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Buyer's Guide
Workload Automation
June 2022
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Subject Matter Expert at a consumer goods company with 10,001+ employees
Integrator
Top 20
Workflow dependencies work well, and automated audit reporting helps out sort out issues quickly
Pros and Cons
  • "Workload Archiving is a very good feature for us. It helps with our customer requirements in terms of reporting and auditing... Previously, when we didn't have any archive server, we managed the data in Control-M with man-made scripts, and we would pull the data for the last 365 days, or three or four months back. Since we installed the archiving, we have been able to pull the data, anytime and anywhere, with just one click."
  • "With the current version update, I'm not sure why we needed a separate database upgrade. Why not put it all in one package? Previously, you could do it either via a manual upgrade or an in-place upgrade but it wasn't separate."

What is our primary use case?

I am working with a beauty products company and we are dealing with supply chain issues. Most of the jobs in Control-M are through SAP.

Right now we have it deployed on-prem, but we are planning to move to the cloud very soon. We are using Control-M Workload Archiving, Control-M Enterprise Manager, Control-M servers, agents, APIs, REST APIs, and Control-M Forecast. We use all the services Control-M provides except Control-M Workload Change Manager.

How has it helped my organization?

Since moving to Control-M we have seen a lot of reductions in the manpower needed. For notification, ticketing, and integration, we have different teams. We have Azure teams and some Windows teams. Previously, they were using and managing their own scripts and manually running them. After the migration to Control-M, there were no limitations. Where there are different protocols we can use the APIs and integrate things with Control-M. There are no worries about integrations with Control-M. In UC4 there were lots of limitations because we needed the same protocols to integrate things. With Control-M, there are no such limitations.

In our current environment, there are three sets of applications. The first, an online application, is dependent on some 45 files that have to be generated on Saturday. Our middleware job is supposed to run once all the 45 files have been generated by SAP jobs. There are sequences running through Control-M: First are the SAP jobs that generate the files in a certain location. Once those files are there, the sequence initiates the middleware that moves the files to the proper IT server. All these process flow dependencies go through Control-M very easily.

We have also automated daily audit reports through the solution's reporting facility. Through scripting, we get an alert when anything happens in the Control-M environment. An issue might occur with the agent, the process, or the Control-M server. We have everything reported via email. We can easily see what happened on a given day and sort out any issues.

As a result of using Control-M we have also seen an improvement in Service Level Operations performance. We have some monitoring tools in Control-M and our service SLAs have definitely improved. We have a ticketing system integrated with it and we can easily monitor the SLAs for tickets generated through Control-M. If the person responsible for a ticket will not handle it in the right amount of time, the ticket will pop up with a message saying it's in danger of breaching the SLA. Our service levels are much higher with Control-M, when compared to other tools.

What is most valuable?

Control-M Workload Archiving is a very good feature for us. It helps with our customer requirements in terms of reporting and auditing. We have internal audits every quarter, and every six months we have external audits. During these audits, the auditors get historical data through Control-M. Previously, when we didn't have any archive server, we managed the data in Control-M with man-made scripts, and we would pull the data for the last 365 days, or three or four months back. Since we installed the archiving, we have been able to pull the data, anytime and anywhere, with just one click.

Control-M gives us a unified view where we can easily define, orchestrate, and monitor all our application workflows and data pipelines. We are mostly using SAP and other business warehouse jobs, and we can easily see the systems through Control-M. It gives us a very good view of geographical data. If I go through the Web Services to show things to my customers, they are very satisfied with the Control-M views. They can check historical data and they can see the current view. They can easily pull these up. We are satisfied with the fact that, with one click, we can see all the applications within one view.

Our line-of-business personnel use Control-M’s web interface to support their business initiatives. One of our big applications is our JG application, where a user needs a data pipeline and Power BI jobs with refreshed data. Instead of the user having to send a request to our Control-M team, they can use the Web Services directly to check their data. If they're using an iPad or a desktop, they can easily check on it themselves. They're not dependent on the Control-M team directly. We educate users on how to check things and how to pull the reports. It is very easy to use. Also, we don't have 24/7 support within our company. Suppose a user needs something at midnight. They don't have to wait for the Control-M admin team to give them the report. They can directly pull the details.

What needs improvement?

With the current version update, I'm not sure why we needed a separate database upgrade. Why not put it all in one package? Previously, you could do it either via a manual upgrade or an in-place upgrade but it wasn't separate. But for the current version, we needed to upgrade the database separately. It meant doubling our tasks to do the upgrade. That is something that needs to be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Control-M for the last 17 years. My specialization is in Control-M and I'm very happy and very comfortable with it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I would rate its stability highly, compared to other tools in the market right now, such as UC4, and AutoSys. In the past, I have worked with many banks. All these financial companies are using Control-M, and there is a reason: It's due to the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I would give the scalability a nine out of 10.

In our environment right now, out of 20,000 jobs in Control-M, 15,000 are SAP. We are planning to expand our usage of Control-M to Power BI, Business Warehouse, PeopleSoft, and Azure. Those are in our pipeline right now.

We have about 25,000 users of Control-M on different projects, in the U.S., Japan, India, and Asia Pacific. Some are monitoring programs through Control-M, some are only doing scheduling. Some are responsible for designing, others for the implementation before the licensing. And once this transition team is done, the operations team comes into the picture for monitoring. We have a separate team for integration, as well.

The number of people we require for day-to-day administration of Control-M depends on the job size and the user requirements. We work in an offshore and onsite model. We have a key administrator over the 20,000 jobs, seven schedulers, and nine people on the monitoring team, and that work is done 24/7. The schedulers and admin work 24/5.

How are customer service and technical support?

In a case where we fail to understand an issue by collecting data on our own through our audit reports, we open a case with BMC. BMC always gives us a fast resolution. Their support is very good.

How was the initial setup?

The setup of the current version of Control-M, overall, is very easy. The upgrade is in-place. With one click the agent upgrades, the server upgrades. The only point, as I mentioned, with upgrading, is that we needed a separate database update. When we upgrade our Control-M server, the database server should be upgraded at the same time.

The initial implementation in my current environment was in 2006. When we took over we just upgraded it. After that, we implemented two more Control-M Servers in this environment, as a PoC.

The amount of time required to implement it depends on the environment we are working with. In this environment, we have two production servers, four QA servers, and two testing servers. We have eight Control-M servers, three Control-M Enterprise Manager servers, and more than 400 agents. It depends on the change process. In our change process, we first need to upgrade our QA and test environments. Once that is done, we can go for the production environment the next day. After that, over the next seven days, we update our Control-M agents. Some of the upgrades require downtime. In four to five hours, we could easily update everything, but it's dependent on the downtime and the customer requirements.

When we upgraded to version 20, first we implemented it in our QA environment and we tested the new version in our test environment for three to four months. Once we see there are no bugs, we implement it in our production environment. We've seen a lot of bugs and BMC has had to produce some patches that we have had to apply in our environment. That is why we approach it the way we do in a QA environment, and wait for three months, and then go to production.

When we moved to Control-M, we used the Control-M Conversion Tool. It's a very important tool. It gives us an idea of where we stand. If I'm going to move an old environment to a new environment, it helps us with any errors so that we can rectify them.

What about the implementation team?

Back in 2016, when I was working with version 7, I opened a case with BMC and they helped me to upgrade everything. It was a very good experience. They dedicated a resource to us. We gave them our implementation plan, they reviewed it, and they suggested how to remediate some missing steps. We followed their approach and, at the time of cut-over, they assigned a dedicated resource. If there was an issue, we could open a ticket and they would come online and sort it out. The BMC Assisted MIGration Offering (AMIGO) is a very good program.

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

You must accept that BMC licensing can be very confusing. No one can easily understand how they calculate things, whether it is user-based, job-based, or server-based. The calculation is quite tough. How BMC calculates licensing is not easily available anywhere. It's a very tough part for the client at times.

But BMC is a market leader, so users don't easily go for different vendors. If there's an option to go with Control-M, they will always choose BMC. But for people who find the licensing challenging, they will go with a different vendor.

For us, the licensing part is managed by a team in the U.S. But what I deal with is that we have to manage our Control-M jobs to a maximum of 30,000, because we have 30,000 licenses. We have 20,000 with fraud detection and 10,000 in non-fraud. There is a BMC utility that can guide you and alert you if the forecast is for an increase beyond the licensing. It will notify us: "Hey, you have a license for 20,000 and the Control-M forecast shows you might need to increase that number in the coming days." So we do some cleanup, some internal housekeeping to remove things and remain under the threshold. Those are some of the things we do as administrators. We try to manage under whatever licensing we have. Through the BMC reporting tool, we can see our peak number of users in a month. BMC charges if you go over a certain peak.

Control-M is very robust. There is no harm to the customer if you choose Control-M every time. But when it comes to licensing, it's very expensive, and sometimes users think twice.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Previously we were using UC4 for more than 20,000 jobs. But our customers were not very comfortable with the user interface in UC4. Certain things were not appropriate in that tool. Since our decision to migrate to Control-M, our customers have been very satisfied.

Integration is very easy. When I'm thinking about integrating Control-M with anything I'm not worried about it. I know Control-M will definitely have a way to integrate easily. I have used UC4, AutoSys, and Dollar Universe. But when the requirements include integration, I always think of Control-M, because I know the integration will be very easy. I will never go for any of those other tools.

What other advice do I have?

Control-M is very critical for anyone who is using it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: PeerSpot 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. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Tony Rice - PeerSpot reviewer
Head of Global Middleware Platforms at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Great visibility with a single pane of glass and a low learning curve
Pros and Cons
  • "We use the solution for cross-platform, cross-application workloads. That's the biggest use for us and that's the biggest advantage."
  • "The GUI, the graphical user interface, gets a little bit busy."

What is our primary use case?

Our largest use cases are for the execution of SAP and JD Edwards jobs. Then, there are a lot of other technologies, however, in terms of the Pareto principle, really that's the bulk of our processing. SAP is what we use for our manufacturing and operational type stuff with the actual products. JD Edwards is a lot more of financial reporting and projections and things like that.

We use the solution to run SAP and JD Edwards. Windows and Unix hosts are probably the second most common use case, as well as web services. Any REST API would apply - and we use a lot of REST API technology. Protocol, really.

How has it helped my organization?

Primarily the biggest thing is giving visibility to what, in a lot of places I've worked in, are transparent, like invisible processes. You have this massive batch and, unless you have someone watching that and you have a place to have a single point of truth and say this is successful or not, it makes it very hard to trace things. With Tidal, you can say, "Hey, this is the objective notifications," and all the ones you explicitly want are checkboxes. It's easy to add those things in.

What is most valuable?

Having a single pane of glass, regardless of which technology we're talking about has been great. A lot of time, I'm in middleware, so what will happen is people will want to say, "Oh, it's this part or that part or the other part." You can see all of them side by side in Tidal.

It talks both to web stuff, which is helpful. Everything you want to talk to is there. If you have stuff that's still more 20th century and you want to run it at a command line, you have that available to you as well.

We use the solution for cross-platform, cross-application workloads. That's the biggest use for us and that's the biggest advantage.

Our impression of the solution's ability to manage and monitor workloads has been good. It does what it's prescribed to do.

The solution enables admins and users to see the information relevant to them. One of the other features that we use a lot is really a part of web services. We talk to ServiceNow. We have specific metrics to go with failures for major incidents and things like that.

The solution’s drill-down functionality so that admins can investigate data or processes has been super useful. It allows you to instrument for teams at their skill level. As an admin, I can say, I don't let you see these certain elements as you don't use the other ones and that simplifies how those technologies work. You don't have to have everyone see everything. That part's really helpful.

The solution has increased capacity in terms of the number of jobs and integrations. For example, in one of the things that we run, we actually had to expand how big the queue was as they wanted to run 300 parallel jobs. Historically, we hadn't run three parallel jobs for the whole company. So the scaling of that was just 15 minutes. Then, boom, everything was ready to go. It scaled pretty easily for us.

The teams that are smart about the Tidal usage, that basically will get it to the point of human intervention, save a lot of hours, especially when it comes to log gathering. That kind of stuff now is automatic for them. That saves a lot of hours.

What needs improvement?

Honestly, the biggest problem we have with it is people's interpretation of the results. It gives you really good information and people sometimes are just not really good at working with that information.

The GUI, the graphical user interface, gets a little bit busy. You have these flyouts that sometimes are a little tedious to get through. They need to look at just ways to simplify the graphical user interface a little bit. That would be good.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution since 2009. That's 13 or 14 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good. Almost every time where we've had an outage, it had not been due to the software, rather, it was some element of our infrastructure failing. The most common failure for us is we lose connectivity between the database and the application. There's not an app alive that's not going to have some problems when you can't connect like that.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We split users primarily into four roles. The viewers can't do anything other than see what's happened. There are also operators, which are people that can rerun jobs, yet can't modify anything. They're a little bit ahead of a viewer. Then you go into being a developer, which can write jobs in non-production. Finally, my admin team uses it. They keep it all running. The fattest part of the bell curve, the biggest user there is, is the developers. Overall, we're between 1200 and 1500 users. The admin team is six people, and the developers are about 800 of them.

We're worldwide. Unless we get some off-world friends to introduce themselves, I don't have a lot more room for expansion. What we're seeing now is people wanting to stand up more masters for more autonomy. I see us expanding into China, which is going to be a pretty nifty little trick since there are a lot of restrictions on communications there. That's about the only expansion I see for us. Obviously, there is increased job usage. However, in terms of expanding the footprint of the platform, that's only in geographic regions.

How are customer service and support?

Technical support is better than average. It's not stellar yet. They're still working out some kinks. They've got it a lot smoother. I've had predominantly good experiences, just not perfect ones.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We used AutoSys before. I'm familiar with that tool as well. The big factor in switching was the license model being just a lot more predictable. Then, as a result of that, it was for the number of features that Tidal had. It was significantly more powerful at a lower cost. It wasn't just the cheapest. They were pretty close in cost when we got it all down to it. It was still less expensive, however, also had the more advanced features, in particular REST API, which was super duper expensive with AutoSys. It was a license model that made it very hard to predict the growing cost, versus Tidal. With Tidal, at least in the model that we had, it was very, very stable. We just renewed for another couple of years recently.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. You essentially need two servers and a database. At its heart, it is pretty simple to set up.

The deployment took three weeks. We deployed in three separate geographic regions. We just did one per week and then gave people time to get comfortable with new steps. We just did it in sequence. We installed, for example, for Japan, then for the United States, and then for Europe.

Learning it is pretty easy. It is a narrow learning curve for operators, for people that are just going to run and monitor. It's a little steeper of a learning curve for an admin to instrument new user groups.

Depending on how fast they read, new users can get up to speed in between one and two hours. We have a one-hour interactive training platform called EdCast. They do a one-hour EdCast that says how it works and then there are two other documents they read that specify and call out how their specific technologies work.

What about the implementation team?

We did use a third party for deployment assistance. Our experience was very good. They are very knowledgeable about the product. They were a good partner. They helped us sort out the boundaries between when there's an error and when you've misconfigured it, and it's just telling you about it. They were very good in that regard.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI in the sense that it's primarily about our ability to stay flat in cost while constantly increasing our volume. That's the biggest ROI that I see.

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

For me, the key aspect was the linear predictability of costs. I know what handles I have to do, what things cost what. When we renewed having a regular cycle of renewal and re-evaluation kept us on track. For the years that we've been using it, we've had an increase in growth, yet we haven't had exponential increases in cost, which is really good.

Just say from 2009, when we started with it, up to now, we've gone from 5,000 jobs to fivefold. We're at 25,000, 30,000 jobs. However, it wasn't like my costs went up fivefold or tenfold. That was really good for us. That was really important.

The total cost of ownership, given its capacity for jobs and our ability to control infrastructure costs, have been very good. Having stood it up in AWS and having a group that's very active and having those sizings be very easy, what I'm finding is that the hardware requirements and thus the cost stays pretty low for the amount of stuff we're doing, and Tidal seems to respond well to our ability at the AWS layer to change that hardware without really having too many problems.

What other advice do I have?

We are a customer and end-user.

I don’t know if the solution helped reduce or eliminate weekend or overtime hours as that doesn’t really apply to me. We're 24/7. There's no such thing as a weekend for us.

I'd advise new users to not underestimate the way that people will want to blame a tool for something they don't understand. Tidal will display errors from other systems and you need to be prepared for separating a Tidal error from Tidal reporting an error. That's the biggest learning point that you want to have in your head at the beginning.

It's a good idea to define the lanes of responsibility. That's been almost the entirety of my career, maintaining the lanes of responsibility through Tidal, as it's cross-platform, it's cross-technology, it's cross-team. You really have to be able to sort out the difference between a psychology versus a technology problem. It's the way someone feels about what's on their screen. It's been very helpful for that, however, it's probably a similar problem for anything like this. Tidal just makes it so easy to see those things yet oftentimes it gets blamed for stuff.

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: PeerSpot 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.
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Application Developer Senior Analyst at a tech vendor with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It's a stable solution for scheduling finance-related tasks
Pros and Cons
  • "Automic is 99 percent stable. We've never had a problem with stability."
  • "The web-based edition is missing a lot of the most important features available in Automic, we have absence. For example, when I'm scheduling a job, there is normally a flag that you can toggle to activate and deactivate the task, but that doesn't work properly in the web version. It's missing a lot of the calendar and scheduling features."

What is our primary use case?

We used Automic for a multinational pharmaceutical client.

What is most valuable?

In the latest version, we can access the solution through a web browser as well. 

What needs improvement?

The web-based edition is missing a lot of the most important features available in Automic, we have absence. For example, when I'm scheduling a job, there is normally a flag that you can toggle to activate and deactivate the task, but that doesn't work properly in the web version. It's missing a lot of the calendar and scheduling features. 

My organization used the tool for almost 10 years, but we were dissatisfied when we upgraded to web-based edition because it doesn't provide all the options. It's challenging to create a new job or edit and reconfigure an existing. The web version has to be improved on various levels. 

Previously, we were using Solaris with Automic, but now I think it's Unix and Windows. I don't know what version you are going to provide for the cloud. The cloud always supports Unix and Windows, so it means the tool is cloud compatible.

In the web version, everything is moving from the on-premise server to the cloud. So in this scenario, the Automic tool has to be more cloud-oriented. We are not sure how it will work in the cloud. Since 2011 or 2012, we have been using Automic on-prem only. It would be nice to have more documentation about using the cloud version of Automic. The tool could be more user-friendly as well. Most people consider Automic to be a difficult tool to understand and use.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Automic for six years, but we just switched to another tool called AutoSys six months ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Automic is 99 percent stable. We've never had a problem with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability could be improved because we have three kinds of tools on our hardware itself, and we don't know whether Automic will accommodate the other two jobs as well. We have 200 direct users and probably 1,000 who benefit from the tool indirectly.

How are customer service and support?

It depends on the terms of the support contract, but sometimes it will take two or three days to fix an issue. The impact is high because this type of job scheduling solution is used mostly for finance. For example, let's say there are 3,000 jobs scheduled, and four jobs fail. That could mean millions of dollars lost.

It should be fine If they provide support within eight to 16 hours, but they typically take three days to get a response. That won't work because on the impact side. On the other hand, it's highly stable, so we are generally okay, but we still face some bugs every six months or so. When that happens, we expect a speedy response.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward, but it gets complex when you start using it. It will only be complex if you're a new user. The total deployment time for the original and web version was about three months. That includes installation and testing. During the testing, we found missing features, so it took three months to set the solution up, configure it correctly, and test it. 

The personnel needed to manage and maintain the solution depends on staffing and scheduling. For example, If you are providing 24-hour support 365 days a year, you need six at the most. We need one person per shift, and we have three eight-hour shifts. Including backups, that's three to six people. 

What was our ROI?

I don't have any numbers about the return handy. We didn't renew the license, and we've already onboarded the other solution and started using it. It's costly and our companies are cutting costs. They consider this an extra cost, so we didn't renew for this year.

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

The license for Automic is around $7,000 per year, which is somewhat costly, but it includes enterprise support. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate Automic Workload Automation eight out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Assistant Vice President at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Stable, connects with everything, and has great technical support
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution can scale."
  • "The new version is going to have more web services where you could string together various web services so that you can create a workflow across multiple web services, which I don't think is there today."

What is our primary use case?

We use it pretty much for all of our scheduling needs across many of our business development groups.

What is most valuable?

Its ability just to connect to anything is its most valuable aspect. You can install it on any type of server, and you can run it and you're on a single point where you can interact with all of the enterprise systems.

The stability is good.

The solution can scale.

Technical support has been excellent.

What needs improvement?

The new version is going to have more web services where you could string together various web services so that you can create a workflow across multiple web services, which I don't think is there today. It's not easy to do today. You have to use other tools to accomplish things. However, if the functionality exists, we haven't tested that out yet.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for ten years at this point. It's been a decade or so. I've used it for a while.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is pretty good. Occasionally we run out of space. Mainly, its developer does something and it goes into a loop and causes problems. However, we have monitoring tools in place to watch for that. It's only occasionally that we hit limitations with it. However, it's nothing that we aren't able to work around or get a good response from Broadcom on.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very scalable. We have it set up so we have agent servers. This product's installed on 20 or 40 servers right now. We could just add more if we wanted to. It's just the licensing fee. You pay per license per server, so you could put it on any number of them - which makes it very scalable.

We have 150 developers who are on it currently.

How are customer service and technical support?

There was a time where we had issues with technical support, however, as of late, they've been very responsive. We don't have any issues anymore. We're satisfied with their most recent level of service.

How was the initial setup?

We've had this solution for years now, and I wasn't a part of the original group that set it up. Therefore, I can't speak to how easy or difficult it is to implement.

We have a team of five or six people who can handle the maintenance aspect. We also have a couple of contractors.

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

My manager deals with procurement. Therefore, I don't really have visibility on the exact pricing. I'm not sure if it's comparable to other options on the market.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did evaluate other solutions, however, we looked ten or so years ago. It's been a long time. We may have looked at AutoSys and Control-M.

What other advice do I have?

We're just customers and end-users. 

We're on version 12.2, however, we're upgrading to 12.3. We did migrate it to the cloud, however, it still automates some of our on-prem servers. 

I would advise potential new users to just test it and try to find its stress points relative to your organization.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
Workload Automation
June 2022
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