery and made it fast

                                What is most valuable?

                                For a few years, when we needed a server, it took us three months to deliver one. Now, we can bring one up in approximately 15 minutes.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                Our delivery is now very fast.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                It's very stable.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                We're satisfied with the scalability of the solution.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                They are very good. We have an account manager. We use the account manager, if necessary, and have with a relationship with them, so they can respond very quickly.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                If you are looking to implement the product, do it together with VMware. It was a good experience for us.

                                What is most valuable?

                                For a few years, when we needed a server, it took us three months to deliver one. Now, we can bring one up in approximately 15 minutes.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                Our delivery is now very fast.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                It's very stable.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                We're satisfied with the scalability of the solution.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                They are very good. We have an account manager. We use the account manager, if necessary, and have with a relationship with them, so they can respond very quickly.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                If you are looking to implement the product, do it together with VMware. It was a good experience for us.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user730221
                                Lead Senior Infrastructure Engineer at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                                MSP
                                Don't have to waste resources for a prolonged period of time due to lifecycling out. Want to be able to see multiple domains.

                                What is most valuable?

                                What I like the most about vRA: Its seamless ability for users to be able to go pick a catalog item that we have created for them, while they are testing a new version of their code and say, "Okay, I want you to make my old version (based on these blueprints) run, please deploy me - my entire environment."

                                Whatever we do for the users, we use NSX integration for it, so they can have that encapsulated environment separate from their coworker trying to do the same code testing with the same IP address. Everything needs to be the exact same. That's what we love about it right now.

                                The biggest feature that we've seen so far is for them to lifecycle it out. A lot of times we have developers that build something, then they forget about it. Now, we lifecycle out after 30 days, so I don't have to waste those resources for a prolonged period of time.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                It has made our developers be a bit more agile, instead of like old days, where it was, "Okay, we need a new environment, I've got to spin up the whole thing for them." Now, it's, "Hey, if you need a new environment, go to this URL, click these catalog items, whichever ones you might be working on."

                                The external Linux script is all automated for the developers. They just need to be able to say, "Hey, I need this new code pulled down," That's all. They don't even have to build their own workflows anymore. As for the VMware side, we can build the workflows for them, or work with somebody in the DevOps team to build workflows. So now all the developers have to do is click a couple of buttons, then they're working and they're on their way.

                                What needs improvement?

                                One of the things we saw in the initial phase was our integration with our development domains, where if we want to have more than one domain tied to it with users, we're seeing that as a struggle. However, VMware has said, some of these features have been worked out with IAM Appliances. So we are seeing a bit of improvement there, though we want to be able to see multiple domains that we can integrate into the same tenant space a little more seamlessly.

                                There are still some features that I would like to see changed. One pain point we have seen is users are able to set their lease expirations to zero, which means the lifecycle management gets disabled. So, it has some limitations there that we have seen. However, that's something VMware has gotten back to us and said should be fixed in future releases.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                It's fairly stable.

                                There are some things that we would like to see. Maybe they already are in the current versions of 7. We're still running 6.2.5, but we would like to see a little bit more seamless integrations with some of our other products, like our DevOps tools. We use Vagrant or other things where the developer sometimes just wants to do their job through Vagrant CLI to communicate with vRealize Automation. However, we have seen that as a pain point so far.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                We have tested a little on how to put in some operations metrics.

                                For example, if say, "This will run that script, deploy up some more virtual machines, and/or if this will automate that." We haven't had to expand on that yet. We're trying right now to use Automation Center more for development purposes only. We haven't utilized it in a production environment scenario yet.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                We have. It was in the very beginning phases when we went to vRealize Automation. It was new for them, so it was a bit painful in the beginning, but lately it's been better.

                                They're snappy. They know their information.

                                VMware has really shaped up their support lately. Now, I can get to a intelligent conversation with somebody on their tech side, not repeat steps that I've already gone through. That's huge for us, and that was one thing which we had concerns about in the past with VMware. Those are some of the things we mentioned to them: "We need better supportability of your products." We have been seeing that a lot lately.

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

                                At a prior company that I came from, we used vCloud Director, and that was a product I loved.

                                It was something I could not obtain any more, because at the partner level you need VMware to still maintain the vCloud Director licensing. However, our company does have a giant vCloud Director pool now, the one that I work for, but the reason for vRealize Automation was, we can't get vCloud, which I needed a nice lifecycle control management, then we went with vRealize Automation, because it had the majority of the functions that you see in VCD but with just a little bit more added functions at that time. With the integration of NSX, that was something that was key for us. We really needed to be able to provision environments on the fly for them to have very like-for-like scenarios. However, when they're doing their QA testing or pre-stage testings, we needed the ability for encapsulation of those environments to be separate.

                                That's one reason we saw automation with integration with NSX and VSAN, it was a no-brainer for us.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                I was involved in the initial setup.

                                The initial setup for the 6.2 environment was a little bit painful, because you have to have a separate the IAS server and different things, like a Windows server. Now, with the new 7, I know it's all appliance-based, which is beautiful.

                                It's easy to set up. I have a PoC environment right now we're toying with, and it's a lot more simplistic than the prior versions were. I'm more familiar with the old architecture of it, but I'm looking forward to really implementing the new architecture of vRealize Automation.

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

                                The vRealize Suite, it is a very expensive product. However, with all the things it did offer us, in the long run, it made sense for us, because we got to cut down a lot of our public cloud costs due to on-premise solutions.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                We did utilize vCloud Air. It was one of the other tools that we did try out.

                                Now, I don't like to talk bad about VMware, but it was a disastrous product. It was vCloud Director, which I was familiar with, but the supportability was not there. There were some bugs whenever we were trying to do automation and workloads between our on-premise into the vCloud Air. That was the one thing we were trying to utilize, and it just didn't work well.

                                Then, the other automation solution we were using Chef and Puppet (and other things) for our DevOps tools, but we really wanted to shift more focus to the developers. They don't want to have to command-code out everything. Some of them want to just go, "Click, click, done."

                                When I went through the first demo of vRA, that's when I saw that this product would be a very beneficial product for our company.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                Really pay attention to how you design your blueprints and your workflows, because a lot of developers do not want to do that. They do not want to design their own blueprints and workflow operations. They want it to already have been done for them. Make sure you have a strong relationship with your DevOps team so you can get the most out of this product. Because if you are trying to do it single-handedly as an Operations Center without the go-between, it'll be a struggle to get Development onboard with this type of product. But once they do get on board with the product, they won't want to look back.

                                Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: Supportability is huge, not to say everybody on our team should be experts in everything they do, but when you do need help, you want to make sure that you're working with top-tier support. I don't want to have to run through the wringer of, "Okay, I got to go through Tier-1, then Tier-2, then finally I can work with Tier-3 (somebody on my level of knowledge)."

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                JM
                                Delivery Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
                                Consultant
                                Its third-party ecosystem allows automation of almost every IT process

                                What is most valuable?

                                vRA's Orchestrator allows you to connect to a huge ecosystem with a huge number of third-party systems to automate any and every IT process that you can think of. It makes it very flexible. Makes it really adaptable as opposed to some other systems.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                It allows people to move into orchestration and automation, and most customers want to get into that but they don't really know how. vRO and vRA gives them a step through the door to allow them to start building upon. It gives you a framework, it gives you a baseline to let you build from there.

                                What needs improvement?

                                They are doing well as far as iterating quickly, iterating by often adding small things. I think there should be even more integrations with third-party systems. You have Infoblox and Puppet which great. Let's add Chef to the mix and just keep them coming.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                So far so good.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                Everything is much improved, especially with vRA's automation 7 and newer, as they move more things into virtual appliances and out of Windows. That's a win for everybody. It's a win for the customers. It's a win for us deploying it. It's a win for manageability, scalability, everything.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                Tech support is usually great. As soon as you get a live person you're good. It just depends on the level of support that the customer is paying for. Sometimes that's nothing that we can control, it's just what they have.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                It's much more straightforward now that it was in version 6.x., to the Nth degree. They have made it so that you can do either a proof of concept or fully distributed version of vRA with a wizard-driven GUI, which is amazing. Now, there are still some little quirks with that wizard, but it being there makes it much simpler than going it manually and installing each component and linking them all together after the fact.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                For me, being a consultant, vendor selection isn't what matters. I want to use whatever is best for the customer. So whatever fits their business use case best is what I'm going to go with, what I'm going to recommend.

                                vRA does most things really well. There are still some issues such that, if you are going to go 100% cloud, if you don't want anything on-premise, there are some other solutions that might have a leg up.

                                Use vRA, but it's more about the process than it is about the product. You have to make sure that the users, who are going to be internal IT most of the time, that their expectations are set appropriately. Make sure that you have buy-in from the higher-ups as far as automating processes. You have to make sure you have by-in at all levels.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user730257
                                Senior IT Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
                                Vendor
                                We've been able to have users self-provision their own machines and get them into networks

                                What is most valuable?

                                The ability to customize your own portal. We've gotten to the point now where we've used it to create this whole environment for users to be able to self-provision their own machines and get them into networks. We have a very large number of different networks, which means that many options of where they can put those VMs; their own environment.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                We used to do everything manually. Up until just a few months ago, we used to have little reviews where, if they wanted a VM, they would come to us, tell us what they wanted, then someone on the team would actually submit the vRA form in an older version of vRA.

                                Now, the end user can go in and request what they want and do all that themselves, as long as they know enough about their application to get what they need. So, if you're just trying to add a couple of VMs or projects, where you know pretty well what you want, you don't have to spend days getting in line to talk about it, or worse, like back in the old days where you had to spend weeks waiting for someone to get it done.

                                What needs improvement?

                                Since I haven't been able to get as far into version 7, I haven't actually gotten into the guts of it, I don't know if this taking place already. But perhaps more blueprints of common tasks that are already there, so you have more of a place to start from. They may be there in 7, I haven't gotten a chance to look. It would need to have a base of, "Oh, I want to connect and build a VM and have these things," something to start from. Especially for people who don't have the teams that we've had working on it, they could get going quicker.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                In the later versions, 6 and 7, it seems very stable. Really, it's nothing within the program itself that ever seems to cause the failures. It's some other component it's reaching out to which tends to have a problem, and that's not vRA at all. It's very good about telling you what's dead. It's usually more that the other application is having a fault and vRA tries to utilize it and gets an error back from the application, which then gets back to vRA.

                                It's not an even an integration problem. It's the application that it's going out to is not working properly. Then, it lets us know that it's not able to, for instance, connect to a Linux VM to the management product and register it. If it gets a failure there, it tells the folks who are managing the vRA. They tell us, and we go in. We check the management server. "Oh, it's not working. Well, let's go ahead and we need to restart it."

                                It's the same story on the other side with it connecting to AD. If for whatever reason, there's a problem with it connecting to AD, they'll go look at it. "Oh, this is the main controller having a problem."

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                It seems to scale up pretty well. If you're talking about how many classes it manages, the older version, the 6.0 series, we actually have it managing all of our clusters across both of our major datacenters; we're talking about being able to build in to dozens of different clusters. So, it's scaled very well.

                                You can do quite a few at once. Usually, it's more the order of what it's getting back from an independent service. Sometimes, they can step on each other if you put too many off at once, but that has to do with the fact it's trying to request a sequence number; you're trying to get two sequences at once. But that's not really as problem with vRA. It's the way that it was setup to retrieve stuff from these other third parties.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                I haven't been the one that's had to call.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                Complex. Part of the reason it's complex is that it's like a blank slate. You have to go out there and make your own environments. It doesn't really do anything for you, so if you've got an idea of what you want to do, you have a path forward. But if you don't, if you're just sitting there looking at the blank screen, it could be daunting for some people.

                                We kind of knew what we wanted and it just took a while to get all those things setup. You have so many different components. Nothing within in our environment was simple, so every management product that we use was probably different than what anyone else would use. So getting all that to work, finding an interface that worked well, that was really why it became complex. It was the complexity of our environment behind it.

                                So it's not necessarily vRA, it's just that if you don't already have something that's out-of-the-box which says, "Oh, we do all these things..." (I'm harkening back to vCloud Director, because vCloud Director was an all-in-one that did everything).

                                What other advice do I have?

                                I think documentation and support are probably the most important things. If you don't care about documentation and support, you can grab a free one and try and build it. If you want someone who is going to be able to answer your questions, someone who's got the documentation already, so when you have a given error, they have it right on their webpage: "This is what this error means. Go do this." VMware's very good about that.

                                Overall, VMware is very good. It's very stable, very extensible, but it does have a relatively high learning curve. So folks that don't have the resources to dedicate to it may not be able to get very far. I do think it's a very good product, but it's very much a build-your-own product. That's good in other ways.

                                I would suggest people think about: "How much of this do you want to figure out yourself?" Because even within that process of building your own, you still have that layer of support. If you're looking at which one to pick, pick the one that's going to be able to provide you with advice. We've had professional services working with us on a lot of it at different points in getting it up and running. That's been a very nice driving force towards getting it to completion.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user730290
                                Product Manager at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
                                Real User
                                Cuts out a lot of waste, unutilized hardware, and improves performance

                                What is most valuable?

                                The most valuable feature is the governance system around deployment of solutions.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                It cuts out a lot of waste, unutilized hardware, and improves performance.

                                What needs improvement?

                                Automation: We want to be able to have a lot more preconfigured solutions. Where a user can go into the marketplace, pick out the preconfigured solution, and deploy that straight out without having a highly-skilled employee specifically for this role.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                It is fairly stable. We've so far not had any major outages with it. If we have any misconfiguration issues, it's pretty quick to use the automated system to find the problem, diagnose it, and fix it, then you back it up.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                It is very scalable, at least for our environment. We have thousands of ESXi infrastructure, and for that, it works well.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                Have not really used it.

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

                                We wanted to scale, and these days, everything is being automated. Therefore, we needed a solution that did not require us to reinvent the wheel or create new automation scripts here and there, but used something already built into the system, which we could use to automate our web flows.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                It was straightforward, but it needed technical expertise in this particular area. For those competent in the field that could help us, we utilized them to set it up.

                                What about the implementation team?

                                An in-house team.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                We looked at VMware. We looked at AWS automation capabilities, but at the end of the day we decided to go with VMware, because VMware was an all-in-one platform that we could use.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                Go for the product, but make sure you have experienced folks on the platform that can help your admins to ramp up and go to market quickly.

                                When selecting a vendor, make sure:

                                • They have continuous support.
                                • The performance of their platform will scale, even if you load up the system to a point.
                                • The system actually will be able to dynamically detect flaws and prompt the admin to go fix the flaw.
                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user730134
                                Project Lead at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
                                Vendor
                                It's self-service for creating your own virtual machine

                                What is most valuable?

                                The most valuable features are:

                                • How it takes what we used to do in the same process as manual steps, and automates them, such as creating servers.
                                • It's self-service for creating your own virtual machine.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                It's shortened down our SLA's for VMs. When vendors request an application for various VM's, we used to take a two week process (approximately) from building a VM, QAing, and building it. Now, it can be done in a matter of two days, at max, thus, shortening the process.

                                What needs improvement?

                                Implementation directly with our SRM product, because we know what the other products are out there that VM is offering, such as Site Recovery Manager (SRM). There are ties which you can customize to put them into that, but it would be nice if it came as an out-of-the-box feature.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                It's very stable. Just like any other project, it does have its quirks and kinks, but like anything else you work through it. You have to customize it to get it used to your environment. There are growing pains.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                We recently went through two or three upgrades, and now we're doing an upgrade for the most recent version. In that regard, it's pretty scalable. The way we can actually manage our virtual machines directly through the interface is somewhat of a gain as well.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                They are very knowledgeable of their product. This all goes back to customizing our kind of needs, because everybody's needs are not a one size fits all. You kind of have to customize it to fit to your environment. They have been helpful with this. Also, when we run into any issues, which have not been many, they've been very helpful with resolving them.

                                We actually have an onsite resident, which helps as well.

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

                                Because the way technology was going, such a physical footprint, people are now going virtual. When we realized that, we started getting a lot more virtual questions as opposed to physical, which is a good thing. We realized we needed to start pumping out these VMs at a much faster rate to meet with our demands. That's what steered us toward this product.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                It was a pretty straightforward implementation, but it was just mostly customizing it. We house somewhere around 3000+ virtual machines in our environment. It's hard to customize for that large of a footprint. We have a team who handles the automation piece, since we have such a large virtual footprint.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

                                • Look at the support they provide, the backing of their product, and so on.
                                • Have a big company name, like VM, where they have stability.
                                • Fitting the your needs - nobody wants a product that they are never gonna use.

                                If you get a lot of virtual machine requests, this is the product to get.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user730281
                                Senior Network Server Analyst at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
                                Vendor
                                An effective Resource Management tool with some performance lag issues

                                What is most valuable?

                                The most valuable features are:

                                • Seeing how the actual servers are responding
                                • CPU times
                                • Memory times.

                                This allows us more scalability in terms of different applications in using specific servers.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                Resource management. That's the biggest thing. We're not scaling solutions too much larger than what they actually should be. We can actually take back a lot of the memory with some of the solutions that we're not necessarily using overall. This kind of management is probably the most beneficial.

                                What needs improvement?

                                There is some performance lag, but that could be on our end.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                Great. I haven't noticed anything.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                I would say great. For different solutions, it allows us to scale.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                I haven't. My company has though. I haven't heard anything negative with it. It's all been positive.

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

                                We were not using something else, but internally we were overscaling a lot of different solutions and we were getting criticism from upper-level management.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                I was not involved.

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

                                Look into it heavily when researching similar products, especially if you're looking in terms of budgetary issues with different servers or how you're gonna scale something. It allows you to have pretty concrete data to show to your management.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                I wasn't a part of the decision-making process. I know VMware was one of the top choices.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                Make sure, and this solution does this, it touches on everything you want to see in a solution in terms of CPU memory. This is such an all-encompassing solution.

                                Someone that's willing to be a good partner with us. Someone who's responsive, and who when they set us up, or when we enter a partnership, they don't just disappear afterward.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user730275
                                Virtualization Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                                Consultant
                                Can scale out deployments, though cumbersome to set up

                                What is most valuable?

                                • Web front-ends
                                • Orchestrator scripting engine

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                We're automating a lot of OS builds. The front-end gives us a way for users to go and request those services and the orchestrator pirate lets us automate a lot of the functions involved in them.

                                It's like a streamline deposit made more available.

                                What needs improvement?

                                I want to see them get rid of the IS component and make it a VMware appliance. There are a lot of requirements for Windows servers, which is not good for our environment. This makes configuration and installation tough.

                                What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                                It's cumbersome to set up. It requires a lot of Window servers, which we don't like and the external load balancer configurations, which we also don't like. But overall it does have an HA solution, so that's better than no HA solution.

                                We got VMware resources to guide us and help us with the deployment.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                It has an HA configuration, which is pretty good. It could be better.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                You can scale out deployment so that's good as well. You can just tack on more Windows servers. That's good for scale out.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                I'd give them a seven out of 10.

                                We get a lot of run around in terms of technical support. Usually, first tech we get can't help us. We end up going down the pipeline to get someone that can.

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

                                We're pretty heavily invested in VMware, so there was no competition.

                                We built an SDDC environment and we needed a way for customers to consume services out of it.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                I was involved in the initial setup. It was a complex product.

                                vRA requires a lot of development work. It's not something you just set up, then it works. You have to tailor it to your environment and develop stuff to do with it. There is a lot of development effort with the product.

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

                                If you are looking at implementing the product, hire a Dev team.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                No, we're using vRA and other VMware products.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                They're the pioneers of virtualization.

                                The vSphere stack and all their other products are integrated with our core stack, which is vSphere. That's really the big reason why we like all their other products.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user730266
                                Senior IT Specialist with 5,001-10,000 employees
                                Vendor
                                Cut our server deployment times down, but have had stability issues with product's older version

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                It's cut our server deployment times down from weeks to an hour.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                Because we're running on the older version, we've actually had a lot of stability issues. We're currently evaluating either upgrading or integrating the new version, but we haven't made the decision yet.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                Because we're on the older version, the scalability is a lot more complex than the newer version. We actually built bigger than we needed when we deployed it. I do know from testing it in our lab that the scalability in the newer version is pretty robust.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                Excellent. They're knowledgeable and you're able to reach the right person.

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

                                No, we were just doing manual builds and manual deployments. Our management said that we needed to do something, so we invested in vRealize Automation.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                I was involved in the initial setup of the older version. It was extremely complex and difficult to get right.

                                In evaluating the newer version, it's super simplistic, and they did a fantastic job of all the changes made to automate the automation pool.

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

                                The corporate government works a little differently. We had put out a set requirements and other vendors come and bid on it, then we pick the vendor who best met our requirements and has the lowest cost.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                No, we were just doing manual builds and deployments. We did not consider any other vendors that I'm aware of.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                Make sure you deploy the latest version.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user730152
                                IT Architect at University of florida
                                Vendor
                                There are a lot less tickets in the self-service customer portal, though upgrades have been an issue

                                What is most valuable?

                                We use it as a self-service customer portal, for all of our present customers. So far, it's going pretty well.

                                There are a lot less tickets, and we get more people onboard much faster.

                                What needs improvement?

                                Between I think 7.0 and 7.1, when we first had it, the IDM Appliance had a lot of issues with SSL. Upgrade has been a issue, we always have to call in and open up the ticket for assistance. It's just not been that good. I think 7.2 to 7.3, which one of our engineers just did, was actually the only time we've actually been able to do an upgrade well.

                                Also, there's a couple of UI things that we'd like to see improved, but we'll put in future requests for those.

                                What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                                It's been better, but it did not start off so well. We've been using it since 6.0, and 6.0 had a lot of issues. Early 7.x versions had a lot of issues as well.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                We're actually not that big, so we do a simple deployment.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                We use them for all our issues, though it took awhile. It seems like we're getting the right people now.

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

                                The CIO asked us to set up self-service for visiting. We looked at a couple other things. We actually bought a different product first and it did not work at all. It was a Abatix. We did that for about a year and a half, but it just didn't work like it was supposed to.

                                Then, we came up with a requirements document for what we're actually trying to achieve for that project. Afterwards, we start evaluating the various metrics.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                It was complicated. 7.0 was a lot easier.

                                We're doing cross-training now, so the guy that actually took over for 7 is cross-training the rest of us, and it's been a lot easier for us.

                                With 6.0, it's just less Windows machines.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                It's a product worth looking at.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user727512
                                Technical Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
                                Consultant
                                Enables deployment of Azure VMs directly, config management, and running of scripts

                                What is most valuable?

                                The self-service portal, as well as the Orchestrator. They are important, because now, especially, I'm getting a lot of public cloud deployment. So the orchestration piece is really handy for day-to-day operations. I'm doing different item consultation management, as well as directly deployed in the public cloud. So those are the two most important features, they are very helpful.

                                Added features have improved it a lot recently in version 7.03, so you can deploy Azure VMs directly and you can do config management, or you can run scripts. It's really better than it used to be.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                Starting from vRA 7, deployment, such as an upgrade. It's so simple, so easy, so interactive. In the past, we had to go through a bunch of operations, but now it's just one click and it can update the vRA client at the back end.

                                What needs improvement?

                                One thing I have seen, although it might just be my personal experience, it's the High Availability. I get a lot of requests and in two different models, the simple model and distributed. With distributed, installation is a pain. I have always gotten into errors when employing a distributed environment, which provides High Availability. So on that, improvements can be made so the process can go more smoothly.

                                Another thing that's not the best, during deployment, is if we have to integrate managing physical servers. Right now, it's limited to a mature VM environment only. Physical would be helpful.

                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                Four to five years.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                No, it is definitely stable.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                It is scalable, I haven't see any problem. I haven't done much, but I know that the distributed model is highly scalable and I have deployed that. In the simple model, something like 10,000 operations simultaneously, which is more than enough for most people.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                I have called multiple times. I have been using this product for a while, in terms of deployment. I have managed some improvements as well. We are a big VMware partner shop, so we have provided feedback in a lot of processes.

                                I would rate them as nine out of 10. I don't want to give a 10 because nothing is perfect, but my experience has been really wonderful where the issues have been raised and have been addressed. I have gotten really good technical staff most of the time.

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

                                We have tried Cisco UCS Director, which is an equivalent product and we had a hard time. They haven't matured at all. They have so many issues: bugs. We do a lot of deployment as VMware partners so we have done some deployments where the customer initially thought of going with UCS Director, then they changed their mind because of ongoing issues. Then, they finally went ahead with vRA.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                vRA setup now is pretty straightforward in a simple deployment. I do most of the functionality, then you just do service mainly. There was one time where I was working and I had to rip out the whole deployment, but I was able to rebuild the whole deployment within a day. That's pretty awesome.

                                It's very simple, in a very time efficient manner. It deploys the whole environment infrastructure.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                UCS Director is the other main product I have used, but it's always vRA that I go to.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                From my experience, people think of a High Available, then they plan to deploy a distributed environment, but I don't see much value. Because if they've got a distributed environment, it gets complex and there are more issues and sometimes people run out of patience. So I advise: Go for a simple environment that does 99% of the workload, then, if needed, you can scale it.

                                Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
                                it_user509208
                                Cloud Solutions Architect at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
                                MSP
                                You can use it at any of the layers of Cloud, like infrastructure or software

                                What is most valuable?

                                Anything which operates "as a service". I have worked in the Cloud industry a long time, so I have a lot of experience with Cloud. I see that there is a lot of flexibility in anything that's a service. You can use it at any of the layers of Cloud, like infrastructure or software.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                I have worked in client-facing roles and at enterprise level. We have used VMware vRA. The best has been, from the infrastructure side, having storage as a service for customers. On top of that we add functionality for monitoring and alerts.

                                What needs improvement?

                                There are a lot of improvements required with regards to vRealize Automation. There are a couple of areas I would like to pinpoint. There are a couple of workflows missing from the storage side, so we can't easily add to my current blueprint.

                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                Almost eight years.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                Yes, in older versions. For example, 5.1. There were a lot of stability issues. Now it seems pretty stable.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                Scaling works quite well. I have vRealize Automation and on the Cloud I have IBM Blue Mix. So I have scaling of my environment and I can scale my storage.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                There is very little documentation with regards to when your single sign-on password changes annually. Then there are a lot of issues with regards to setting up the database and syncing up the single sign-on passwords. At the end of the entire environment there is a network and rebuilding the entire environment is inevitable sometimes. So there needs to be documentation.

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

                                I had used OpenStack but I would not say it is great. There are a lot of pickups of bad information. I would say vRealize Automation is much better.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                I would give the latest version of vRealize Automation a 10 out of 10 because it helped minimize the setup time.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                It requires very limited time to set up an enterprise environment. There is a lot of inter-configuration required to ensure your environment is built properly.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user722256
                                Founder & CEO at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
                                Consultant
                                Provides a common console to manage workloads on private and public cloud infrastructures

                                What is most valuable?

                                Multi-vendor cloud IT infrastructure personalization, resource provisioning and configuration, and it automates application delivery and container management.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                It provide us a common console to manage workloads on our private and public cloud infrastructures.

                                What needs improvement?

                                Better integration with Azure cloud and Google Cloud Platform.

                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                Two years.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                vRA 7.2 onwards is quite a stable product.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                New versions are quite scalable, but when it comes to managing a Telco environment, it has bottleneck.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                A nine out of 10.

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

                                We have been using the older version (VMware vRealize Automation Center).

                                How was the initial setup?

                                It's a quite straightforward setup in comparison with products in the same domain.

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

                                It's worth each penny.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                No, we have been using VMware suite for a long time and we are pretty much comfortable with it.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                Go for it. It's a perfect product of a heterogeneous environment.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user715128
                                Infrastructure Automation and Cloud Specialst at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
                                Vendor
                                Extensibility Allows For Add-ons And Customisation

                                What is most valuable?

                                Probably the extensibility as well as the out-of-the-box features it provides, which allow you to be very creative with things you can add on and customise. The extensibility is the most important part for me.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                The extensibility allows you to take custom or proprietary requirements and make them happen. Where there's a lot of products, it will give you a set number of used cases, and if you have something that's outside of those, then it can be difficult to make that happen, but the vRealize Automation product allows you to just extend beyond what we'd initially expect them to be used for and make your own custom scripts that can be executed as well as the things that come out-of-the-box.

                                What needs improvement?

                                Yes, certainly. The ability to manage the product in code; so infrastructure is code. It certainly has improved in the last version, but it still isn't quite at the level that some of its competition is in. It's not infrastructure is called native, overlooks is getting closer to it, so that's probably the biggest single improvement to suggest.

                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                About two years now.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                Yeah, there are some issues with stability. I suppose with any product, when new versions come out sometimes there are bugs, and depending how wide-spread that is, it can take a varying length of time to clean a patch from a big crash or fault. I give it a seven out of 10 for stability. There are issues, but it's not dreadful. It is certainly better than it was in previous versions.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                No, it's very scalable. It's fairly easy to add the numbers of servers to allow it to scale up. As I've said, we've seen it running hundreds of concurrent deployments with the right design and the right number of devices. Obviously, while supporting the platform, it's very scalable.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                It's probably a difficult question to answer. Depending on the type of relationship you have with them, I've looked at a couple of places. One company had business critical support. They were very quite good at certifying specialists, they were almost always able to at least categorise a problem, if not fix it in the first sort of hour or two. If you don't have that level of support, you often go through a couple of levels of help desk first and that can be quite frustrating and quite difficult. So I think the level of support maybe averages out to a six out of 10, but it could be eight or nine if they got the right.

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

                                Previously, I worked in a team which tried a proprietary tool that did a very similar job, and the main reason for going a product like vRA, is that the development cost of it is handled by another company, so they'll maintain that, and we develop and maintain their own code base instead of paying for support from a larger organization. The idea is when you reach a certain scale, paying someone whose job it is or specialty it is to do this kind of work, they'll have a small team doing it, then having the rest of the people on that team might move on. I suppose to operate it into a prize scale was one of the main reasons for switching.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                The installation has been greatly improved in the latest version. There's now a lesser based installation, which has made it many times easier. It is still something that requires a bit of knowledge and time (if you've never used the product before). It is probably going to take you a week or so to get familiar with the concept and try the installation maybe one or two times before it works for you. Once you've used it a few times, you can probably do an installation in a day or two. So maybe a seven out of 10, for ease of installation.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                No, I've never been involved in the selection of this product, but I've actually joined teams that have already chosen to use it. I know some of the competition. Some of the other products have on from being the VMware vCloud Director. Some of the products are heard suggested via other places, like answerable and telethon.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                Probably the decision to run a private cloud, such as VMware, versus running things in someplace like the public cloud and it being AWS. The main thing is about the scale, and getting sufficient scale, it can be cost effective to run your own private cloud. Best to find the right algorithms, if not setting up the hardware themselves; but you probably do need to reach that multi-million pound scale to make that the right decision. Smaller players are probably better off thinking about comparing costs without a cloud provider, and maybe a less niche product.

                                It's a good product. It's very extensible. It is fairly complex to set-up, and its fairly closely tied to VMware's infrastructure, so there's a lack of portability to public clouds and a lack of ability to manage infrastructure is code natively. Although it can be persuaded to do it, it's not always straightforward. Those are probably the biggest downfalls.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user715146
                                Assigned Client Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                                Consultant
                                Reduced Our Deployment Time But Initial Setup Is Complex.

                                What is most valuable?

                                Multi-machine blueprints.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                Prior to the deployment and utilization of vRealize environment infrastructure, deployments (VMs, IPs, DNS, firewall rules, load balancers) would take up to three months. After utilizing vRA we have reduced this to less than an hour for a complete, production-ready infrastructure deployment.

                                What needs improvement?

                                There are a lot of usability issues which I have. Overall, the product feels bloated and cumbersome. It feels like you are very locked in to what VMware has decided is the "way to do things" and you have to spend a lot of time developing custom code and logic to get around these artificial limitations.

                                Specifically, the blueprint design canvas has had a terrible memory leak error for several versions which makes designing blueprints difficult and time consuming.

                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                One year.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                Nothing specific to the product. Due to the complexity of the deployment, there can be issues with stability because you need to keep track of many moving parts.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                No. The product is very scalable.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                Due to the customizability of the product, support can often be very difficult. However, VMware support is often very helpful and capable.

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

                                No, we did not.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                The initial setup is very complex. You will deploy at least three VMs, a Linux appliance, a Windows IIS server, and a Microsoft SQL server. If you want high availability, you will deploy two of the appliances and IIS servers. The deployment process requires specific versions of .NET and Java, as well as some specific config file edits. After the actual VMs are deployed and ready to go, you will then be required to set up tenants, and all the associated permissions and groups which are required for this. You will need to set up connections to your vCenter servers, and reservations based on these connections. Creating blueprints can be simple or very complex depending on your needs.

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

                                I don't know anything about this.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                I was not part of the evaluation process.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                vRA is very powerful, but you need to know what you're getting into. You really can do almost anything that you want using the product in conjunction with vRealize Orchestrator, but it requires a lot of knowledge and work.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user715152
                                Deployment Lead at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                                MSP
                                Self-Service Portal Helps Our Customers Worldwide To Provision Machines.

                                What is most valuable?

                                We are part of a Cloud team and vRA self-service portal helps our customers worldwide to provision machines and Day 2 operations automatically without logging tickets and wasting time.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                We are part of a Cloud service provider. It has helped our business to grow and scale.

                                What needs improvement?

                                Implementation should not be so complex. Certificate replacement should be easier.

                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                Three years.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                Performance of the service portal seems to be slow at times. Requires a reboot once a month.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                We faced no issues with scalability.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                Technical support is good through Ireland and the US.

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

                                No, we have been using vRA for three years.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                It was complex; the certificate was the worst part.

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

                                As an engineer, I didn’t look at the pricing model.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                No, we are a partner with VMware so that was our choice.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                Read the knowledge base articles from VMware.

                                Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
                                it_user619107
                                Senior System Analyst at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                                Consultant
                                Straightforward Setup And Fast Provisioning.

                                What is most valuable?

                                Fast provisioning and integration with public cloud. Our customers want the VMs to be up and running as early as possible. Also, some of our customers need their workloads to be running on the public clouds like AWS to minimize the cost. Using vRA, we can easily integrate AWS and can provision VMs on them.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                Fast provisioning.

                                What needs improvement?

                                I don’t see configuration management feasibility. I think there should be a configuration management tool on the user dashboard. It can be used to patch/update the servers provisioned through vRA for an inbuilt facility.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                We have seen couple of bugs.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                Not really.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                Customer Service:

                                Good.

                                Technical Support:

                                Good.

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

                                Yes. Poor vendor support and less stability.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                It was straightforward but they still need to improve the IaaS components.

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

                                Compared to other vendors in the market the licensing cost is OK.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                Yes. HPE.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                Go for it.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user716568
                                Private Cloud Lead at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                                MSP
                                Multi-Tenancy Enables Using A Single vRA Portal To Configure Multiple Tenants.

                                What is most valuable?

                                Multi-tenancy is one of the best features for configuring a single portal for multiple departments/customers. Multi-tenancy allows us to use a single vRA portal to configure multiple tenants with their individual URLs. Also, this feature allows us to use shared infrastructure for multiple tenants.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                The front end portal for end users, which communicates with infrastructure endpoints.

                                What needs improvement?

                                The infrastructure part and VM reconfigure need improvement so that the end user can smoothly perform all the tasks which they are directly performing on the endpoints.

                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                Three years.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                No.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                No.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                Excellent.

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

                                No.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                Straightforward.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                This is one of VMware's best products for automation.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user321303
                                Sr. Systems Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
                                Vendor
                                I can build machines quickly and deploy them from a central location to whichever worldwide datacenter we need.

                                What is most valuable?

                                • The automation, that is, being able to automate server deployment, including the option to do it manually if you want.
                                • Being able to collect logs and diagnostic information in one central location.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                I can build machines quickly and deploy them from a central location to whichever worldwide datacenter we need. Also, we can collect system logs from all clusters and hosts, and then we're able to troubleshoot and view logs in one central location. This is a good thing because it saves time.

                                What needs improvement?

                                They just need to keep expanding it adding additional features.

                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                I’ve been using for just a few months, including Log Insight.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                So far so good, it's very stable, rarely any issues.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                It’s definitely scalable, and does a lot that we’re not doing yet, but we’ll eventually be there. We’re capturing logs from all over world, and everything is in one location, so we can scale to meet that need.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                VMware tech support is excellent. It’s one of the best vendor tech support I’ve found.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                It's extremely easy, very straightforward, and has good documentation.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                It simplifies daily chores, so go get it.

                                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
                                Extending vRA with vCO to add custom service designs allowed us to eliminate blueprint sprawl. It lacks the expected seamless integration with vCenter.

                                What is most valuable?

                                When managing vRA and trying to use the keep-it-simple model I found that setting up an access control system where anyone could request access with ease. I really thought that the ability to use AD groups throughout the product made it very easy to set up and grant user access at every level of the product.

                                The ability to extend vRA with vCO to add custom service designs was helpful in our deployment. It allowed us to eliminate blueprint sprawl.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                We were able to reduce the delivery time of requesting a VM from three weeks to under 10 minutes using the vRealize Automation Suite.

                                What needs improvement?

                                The way this product handles logging has a long way to go. VMware addresses this by using agents to gather the logs from various locations and condense them for you.

                                Managing templates and the way they interact with blueprints needs improvement. If you change a template, you have to go change every blueprint that it was assigned to. There needs to be a template clustering or grouping object.

                                It lacks the expected seamless integration with vCenter. Objects like templates, storage clusters, or naming changes were not automatically reconciled by vCAC. This often led to full error logs when the only issue was a lack of syncing between vCenter and vCAC.

                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                I began working with vRealize Automation (vCAC) two years ago, in mid-2014. The first six months of this time was spent designing use cases and configuring the out-of-the-box settings such as reservations, blueprints, templates, resource allocation, entitlements, and chargeback. For approximately the next year, we enhanced the out-of-the-box product using vCO/vRO to automate IPAM integration, DNS, monitoring, storage selection, template management, and tagging.

                                What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                                The system was already deployed when I arrived; it had been accomplished by VMware professional services. However, it was not configured, so that was my challenge: Determining the best way to set up business groups, allocate resources, user access and entitlement, create blueprints, manage templates, create the business catalog, and then add features and functions.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                The product was stable if no changes were being made. Adding a new endpoint, agent, or fabric often led to some sort of related or sometimes unrelated errors. We were usually able to catch these in our integration environment and avoid them in production.

                                The system functioned stable with no real issues. The one problem we encountered was around data collection at remote sites.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                We grew our deployment upwards of five sites and the system functioned as desired.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                Customer Service:

                                Our sales reps have always tried to sell us something such as professional services, then when we finally caved in and said yes, they never delivered the resources. Rating = 6/10.

                                Technical Support:

                                We often solved the problem ourselves before support could answer our question. It seemed like a trial-and-error game with VMware’s support on this product. Try this, oh that didn’t work, try this, still no, let me ask someone, no reply for days, then the guy is off and a new guy comes in, start over. I spoke to the department manager multiple times. Rating = 7/10.

                                What about the implementation team?

                                It was implemented by VMware professional services with an excellent level of expertise.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                Prior to my arriving on the team, they compared this product to OpenStack and KVM.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                VMware’s vRealize Automation is a good product, made for large enterprises. From my experience, vRA requires a highly skilled team to maintain, version upgrades without downtime are not possible, and overall it doesn’t scale fast. Every change requires weeks of planning and testing to see how the product is going to respond.

                                With the release of vRealize Automation 7, there is a deployment wizard that reduces the complexity of setup. Make sure you have very knowledgeable technical staff to operate this product on a daily basis. There are 15 roles that come with the product by default; it’s a lot to learn.

                                The vRealize Suite is a great product for those that want excellent governance and tight controls. Integration with Active Directory groups works flawlessly for both vRA business groups and entitlements.

                                In order to truly take advantage of the power of vRA/vCAC, you need vRealize Orchestrator. It’s a totally separate entity to maintain, patch, upgrade, connect to vCenter Server and of course manage its code.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user713790
                                Senior Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                                MSP
                                One of the valuable features is controlling VM standards. I would like to see more detailed documentation.

                                What is most valuable?

                                One of the valuable features is controlling VM standards and server sprawl while at the same time providing the ability for end users to self-provision VMs. This is enabled by the blueprint and resource reclamation features.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                We no longer need to waste cycles manually building VMs and experience delays associated with service requests attached to those build functions.

                                What needs improvement?

                                More detailed documentation on implementing feature sets and more examples of real world processes would help.

                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                We have used this solution for less than three months.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                We have not encountered any issues with stability yet.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                We have not yet looked into scaling out the solution.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                I have not needed to use technical support yet.

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

                                I did not previously use a different solution. This is the first automation tool that I have used.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                The initial setup was straightforward. However, the more advanced capabilities of the tool are more difficult to understand and implement.

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

                                Be informed and reach out to your VMware sales rep to answer questions.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                Take as much training as you can before trying to deploy and use the product.

                                Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a VMware Partner.
                                it_user674106
                                Sr Systems Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
                                Vendor
                                The ability to quickly setup self-provisioning was a primary drivers for us to use this product. More focus needs to be done on QA.

                                What is most valuable?

                                The ability to quickly setup the self-provisioning of vSphere VMs was one of the primary drivers for us to use this product over others. Additionally, the product has several plugins and an almost limitless potentional for further automation using vRealize Orchestrator. Lastly, its integration with NSX is superb and very much a critical part of our VM provisioning.

                                We are using the following vRealize suite products: Log Insight, Operations, Orchestrator, Business for Cloud, and Automation.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                We have given internal IT developers the ability to self-provision VMs for development and testing. This has been a hit with our staff. I have talked to several of them involved in the POC and it has drastically increased their efficiency since they do not need to wait on IT Ops. Additionally, the publishing of templates, firewall rules, and software installs in the system has increased the communication and transparency between IT development and IT operations.

                                What needs improvement?

                                As with all recent VMware products, more focus needs to be done on QA. I encountered far too many bugs for an enterprise product. Additionally, more native vRA integration for various parts of the VM lifecycle will take some of the onus off the engineer to learn so much about Orchestrator.

                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                I used version 6.2.0 for five months and version 7.0.1 for 11 months.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                We did have stability problems. I encountered several issues with the product after the upgrade from 6.2.0 to 7.0.1. I would highly recommend that anyone looking to move to 7.x from 6.x should do a migration rather than an upgrade. VMware did not do enough QA on the product in order to handle in-place upgrades.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                We did not encounter scaling issues because we had a limited release of the product since it was a POC.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                Technical support from the frontline technicians is very good, but if your problem has to be routed to “engineering” then be prepared to wait for days (sometimes weeks) for resolution.

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

                                We did not have an existing automation product.

                                We already owned vRealize Automation as part of our suite licensing. We did evaluate the Cisco UCS Director product for one month and found it too complex to setup.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                The initial deployment of vRealize Automation was not complex, but it was tedious and error prone. This was the 6.2.0 version and these issues have been fixed in the 7.x versions.

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

                                I would advise heavy VMware shops to look into getting suite licensing and leverage the VMware ELA framework if possible. Additionally, I would highly recommend that NSX is purchased in conjunction with vRealize Automation in order to get the most out of the product.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                We evaluated Cisco UCS Director.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                Do your research ahead of time and try to find others in your area who have already deployed the product. Your VMware rep can usually provide contacts that may be able to provide advice. Additionally, start talking to internal developers at your company and see what pain points they have and how automation can help. This communication will also help when you start publishing catalog items in automation, because a lot of more advanced workflows will require knowledge of Javascript and PowerShell. Lastly, start working with Orchestrator now. It has the steepest learning curve, but it is critical to understand how it works for advanced workflows. Orchestrator is already included with your vCenter licensing.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user667686
                                Technical Lead at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
                                Consultant
                                The orchestration capabilities are valuable.

                                What is most valuable?

                                Orchestration capabilities are the most valuable feature of this solution.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                Provisioning time is reduced from two weeks to 60 minutes.

                                What needs improvement?

                                Better integration with the public cloud and DevOps toolset

                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                I have used this solution for three years.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                We did not encounter any major stability issues.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                There were no scalability issues.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                The technical support is very good; they have come a long way in supporting vRA. Now, issues are being resolved in hours.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                The installation for vRA…

                                What is most valuable?

                                Orchestration capabilities are the most valuable feature of this solution.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                Provisioning time is reduced from two weeks to 60 minutes.

                                What needs improvement?

                                • Better integration with the public cloud and DevOps toolset

                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                I have used this solution for three years.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                We did not encounter any major stability issues.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                There were no scalability issues.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                The technical support is very good; they have come a long way in supporting vRA. Now, issues are being resolved in hours.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                The installation for vRA 6.x was complex, but for vRA 7.x was simple.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                There are so many features that this product has, so evaluate all of them.

                                From day 1 that it went into production, we started seeing its benefits.

                                We are using the vRealize Orchestrator heavily.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user661293
                                Lead Technical Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
                                Consultant
                                The Event Broker Subscription is one of the most valuable features. Communication between the Linux appliance and the Windows IaaS components should be faster and smoother.

                                What is most valuable?

                                The most valuable features are the EBS (Event Broker Subscription) and NSX integration with BP designer.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                Multiple BPs can be deployed with EBS and PG (Property Group) in a lot less time.

                                What needs improvement?

                                IaaS components: I have an assumption that all the IaaS components will be migrated to a Linux appliance, then I think the communication between the Linux appliance and the IaaS components will happen faster and smoother.

                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                We have used this version for almost 1.5 years. We previously used version 7.0.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                Sometimes, we encountered stability issues, but they were negligible.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                Sometimes, we encountered scalability issues but they were negligible.

                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                Customer Service:

                                Very Good.

                                Technical Support:

                                Technical support was good.

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

                                This is the first product we used.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                Installation was straightforward and simple .

                                What was our ROI?

                                It’s very helpful for us to have this product. We already gained the benefits after installation and configuration.

                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                We did not look at alternatives; this is the ultimate product.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                Use it for automation in order to achieve Agility, Efficiency and Control over the IT Service Delivery..

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                it_user660039
                                Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                                Consultant
                                We can automate the infrastructure services. It can be used for IaaS and PaaS.

                                What is most valuable?

                                Integrating this tool with other technologies/third-party tools, that are not part of the VMware family, is the most valuable feature of this solution.

                                If we have a product that allows us to communicate with different products that are not part of its family and make things happen in their application, it is a wonderful thing.

                                It resembles the benefits of cloud computing and is achieving more things by using only one product.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                We can automate the infrastructure services, which in turn reduces manual work, saves time, and eventually leads to more productivity.

                                It can be used effectively for IaaS and PaaS. Thus, there is only one type of software to be managed by various departments/teams in the organization.

                                What needs improvement?

                                vRA is a very good product, that supports different vendors connecting to it. Currently, it feels like a complete product and I don’t have any areas that need to be improved.

                                It automatically becomes large, when we need to connect different vendors to it.

                                It can be made larger, so that the organizations can also use it for physical infrastructure.

                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                I have used this solution for a year.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                We did encounter some stability issues. I found the GUI that we use in vRA to be unstable sometimes. For example, there was no proper update of the tasks that were provided. Sometimes it took a little longer to provide new updates.

                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                I have not approached technical support yet.

                                How was the initial setup?

                                It was easy to set up this product.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                As soon as I started using this tool, I started seeing results immediately. This product is flexible and easy to implement. Its multi-tenancy support makes it more effective for use with different customers.

                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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