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BMC TrueSight Server Automation OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Buyer's Guide

Download the Configuration Management Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: July 2022

What is BMC TrueSight Server Automation?

BladeLogic Server Automation allows you to quickly and securely provision, configure, patch, and maintain physical, virtual, and cloud servers. 

·         Threat remediation: Combine with BMC SecOps Response Service to link vulnerabilities to identified patches and create a remediation plan

·         Compliance: Integrates role-based access control, pre-configured policies for CIS, DISA, HIPAA, PCI, SOX, NIST, and SCAP, documentation, and remediation

·         Provisioning: Supports unattended installs and image-based, script-based, or template-based provisioning

·         Configuration: Consistently manage change and configuration activities across a broad range of server environments with one tool

·         Reporting: Assess change impact or complete an audit using multiple dashboard views

·         Patching: Supports and follows maintenance window guidelines to ensure timely delivery of patches

BMC TrueSight Server Automation was previously known as TrueSight Server Automation, BladeLogic Server Automation, BladeLogic Automation Suite.

BMC TrueSight Server Automation Customers

State of Michigan, Fujitsu FSAS, Transamerica Life Insurance Company, SAP

BMC TrueSight Server Automation Video

Archived BMC TrueSight Server Automation Reviews (more than two years old)

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Tech Lead at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Saves time over manual patching but needs better integration with security products
Pros and Cons
  • "With BMC, we even configured applications, like IE or things that were Java-related. When we scheduled the jobs, it worked fine. It saved us time and there was no need for resources to monitor them."
  • "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."
  • "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... They need to provide a minimum of knowledge with training on YouTube or somewhere else."
  • "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."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case was patching.

How has it helped my organization?

Earlier, we had Windows Server Update Services in place. With that, we were only using internal patches. But with BMC, we even configured applications, like IE or things that were Java-related. When we scheduled the jobs, it worked fine. It saved us time and there was no need for resources to monitor them. The jobs worked at the times we scheduled. And, if a job failed we monitored for that.

Also, BMC did not have impact in terms of network-related issues. For example, previously, if we staged patches in the daytime, they would use more network bandwidth. 

In addition, that one BladeLogic was used for almost in 1,000 servers. If we had to do that manually it would be a very big headache.

In terms of improving collaboration between IT operations and security teams, there was a security team and they were using Nexpose scanning to analyze the servers. But it was not up to date. We were informed that the patches were not installed and we worked on pushing the packages to the servers which had not been updated.

Overall, it saved me time.

What is most valuable?

We didn't use most of the advanced features. We just used it to implement patching where we needed to run scheduling and do automation jobs.

What needs improvement?

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.

Buyer's Guide
Configuration Management
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about BMC, Red Hat, Puppet and others in Configuration Management. Updated: July 2022.
622,358 professionals have used our research since 2012.

For how long have I used the solution?

I worked with it for almost two-and-a-half years.

How are customer service and support?

BMC was very helpful in those areas where we submitted tickets. Overall their technical support was very good. It helped a lot.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is not too complex compared to SCCM. 

I came to the project without any knowledge of BMC BladeLogic. We started going through the documents from the BMC BladeLogic KB articles and then we started working on the BMC tools. That was it. We didn't have any training on BMC BladeLogic.

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.
PeerSpot user
IT Consultant at a government with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
An agile solution that provides speed and VDI integration

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use for this solution is automation in the IT department. We have a private cloud deployment on Amazon.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is that it is agile. It gives us more speed to deliver services and applications, and we rely on security.

VDI integration is good.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more container integration in the next release of this solution.

Networking needs to be improved.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability for this solution is very important.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the technical support for this solution an eight out of ten. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is complex, but it was specific for me and my company. When it came to deploying the endpoint, it needed a long time to get it together. For me, it was complex.

What about the implementation team?

We used an integrator to assist with our deployment.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered Nutanix before choosing this solution, but the VDI integration was better.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Configuration Management
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about BMC, Red Hat, Puppet and others in Configuration Management. Updated: July 2022.
622,358 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Security Architect at a outsourcing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Easy to implement with good documentation and technical support
Pros and Cons
  • "The most important feature is the schedulings."
  • "We would like to see this solution handle more multitasking."

What is our primary use case?

We are evaluating this product in search of a better automation solution for our system. We are using a private-cloud deployment on AWS.

What is most valuable?

The most important feature is the schedulings. We want to have them set up to handle as much automation as possible to reduce the resources involved with the project.

The documentation for this solution is good.

What needs improvement?

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

We are just beginning our three-month evaluation of this solution.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of this solution seems to be good. So far, the automation we do in the background has run on schedule, and the functionality is really good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have tested it on a small scale of fifty to one hundred servers. We have almost twenty-five hundred servers, so we will deploy on a larger scale perhaps six months down the road.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support for this solution is very responsive. The team has opened multiple cases and all of them have been resolved for the first two weeks.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup for this solution is straightforward.

We are just starting to deploy the product. Right now we're sampling about fifty systems to do automation, such as updating and rebooting systems.

What about the implementation team?

AccuData is our vendor for this solution, as well as for other products. They have been a good vendor.

What was our ROI?

If it does what we expect, and those features are improved, then I think we will see ROI within the next two years.

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

We're looking at less than $100,000 USD for this solution.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

At the end of the day, we have a budget for these automation tools. If this one fits our budget then we'll go for it. If not, then we might have to find a solution that is more without our range.

What other advice do I have?

This evaluation is a team effort. There are three of us involved in the project, and we're looking forward to seeing how it goes. We have a wishlist with our priorities, and we'll see if it satisfies what we want.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Technical Architect at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Takes away a lot of manual effort from IT, allowing them to remediate quickly and reduce risk
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is its ability to remediate quickly and efficiently across a number of IT assets at the same time. It takes away manual efforts from the team to go out and fix those vulnerabilities through patching, conflict updates, etc."
  • "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."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is vulnerability management. We have the IT space scanned by vulnerability detection tools. The output of this then feeds into the TrueSight Server Automation. This allows the customer to essentially get quick visibility of the vulnerabilities across IT along with the potential risk across IT. Then, through server automation, it provides the ability to remediate these vulnerabilities quickly and efficiently.

It improves the security management and security operations within the business. It is just the case of taking the output from our scanning tools and presenting it to the people that need to see it, allowing them to remediate very quickly. It has the ability to link back very nicely to the ITSM side of things as well. Through linking with other orchestration run books, it allows them to raise changes, go through the change control process, and then close the loop once the vulnerability has been fixed.

It is also used for configuration management and compliance. However, the main use case is around vulnerability management with the SecOps teams and build & IT support teams utilizing the tool.

As a strategic partner (supplier), we are essentially responsible for much the OSS tooling within the UK organization. That doesn't just include Server Automation. We use a whole roster of BMC products, IBM tooling, Micro Focus tooling, and some other Telco native management platforms.

We are using version 8.8 and in the process of moving up to version 8.9.

How has it helped my organization?

It takes away a lot of manual effort. The reason that the business bought the tool in the first place was to allow them to work in a more efficient way. This tool allows them to manage the IT estate and reach across it, but then using the solution, it allows them to remediate quickly. It's essentially bringing the risk down within IT.

We have a number of different BMC tools that are installed and running, as part of the TrueSight family. We are not just using TrueSight Server Automation. We're using other TrueSight management tools, as well. We find that it links very nicely to the whole ecosystem. Our IT estate is scanned by vulnerability management tools, which then feeds into TrueSight Server Automation and TrueSight Vulnerability Management. This allows teams to essentially do their job in a more efficient manner.

It is bringing in efficiencies in a way that we can monitor compliance across IT. It is all about provisioning, configuration management, compliance, patch activities, reducing risk, and leveraging automation to do things more efficiently.

We use TrueSight Vulnerability Management. This sits above Server Automation, providing the SecOps teams with real time visibility of the vulnerabilities across IT. This allows them to prioritize what they need to do to remediate and fix. The reporting aspects are very good.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is its ability to remediate quickly and efficiently across a number of IT assets at the same time. It takes away manual efforts from the team to go out and fix those vulnerabilities through patching, conflict updates, etc.

While it's not my team which looks at the dashboards, SecOps users can manage vulnerabilities across the estate from a single pane of glass (from a single console). This allows the SecOps teams to then prioritize what is a more significant vulnerability than others.

What needs improvement?

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

My customer brought in Server Automation around mid-June to July 2017.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been stable for us. It is not something which has caused us any issues. We will be doing an upgrade soon. That will be interesting, because that would probably be the first time we've actually done a major version uplift of the tool. It will be interesting to see how that pans out and see if it goes swimmingly, or will we have any issues with it? To date, we haven't had any problems, though.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's not something that we've come across yet. At the moment, the solution is integrated into probably 70 to 80 percent of the estate. We haven't had a need to scale up, although we probably will have a need in the future. For instance, we're just introducing the solution to services in private cloud. It will be interesting to see how that works. Apart from that, we haven't had a need to scale up. Though, there are plans to scale up going forward.

There is a different supplier to the supplier who I work running the tool day-to-day. It's for configuration management, compliance, and vulnerability management. The ability to patch and remediate through automation.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have had no issues nor problems with BMC's technical support. With TrueSight Server Automation, we haven't really had any need to speak to the support. The times that we have had to speak to support, we have had a quick turnaround. We have had no issues at this time with TrueSight Server Automation support from BMC.

How was the initial setup?

When you are installing any sort of new tool or application into the enterprise, not all enterprises are the same. We did have a few teething issues when we first stood it up, but that was fine. We got around those teething issues. The platform is there today working. We haven't really had any problems with the application. It has been running happily.

When we had our requirements integrate into a different scanning tool, we found that it isn't plug and play. There is bespoke development that needs to happen to be able to integrate it with those tools. This is something I would like them to improve.

What about the implementation team?

For deployment and maintenance, there is a team of about two or three people who have to do that. We have the solution incorporated as part of the standard build. If a new server gets rolled out into the network, it already has the prerequisites and agents there able to connect back into Server Automation to be managed by Server Automation. We have an efficient process of rolling out to new assets as we go forward.

I'm responsible for the evolution of the tool within our organization along with providing governance over how we take the solution forward and integrate it. The team of people who maintain TrueSight Server Automation, in terms of keeping the lights, are the SMEs. They are hands-on and do the development activity within the solution today.

Within the business, there is a standard process which has to be followed when making any sort of change or bringing in a new application:

  1. The relevant design document has to be created. 
  2. An interface spec has to be created. 
  3. All that needs to be approved. 
  4. It has to be set up in a test bed first. 
  5. There needs to be a period of QA testing. 
  6. User acceptance needs to happen before it can go live. 

This is a pretty standard process. When you look at the process and governance that needs to happen, six to eight months is about the right time.

What was our ROI?

The business case is there for ROI. It is definitely providing our customers value.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I don't know why TrueSight Server Automation was chosen. I wasn't involved in our customer's decision-making process. 

What other advice do I have?

Take a look at your scanning tools to see if you have adapters and APIs for TrueSight Server Automation or whether you would need to develop something bespoke. Do your due diligence around that.

Have an idea of the sort of use cases you want to use with the tool. Vulnerability management is just one aspect. Do you want to use the solution for things like server build, server provisioning, and application provisioning?

Who will be using the solution going forward? What services will be wrapped around the tool? Who will need the right level of permissions to do certain things? These are really important to know because Server Automation, whilst it's a very powerful tool, in the wrong hands with the wrong level of access, it could potentially become very problematic. It could be quite dangerous in the wrong hands. It's understanding who needs to have access to it and their level of permission. That needs to be governed and controlled!

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.
PeerSpot user
Jeremy Bragg - PeerSpot reviewer
Infrastructure Tools Architect at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Works across multiple operating systems, enabling data collection without worrying about the underlying OS
Pros and Cons
  • "Among the most valuable features is its flexibility and ability to work across multiple operating systems. Being able to execute some form of data collection and not have to worry about whether I'm working on a Linux box, or a Windows box, or the underlying OS, I can do these collections, get these results, and put them together in a uniform format which makes it easier to present back to management."
  • "Compliance is also huge... By tying it to Atrium Orchestrator, our workflow tool, we'll be able to have a closed loop where we identify a compliance issue, cut CRs, get them approved, and then be able to execute these CRs and more seamlessly fix these issues on the fly."
  • "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."

What is our primary use case?

We use every component of the Server Automation tool except for physical provisioning. We use it for compliance on servers and remediation. We do application installation, patching, server builds. We have an external SaaS tool that we actually use to build the framework of the server and then TrueSight Server Automation is used to push down the post-build steps: Which ancillary applications are needed, what's needed for operational support. We do qualifications of our servers through TrueSight Server Automation. We do configuration management, data collection, inventory reporting. Pretty much everything.

How has it helped my organization?

Take patching as an example. Prior to using TrueSight Server Automation, we used SMS for patching. It was very manually intense. Every month we had one week where we had seven implementers who were on call the whole time executing these jobs. There was no scheduling. Then they were trying to triage on the fly, fix these issues. It was very expensive and it was demotivating for the employees - knowing they have to do this every month. They were scheduling their vacations around it. It was rough. It's not the position you want to be in.

Once we got TrueSight Server Automation in, and we were able to take a step back in our process and re-analyze how we do it, we noticed that it provides these capabilities so that we could go into a more automated process. Now the data is all driven from the CMDB, which is owner-controlled data, not IT-controlled data. So the owners get to tell us when we're going to do this effort, and if they want to make a change, they change it in the source, and will then we reflect that into all of our automation processes without any manual intervention.

Now, right before patch week starts, I have an automated job that schedules all of the jobs for patching. We've created a set of triage scripts that we've handed down to operators - not even operations staff, but literally operators - who manage all of our patching process now. They're the ones that do the analysis of what the issues are. They follow their triage scripts. They find issues. They know what to do to execute. If there are outliers, there are on-call people they would call, which doesn't happen too often. We've been able to take this very heavy manual process and turn it into a fully automated process which we've been able to hand down to lower-tier staff who are going to be on call anyway. They're already there. Now our staff can schedule their vacations and they can have a life outside of IT.

We also took it one step further and we created a portal site so that when a user logs in they're presented with any of the servers they own or support, again based on CMDB data. We give them the ability to enable/disable patching. They can initiate reboots on their servers. We've also taken that from just patching to being able to control the patching process without user intervention. So if the Exchange group says, "Oh, we're doing this big maintenance procedure this weekend. We can't patch our servers," they can go this site, disable patching for a whole block of servers, give their justification, and it just happens. The only user involved is the owner who made the initial request.

And with this solution, it has helped to reduce IT ops costs. It's tough to estimate by how much. The tool has been in place in our company for around nine years. There was very heavy adoption at first. Millions of dollars were saved with some of the processes. What's really hard to guesstimate is that, where we came in, there were 1,000 servers. We had no automation tool. We couldn't do compliance. To be able to see if we were meeting our standards, we did it when an auditor requested, and we were on-demand doing these tasks. We always found problems. Then we were trying to fix them at the last minute so that we could present audit with something clean.

To be able to create a compliance job that's going to identify and fix this content ahead of time has reduced a whole lot of man-hours. We've really looked more at our time savings than our cost savings. At the end of the day, if we're saving time on having operations staff doing some repeatable event, we can reallocate them to do something else. I don't really see the cost savings, I see the time savings. And then we can have them working on things that are more towards the level that they should be working at, building more content.

In the operations staff, in the first year alone, we probably saved 6,000 hours. We were then able to increase that. It's at a pretty set level now. We're very mature in the product, so it's now just utilizing the content we have. Now we just get efficiencies, not having to manually login to a server and install software. We still get some time savings, but we don't really build metrics around those anymore.

What is most valuable?

Among the most valuable features is its flexibility and ability to work across multiple operating systems. Being able to execute some form of data collection and not have to worry about whether I'm working on a Linux box, or a Windows box, or the underlying OS, I can do these collections, get these results, and put them together in a uniform format which makes it easier to present back to management. That way we can track issues and have near real-time results; it takes time to collect. 

We're a very heavy user of the patching methodology. We use their CMDB as well. We have ties into that to provide data or attributes of each of the servers. And we have a fully automated patching process which has been absolutely phenomenal. Again, it's across operating systems, so we can patch Windows systems and Linux systems all in the same time in the same windows. It impacts different people, but it's really seamless regarding who's working with the system itself. That provides a huge benefit because it makes it easier for a post-application reboot stack. If we have an app that comes down during patching, we can shut down the web services, shut down the mid-tier, shut down the database, bring them all back in the appropriate order, and the operating system doesn't matter. We can handle it all in one application. So it's more efficient and easier to track in case there are issues.

Compliance is also huge. We're getting ready to take an even deeper step into it. BMC provides out-of-the-box templates for CIS compliance and PCI compliance. We've been looking hard, with our cybersecurity team, at the CIS compliance. These packages even provide remediation for some of these components. By tying it to Atrium Orchestrator, our workflow tool, we'll be able to have a closed loop where we identify a compliance issue, cut CRs, get them approved, and then be able to execute these CRs and more seamlessly fix these issues on the fly. We might schedule an execution of the job, which would then cut a CR. When that CR is approved, we can just go execute it on whatever scheduled approval time we have. The only person who's involved is the approver, defining when we can do it. We're really looking hard into integrations with other tools, especially our change management to be able to kick off automation and execute.

What needs improvement?

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.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The application itself has been very stable. In the beginning, the upgrade processes were very manual and prone to error. Over the past few years, they've made a lot of changes which have really streamlined that and helped it quite a bit.

Periodically they introduce some regression bugs around cleanup of the databases, which is always a concern, so we do heavy testing in Dev to make sure that hasn't happened. We've found some issues that fortunately didn't affect production but which could have.

But for the most part, the application itself is very stable. We restart the app when we patch our servers every couple of months and that's really about it. 

Agent-wise the Linux/Unix agents are extremely reliable. They're very stable. 

On the Windows side, it was not as good. It's gotten better. We probably still have six or seven percent of our agents with issues, about 400 or 500. It's all technically related. They create a service account and sometimes that service account password will become corrupt so the agent can't actually start. That's the biggest one that we run into. The rest of it is mostly self-inflicted. It requires admin access. I have processes for how the account is supposed to be created, and the agent installed, but people don't follow them. So we run into issues there. Also upgrades: This last one was very bad. About ten percent of my agents failed updates due to hung MSI processes. We had to manually log in and clean that up. Prior to that we actually had really good success, so I'm hoping this is just an outlier due to their rebranding stuff.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very scalable. In fact, they've actually introduced all kinds of optimizations. We originally started our environment out with eight application servers, and we had a job server on each one, so we had eight job servers, four authentication servers. We had a lot of processing power. But over time it's actually gotten more efficient and works better. Now we're actually down to four. We've been able to scale back our infrastructure while still maintaining the same level of job processing. We used to have 50 job threads per job server. Now we can go up to 100. Using those efficiencies and benefits that they've added, we've been able to reduce our infrastructure. We've been very pleased with that.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their level-two tech support is fantastic. Their level-one support can be very iffy. They immediately come in thinking you know nothing about the product, although I've already gone through a bunch of triage steps. The most frustrating one is that I will make a ticket, and when I make ticket I can't append screenshots to it. I'll get a notification of the ticket, and then I'll reply back with my addendums: Here's a screenshot of what's going on. Here's the log data. There are a couple of them who will reply back - they won't even look at the ticket - and say, "Can you send me a screenshot and this log data?" And I'm thinking, "Just look at the ticket. I did that three hours ago." 

There a few like that but they have some really good support people, too. I really like working with their patching guy, Joe. He's fantastic. And John in reporting is phenomenal. So they've got some really good resources. Fortunately, I've worked with them long enough that the issues that I bring are normally really deep issues, so I get escalated to engineering fairly quickly, and that's been very helpful as well.

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

Our company used SMS before BMC. They switched because they wanted a tool that was going to be more encompassing. SMS handled only Windows. They had no automation at all for the Linux/Unix environment. They were looking for something that was going to be cross-platform, one place to go, and not have to deal with multiple tools.

If we were to replace just the patching process, we'd have to go with WSUS for Windows, we'd have to stand up Satellite for RedHat. Then we'd have to set up SUSE patching tool, and others. There are multiple components and tons of infrastructure that would have to come into play just for one function. Having one tool that can cover a lot of different topics, with one place to go, is very beneficial. That was one of the primary drivers.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was fairly standard. 

I've done a lot of installs of the software. There are certain strategies that we developed in the post-sales consulting we did - as opposed to pre-sales - for how we would set up environments. We did that because it made it easier for support to support the product because they knew that we had a consistent methodology for how we built out the environment. We followed the standard playbook that we had in consulting. We based the size of the environment on the number of servers and estimated job counts, to be able to hit the thresholds. 

It's been a while since I've been there. I've been with this company for eight years now, but at the time we had a really good setup, playbooks for how we did the initial installations.

What about the implementation team?

BMC consultants came in and did the original installation. At that time, I was one of the consultants, so the company's experience with the consultants was very good. My part of the engagement was actually installing the Network Automation software. But there were two other consultants who came in to do the Server Automation software. They were colleagues of mine and we all helped each other as we went through the project. 

After the initial implementation was done, I was hired on to do additional consulting because I knew both products. After that contract ended they were trying to fill a gap. That's when they opened the position, and I moved to this company.

What was our ROI?

We definitely have a great return on investment.

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

We've had an ELO for a long time, a licensing agreement that was a three-year rolling contract. We did that for two three-year periods and that included all the BMC products.

We're currently looking at assessments of all the tools that we're doing. We've got a new VP in and he wants all new assessments. So we went to a year-to-year contract to finish all the assessments and figure out what we're going to do as a long-term strategy. Right now, we're year-to-year on a maintenance contract.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We're not evaluating other solutions in the automation space. I'm looking at a monitoring replacement. We have the BMC monitoring tool today, but it's a very old version, and we've not been able to get it successfully upgraded. So we're going to replace monitoring. It's not an if - we're going to. We've got a project running right now to select that vendor. BMC is obviously one that we're looking at.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be: Don't allow yourselves to become the CMDB. Don't be your database of truth. Make sure that that data is properly managed in the appropriate tool. TrueSight Server Automation is not a CMDB. It is a resource that can provide that relationship data, but at the end of the day, that's not the business you want to be in. Focus on automation, and let the tool do what it does best. 

The other piece of advice which I feel is just as important is that TrueSight Server Automation is not a monitoring tool. Don't allow someone to create automation and run a scheduled job every 15 minutes just because it can perform that function. That's not the right use of the tool. Use the right tools for the job. You can use your monitoring tool to find what you're looking for and then trigger automation off of that, but use the right tool for the right job.

The biggest lesson I've learned from using this solution is that having all of your eggs in one basket is good, but when things start to go south it can really be very impactful. Make sure, if you have a solution that's as encompassing as this, that you have a very good DR strategy. So if something does go wrong you can very quickly recover from it; because it reaches out to too much. Now, after some issues, we have a DR that's in another data center. It's about half the size of our standard environment so it can cover the bulk of what we do from day-to-day. We have too many business-critical processes that are tied to the automation and scheduled content. If we do have an actual outage, and we've had that before, it does impact our business. So have a good DR strategy.

I don't think anything's perfect, so I would rate this solution at eight out of ten. It's very powerful. It's very flexible. There are some components of it that need to be modernized. Their REST API calls are still very immature. They have very limited integrations as I was mentioning earlier. The agents themselves are listening-agents only, so there's no active component. There's no self-healing. If an agent goes down, I don't know until I go check the agent to see if it's down. There's some modernization that I'd like to see around that. I know that's on the roadmap. I don't know where they're at in the development process, but I know it's on the roadmap, and I'm looking forward to those capabilities.

If they get all of the modernization of the agents up, then I would actually increase it to a nine. But again, nothing's perfect, so I would never give anything a ten.

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.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
Infrastructure Operations Manager at Cognizant
Consultant
Awesome compliance, inventory, provisioning, patch, and deployment

What is our primary use case?

  • OS provisioning
  • Patch management
  • IT audit and compliance
  • Application deployments
  • Data gathering and reporting

What is most valuable?

Awesome compliance, inventory, provisioning, patch, and deployment.

What needs improvement?

  • Agentless software
  • More use cases into compliance management and the remediation process.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In some versions, we do have stability, especially 8.5.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Not really.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good.

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

We used shell scripting and other legacy tools.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward, unless you need most of the custom configurations.

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

Licensing is a bit pricey. Be mindful about the components that you need and buy as appropriate.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated one stop shop solutions and vendors.

What other advice do I have?

If you do not want the hassle of multiple tools and handling multiple vendors, this is your go to solution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
Sr Sys Admin & Support at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
We use this tool for deployment, patching, audit, and compliance

What is our primary use case?

We have used this tool for deployment, patching, audit, compliance, and provisioning. Patching and code deployment are the most used functions that we use. 

NSH script is another widely used option.

How has it helped my organization?

It makes deployment easier and allows us to put restrictions on the server using role-based authorization. Also, BladeLogic lets users view the filesystem with minimal authorization to the server.

What is most valuable?

  • Deployment
  • NSH script

What needs improvement?

Provisioning needs to be more user-friendly. We were using BladeLogic for provisioning, but due to a lot of issues and complications, we had to stop using provisioning with this tool.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user864165 - PeerSpot reviewer
it_user864165Senior IT Management Consultant at a tech services company
Consultant

I think this tool is very nice...

it_user792042 - PeerSpot reviewer
User at a government with 10,001+ employees
User
Support usually can answer any of our questions in a short amount of time and solve our most complex issues
Pros and Cons
  • "The ability to script and create BL packages to perform various functions. This makes automating our environment relatively easy to do."
  • "BMC support is great. They usually can answer any of our questions in a short amount of time and solve our most complex issues."
  • "A better CLI Database cleanup tool would help us with our regular maintenance of BladeLogic Server Automation."

What is our primary use case?

  • Automate maintenance of servers
  • Patching
  • Compliance and remediation
  • Auditing
  • Installing/updating software

How has it helped my organization?

When WannaCry appered, it was very simple and easy to create an audit job that scanned our servers for the vulnerability. We were then able to determine how many servers were affected and perform patching accordingly.

What is most valuable?

The ability to script and create BL packages to perform various functions. This makes automating our environment relatively easy to do.

What needs improvement?

A better CLI Database cleanup tool would help us with our regular maintenance of BladeLogic Server Automation.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

How are customer service and technical support?

BMC support is great. They usually can answer any of our questions in a short amount of time and solve our most complex issues.

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

Before, we used SCCM. I believe we made the switch because patching, compliance, and auditing were much better than with SCCM.

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

Not applicable.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I don't know.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you have a DBA.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
It can be used across many OS platforms, providing us flexibility for deployments

What is most valuable?

BMC Bladelogic Automation can be used across many OS platforms, providing us flexibility for deployments.

How has it helped my organization?

We were able to automate patching, provisioning, and compliance for our servers and network devices.

What needs improvement?

The setup of this suite is very complicated. It needs to be simplified.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used it for two years now.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Deploying it was very complicated.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had no issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have had no issues with scalability.

How is customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

In my experience with their customer service, they are excellent.

Technical Support:

From my experience in working with their technical support, they are good.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very complex; Not straightforward at all.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it with our in-house team.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
IT Specialist at a tech vendor with 201-500 employees
Vendor
It provides several types of packages and SOs, but its complexity and time for implementation drove us to a different solution.

Valuable Features:

  • It provides the possibility to manage any type of infrastructure object.
  • It supports physical and virtual servers.
  • Provides several types of packages and SOs.

Improvements to My Organization:

We started to use it in our datacenter for server automation.

However, the complexity of it and the time to implement it drove us to a different solution.

Room for Improvement:

  • Automation
  • It needs a better interface for faster implementation.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user

A very powerful software that can do everything, and it is logically complex

it_user2889 - PeerSpot reviewer
Operations Expert at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Versatile with effective segregation of duties, but requires local expertise

Valuable Features:

- Versatile capabilities in deployment & releasing of software products. - Effective segregation of duties - Integration with build solutions

Room for Improvement:

- Requires local expertise - Cost of ownership can be quite substantial - Performance can get slow for global users (when the application server is offshore)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
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Updated: July 2022
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