What do you like most about VMware vRealize Automation (vRA)?
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vRA helps automate deployment for developers. We do a lot of orchestration or customization within our environment so it will suit each of our customers. So, we have different business units who have their own templates.
Having an enterprise service catalog and being able to automate various parts of our infrastructure are among the most important components.
A lot of its DevOps for infrastructure capabilities improve reliability. Much effort was put in by some customers, like a large automobile manufacturer, a large telecom, and two large banks, to achieve a certain level of capabilities in this space. These DevOps for infrastructure capabilities have saved time for developers. In one use case for a large marketplace, a typical release cycle took about 80 hours and was brought down to three hours by automating deployment for developers. The quicker that deployments happen, the faster that they can do their product release cycles.
vRA has enabled us to derive value from the cloud faster. It is five to six times faster than traditional solutions.
We provided the ability to request virtual machines to our end users. Before, this was a very manual process, which took engineers to do. Now, it's an automated process.
The DevOps for infrastructure capabilities has saved time for our developers by automating processes and reducing provisioning time. Task time has been reduced by 40 percent.
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 haven't hit any limits yet, scalability is good.
The setup was straightforward. We upgraded to a newer version seamlessly. It worked really well.
The solution is user-friendly and intuitive.
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.
It has integration with the rest of VMware solutions.
It is mostly for our tech support to test new versions, find bugs, and troubleshoot what is happening at customer sites.
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 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
It is possible to completely automatize the creation and removal of a virtual machine.
The solution is intuitive and user-friendly. E.g., you have less number of logins.
I used the technical support during upgrades. They came onsite and are very technical. They are very good
It is very stable, especially for high availability features.
Scalability is perfect. We haven't had any issues.
The initial setup was straightforward. It's easy to deploy.
The automation part is valuable, especially where vRA integrates with vRO, because it reduces the amount of effort we have to make.
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.
It's much more stable than the highest available variant.
It provides visibility into the VM space.
Our users can order VMs using the API.
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.
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 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.
In terms of scalability, vRA has connections to a lot of different systems. It's very flexible and an impressive product.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
We are able to provide self-service to all of our IT/development teams to expand and decrease their environments at will.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The most valuable feature is the way that it plugs into our monitoring systems, and Infoblox and Puppet.
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.
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.
The automation of the redundant tasks and the implementation of ServiceNow are huge for us...
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.
Upgrades have been extremely simple with their Lifecycle Manager product.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you do a deployment for a proof of concept, it is simple.
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.
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.
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.
The repetitive tasks which took provisioning storage, network, and compute two to three weeks, now takes five minutes.
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.
The blueprint functionality of the product is intuitive and user-friendly. The concept of the blueprints is visual and easy to use.
The most valuable features are that it's multi-tenant and the ability for scale.
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.
Which is better and why?