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Buyer's Guide
Workload Automation
May 2022
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Robert-Stinnett - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Automation Engineer at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Our developers use the automation API and Jobs-as-Code to kick off jobs without having to write something manually
Pros and Cons
  • "It provides a unified view where you can orchestrate and monitor all your application workloads and data pipelines. That's very important because with cloud, software as a service, edge computing, traditional data center, and legacy apps, there are all these environments. If you don't have that single pane of glass or that one place to look at, you're going to invest a lot of time and resources into tracking things down when they go wrong."
  • "They really need to work on improving the web interface, as there are still a lot of bugs... In general, they need to do a lot of work on shoring up their testing and quality assurance. A lot of bugs seem to make it into the product."

What is our primary use case?

The business services that Control-M supports for our organization include everything from finances, marketing, data analysis, big data, data lakes—pretty much everything.

We have it on-prem and we also use it in the cloud. We still have most of our components in the data center right now.

How has it helped my organization?

When it comes to data analytics, Control-M helps make sure that as we're ingesting data and running it, that the workflows are kicking off in the correct order, and that we're actually getting the data. It's also making sure we return data to the appropriate business units or partners. It definitely streamlines our data analytics. It has sped things up because we don't have to wait on humans anymore to kick things off.

Our line-of-business personnel use Control-M's web interfaces and it gives them a view, a red-light/green-light dashboard. They can see if things are behind or ahead. It helps them keep track of the stuff that's important to them without having to call other people or put in tickets.

In addition, the use of Control-M as part of our DevOps automation toolchains and leveraging of its “as-code” interfaces for developers has considerably sped up our ability to roll out new applications and application updates. It's also allowed our developers, even when they have one-off projects, to easily use the automation API and Jobs-as-Code to kick those off without having to write that kind of function by hand or find another tool. It has been a big part of our DevOps process.

We have also automated critical processes with Control-M. The top-three are 

  1. a number of financial processes
  2. data ingestion
  3. and what we call partner management. 

Those automations mean we get things done consistently and on time. It also lets us know if we're not going to meet our deadlines and enables us to be proactive instead of reactive.

By using Control-M 20’s Role-Based Administration feature, we have been able to decentralize teams to manage their own application workflow orchestration environments. That's important because it frees up resources. People can get things done more quickly without having to stop what they're doing. And it allows them to focus, instead of constantly being pulled in a thousand directions or having to call in different people for help. It helps eliminate tickets or requests to a Control-M administrator, and that frees up our operations personnel to focus on what's more important for the business. Instead of watching for and answering tickets, they're actually able to be proactive and look for potential bottlenecks or to help people enhance their processes.

Another benefit comes from using Control-M 20's Centralized Connection Profiles. Being able to store all connection profiles in a central database helps with efficiencies, with DevOps initiatives, and it helps with ownership.

The extended capabilities of version 20, especially the web interface, help because we don't have to deploy clients or maintain the clients. It lets pretty much anybody who wants to use it just fire up a web browser and use it. That's the biggest capability of version 20, for us.

Overall, Control-M lets us spot problems more quickly. And in terms of Service Level Operations performance, it helps because we now can be proactive instead of reactive. If we know that we're not going to meet an SLA, we can meet ahead of time instead of having to wait and see.

What is most valuable?

Among the most valuable features are

  • the measuring and monitoring of the SLAs, the service level agreements—they code in recovery actions for when things go wrong
  • the single pane of glass enables us to see everything, all the processes, in one place
  • the ability to integrate with all sorts of different platforms and services.

It provides a unified view where you can orchestrate and monitor all your application workloads and data pipelines. That's very important because with cloud, software as a service, edge computing, traditional data center, and legacy apps, there are all these environments. If you don't have that single pane of glass or that one place to look at, you're going to invest a lot of time and resources into tracking things down when they go wrong. You really need that single pane of glass to show you what's going on across all your disparate systems, in one location.

We also have Control-M for internal and external file transfers. It's really just a part of our normal, everyday procedures. It makes sure that they happen. It makes sure that we got the files. It makes sure that data has flowed back to the appropriate departments.

What needs improvement?

They really need to work on improving the web interface, as there are still a lot of bugs. 

Also, the new Helix Control-M version doesn't seem quite ready for prime time for many of us. 

In general, they need to do a lot of work on shoring up their testing and quality assurance. A lot of bugs seem to make it into the product.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Control-M for about 21 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a highly stable product. It has to be—it runs your business. It's very mature in that arena.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's highly scalable, so as your enterprise grows it's very easy to continue adding in agents or to expand out your management platform, with little or no downtime.

We use Control-M for financial applications across the spectrum, including marketing, data analytics, data analysis, and partner management. We continue to grow and as new things come online we're adding them in.

They do a really good job in terms of how they expand the product and keep up with the times. It's very cloud-centric, but at the same time, it can also handle legacy-type stuff. Overall, they've done a very good job on that.

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

What we had previously were all home-grown solutions. We switched to Control-M to get a grip on our environment, to have the single pane of glass to enable us to monitor and manage everything from one location. And the big thing that Control-M allows us to do now that we could not do previously is to orchestrate workflows across all types of disparate systems.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. It was easy to get going, easy to install, easy to create workflows consistently. There wasn't a huge learning curve. We learned as we went, but it was pretty easy to learn the product.

Our deployment took about a month.

The integrated guides and how-to videos in the solution’s web interface, for helping get to full productivity with the solution, are very helpful. People watch them. They need to be a little more in-depth and they need more of them, but what they have is a good start.

We have about 120 people in our company who are actively using Control-M. They range from developers to operations personnel, financial analysts, marketing analysts, and data scientists. We have a team of three for day-to-day administration of Control-M but they do more than just Control-M.

What about the implementation team?

We worked with a partner to deploy Control-M. Our experience with them was very good.

What was our ROI?

We have definitely seen return on our investment in Control-M, many times over.

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

It's an expensive product, there's no doubt about it. It's one of those solutions where you're paying upfront to reap the benefits down the road. You're going to spend a lot of money upfront, but the benefits you're going to get out of it are going to quickly pay for it. That's something people don't understand sometimes.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at a few others including IBM's Tivoli and Computer Associates.

The biggest difference is that Control-M is a more mature and growing product. The other ones were very stale. They just didn't seem to be keeping up with the times. Also, Control-M requires a lot less administration than the other products did, and Control-M was a lot easier to learn than the others. The others had a very high learning curve.

What other advice do I have?

Look at Control-M from a high level, not only down to the details. See how it can benefit your company. Most companies have data centers, they use cloud, they use software as a service—they use a mixture. But even if you're 100 percent cloud, Control-M can still benefit you because it is going to give you that vision that you've never had before of what is going on in the company. And it's going to present it to you in a way that business owners and business management can understand. It's also going to allow you to do some amazing things with automation around the automation API and Jobs-as-Code. So instead of having all these siloed systems, it is really going to help you get many things under that one roof.

My biggest advice to anybody looking into this product, or any product like this is, is to do your due diligence and get your training. It's very important to have some sort of education on this going into it. That training could be formal training or it could be help from a Control-M partner for your implementation. You can get the easy stuff out of the product on day one, but to get to the things that are really going to save money and make you say, "Wow," that takes some knowledge.

The biggest thing I have learned from using Control-M is that you never know what you can automate until you try.

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.
Buyer's Guide
Workload Automation
May 2022
Get our free report covering IBM, Rocket Software, BMC, and other competitors of CA Workload Automation CA 7. Updated: May 2022.
597,708 professionals have used our research since 2012.