Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with BMC TrueSight Server Automation.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
We would like to see this solution handle more multitasking. We would like to schedule it for a number of servers, for example, one-hundred servers, and duplicate that task. This solution would benefit from having additional features.
I would like to see more container integration in the next release of this solution. Networking needs to be improved.
The number of APIs available within the tool needs improvement. At the moment, we have a couple of different scanning tools used within the organization, but only one of those is integrated back into Server Automation. There is another tool that they use in another part of the business where it doesn't have an out-of-the-box adaptor for it. We would have to go and create or develop something bespoke to be able to integrate it with that scanning tool. Whereas, with the other scanning tool, there was an API available. To make it easier, I would like to have more APIs available for different scanning tools within that line of business.
Jobs were supposed to run automatically and, if there was a failure, it was supposed to fix it. But that was not happening. When we added 20 servers to one job, and one server failed, the job was showing as completely failed. The next job was supposed to integrate with some applications. For example, there was a BIG-IP load-balancer. If we wanted to run it as a BMC job, first it was supposed to take out from the load-balancer and then the job was supposed to run. If there were particular services there, like SQL services, they were supposed to be stopped and then the job was supposed to re-start triggering. But that was not happening. The dashboard has many features but we couldn't use it because, somewhere, the communication was lost. When we tried to open it, it would not open. We mostly operated the solution manually. We did not have a lot of resources for this particular project so we were unable to put in a call to BMC to try to get this fixed. When trying to get accounts for BMC BladeLogic we were asked to raise a ticket. But we should first be asked if we've had some minimal training on the BMC BladeLogic. Only then should they go ahead and provide accounts. Without any knowledge of the product, we used the KB articles to start working. As a result, we definitely did not have full knowledge of BMC BladeLogic. We ended up asking simple and silly questions, which is not good. They need to provide a minimum of knowledge with training on YouTube or somewhere else. Currently, there is no video training available on YouTube. And outside of their organization, there are also there no training centers. Another area for improvement is group scheduling if I'm trying to do all the servers. For example, if I want to do all the 2012 Servers - since the patches are the same for all of them - I can't do so. Maybe that feature exists but I'm unaware of it. That kind of filtering would be helpful. I would also like to see scripting integrated with BMC and integration with PowerShell as well. But if we are trying to invoke a simple command to stop services, it would be good to have that. Currently, we need to depend on PowerShell only. If we're trying to do some of the servers, the first thing we need is for the services to be stopped, before going to the patching. We need to write a script for that and add it to the BMC tool and then we can start triggering the jobs. Otherwise, we will be in trouble when a service is running and the server is being patched. Something like radio buttons to stop the services would be good. There is no option to see all the servers we patch and we cannot find what the server status is. Of course, we can what has been completed and what is pending and which servers have failed, but we cannot find server status from the BMC tool. For example, is the RDP up or not. We are using separate scripts for that. We are doing that 150 or 200 servers at a time. If some of the servers fail, we don't know exactly. It shows, out of 200 servers, that ten or 15 servers have a "failed" status. So we need to log in to the servers, if we don't know scripting. That's why we are using the scripting, to know what the RDP status. We check manually or we use the scripting to find the status on them. In addition, we are always getting complaints from the security team. They say, "You guys did patching on these servers, but there are still some packages are missing." If BMC is not integrated with the security tools, we will definitely continue getting complaints like that. BladeLogic needs to be integrated with security tools, like Nexpose and Cisco. Then we can see which servers are patched successfully and there will be no complaints from security.
I would like to see a better methodology for handling REST calls and integration into the APIs. They add new APIs as they add functions, but they've missed some from older components which they still haven't added in. Some of the APIs are there but the CLI calls are not there. I do a lot of development work. We do a lot of very deep, customized work. So that makes it a little harder. I would also like to see more integration with other vendors, like automation out of Splunk or working with a vendor like Datadog for monitoring. I would like to be able to easily integrate with their tool to be able to initiate automation from monitoring events found with other vendors. I've found that although the tool is very powerful, and you can build all kinds of integrations yourself, there's a lot of upfront configuration to get them working with these vendors for which they've not built integrations. So although it's possible, it's a little more complicated than it should be. They should have these frameworks already built out to make it easier.
Are there any significant advantages in addition to using IaC tools for automation? What tools are the top leaders in this category?