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Buyer's Guide
Workload Automation
June 2022
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Gana Muthanna - PeerSpot reviewer
Control-M Administrator at Cognizant
Real User
User-friendly GUI, responsive support, and the BIM feature helps us meet our SLAs
Pros and Cons
  • "BIM is helpful because we do not miss any SLAs, as we get to know the issue well in advance. It is the topmost service that has helped us provide better solutions for the business."
  • "The reporting functionality needs a lot of work. We have faced problems with different versions where we run the right report, but it gives us blank entries. Then, when we run the same report again, it gives the correct data."

What is our primary use case?

Our organization has multiple projects that use Control-M, and I support the banking domain. In the past, I have worked on projects for retail organizations and medical companies.

We have approximately 150 applications in our current project. These include Loanpower, erwin, and OpenLink.

How has it helped my organization?

With the use of Control-M, our SLAs are met more often. If there is an issue, we identify it in advance, before the problem occurs.

Control-M helps us in terms of automation because it has various scripts in different formats. We can run a Python program or a shell script, and these allow us to automate almost everything.

This product helps to secure our business because we can restrict users.

We have automated several critical processes with Control-M. One is used during patching, where we log in and type one command that will stop and start the services on all of the servers that we have. We have approximately 10 servers in production and five in non-production, so it's a lot of work to restart all of the servers. We also have automation that performs a health check. It runs every day at a scheduled time and will delete all jobs in production that are older than five days. Similarly, we have jobs that check to ensure certain conditions are being met and will check the various alerts that can occur.

Automating these processes has improved our business because every morning, we have to send a status update to show that the components are working. This is something that we used to do manually. We would log into CCM and check everything. Now, we have automated that using a script, wherein it sends the status email automatically to whichever business users request it. It has helped to reduce a lot of manual activity.

Control-M has definitely helped us to resolve issues faster. I estimate that the improvement is between 60% and 70%.

Our service-level operations performance has improved by 80% with the use of Control-M.

What is most valuable?

The GUI is very user-friendly. It provides us with a single view and we have everything in the same UI. This is very important because we don't spend a lot of time switching tabs or opening Control-M for different purposes. We have a single GUI open and it saves a lot of time.

Two really helpful features are Forecast and Business Impact Manager (BIM).

BIM is helpful because we do not miss any SLAs, as we get to know the issue well in advance. It is the topmost service that has helped us provide better solutions for the business.

Forecast is useful in terms of patching, etc, because whenever we are looking for downtime or any team is looking for downtime, it's easy for us to use Forecast to find it.

Self-service is helpful and our business users appreciate it because they don't have to have Control-M installed on their machine. They can log in using the web portal.

What needs improvement?

The reporting functionality needs a lot of work. We have faced problems with different versions where we run the right report, but it gives us blank entries. Then, when we run the same report again, it gives the correct data. We have spoken with Customer Care and some of the issues are fixed in the latest version, 9.20.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Control-M for 11 years and my company has been using it for longer than that.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a pretty stable solution. We have not had any downtime.

A couple of times, the agent has gone down unexpectedly. However, in terms of the EM and server, it's pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Our organization is pretty big, with approximately 250,000 employees, and we have multiple projects that use Control-M. We have approximately 150 applications in our current project, and there are about 175 employees that are actively using Control-M. That is across three different countries.

It is easy to scale. It can handle a lot of job flows and it's easy to create multiple jobs to run at the same time. We are expanding in terms of jobs for the same application because they have a lot of upgrades going on at the application level. 

We are not planning to expand the number of applications in our project as of now. We do have requests, but it's a slow process. We can add perhaps five or six applications a year.

Overall, we have no problems in terms of scalability. 

How are customer service and technical support?

When we can't find a solution to an issue, we reach out to BMC customer support and they respond almost immediately. Overall, the technical support team is very good and I would rate them a nine or ten out of ten.

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

We did not migrate to Control-M from a competing solution. Some of our clients, although not my current project, migrated to Control-M from different products. The reasons for changing products are the additional features available in Control-M, as well as the ease of use. Also, some people are more confident in the security that Control-M provides, compared to other tools on the market.

Personally, I started my career with Control-M and have been using it ever since.

In the company, we have a couple of clients who use IBM Tivoli Workload Scheduler (TWS), AutoSys, and Stonebranch. However, the majority of our clients use Control-M. The choice of solution stems from requirements and input from the client.

One of the reasons that some clients are not using Control-M is because of the cost. For a client with 5,000 or more jobs, they definitely implement Control-M. However, if they are running only 200 or 300 jobs in a small environment, there are other native tools available.

How was the initial setup?

I was not part of the implementation at my company but I have implemented several Control-M projects. The initial setup is straightforward.

First, we download the files from the BMC site and then start the installation. This involves running the setup files and if there is any error, you have knowledge base articles and you also have AMIGO support if you enroll in it.

The deployment can be completed in a day or two, including the Enterprise Manager (EM), servers, and agents. There are also conversion tools that are available to assist with creating jobs.

Our implementation strategy began with installing the Enterprise Manager first, and then the server, and then the agents. We would raise a support ticket so that whenever we had any issues, we could reach out to them.

I did not look at the interactive guides or videos that Control-M provides for reducing time to full productivity. I had all of the documentation handy but I did not refer to any of the videos.

What about the implementation team?

Our in-house team is responsible for deployment.

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

Control-M is priced accordingly for larger environments. It is expensive for smaller environments with only a few hundred jobs running.

There are two different types of licenses available. The first is based on the number of jobs that we run per day, and the other is based on the number of agents that we install. My current project has a contract for five years. During the first two years, we are allowed to run any number of jobs using any number of agents. However, in the last three years, we have to stick to whatever is defined in the contract.

In past versions, BIM and Forecast were separate components that were available at an additional cost. Since version 9, however, everything is included and there are no costs in addition to the standard licensing fees.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

For my current project, the client has always used Control-M.

What other advice do I have?

The latest version of Control-M is 9.20 but we are working with 9.18 because our client has certain servers where the OS is not compatible with 9.20. It is running on Linux machines and at this point, our client hasn't given us approval for the OS upgrade.

Our business users don't typically use Control-M. They have access to it but only use it when a critical chain is stuck and they want to check it themselves. They can use self-service for this, although most of the time, they don't.

An example of why they would use self-service is when a critical batch has failed and is stuck for a long time, and they want to see the approximate time that it will be completed. Also, during an audit, they can use self-service to see which users have certain access, such as production access or write permissions.

The Control-M users in our company have different roles. We have administrators, and we have people who specialize in migration. We also have people who look into scheduling and we have a team that just takes care of monitoring.

The number of people that we require for the day-to-day administration depends on the size of the project. In my current project, we have approximately 8,000 jobs actively running. We have approximately 17,000 configured. In our L1 team, we have eleven people, and we have eight members for each of our L2 and L3 teams.

We do not use the Control-M integrated file transfer capability in our workflows, although we do use the File Watcher feature. We have a tool from Axway called SecureTransport, where they handle the file transfer, but we can define this as part of a Control-M job.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from using Control-M is that anything can be automated. You can control various applications and it is simple to schedule jobs for products like SAP and databases.

My advice for anybody who is considering Control-M is that it has a wide variety of features compared to other tools. It is flexible, easy to use, and the web portal makes it simple for business users or application teams to access it without having to install it on a Windows server or a Citrix platform. 

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

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
Sr Systems Analyst at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
It was a natural transition for us from ESP, but there are glitches where things don't always work the way they should
Pros and Cons
  • "The reason we went with Automic is very simple. We were using ESP, which was a Broadcom product. So, Automic happened to be a natural fit. It was a much easier transition from ESP to Automic. We had familiarity with the vendor and the product."
  • "There are pain points, like anything else. Sometimes, things they say work, and sometimes, they don't work. You need to find out why they don't work and then go back and have them fixed."

What is our primary use case?

It is basically for workload automation. Automic has also got other features, but we are not using them. We are just sticking to workload automation. We basically do batch processing through automation. We mostly have nightly batches and cyclical batches during the daytime.

What is most valuable?

The reason we went with Automic is very simple. We were using ESP, which was a Broadcom product. So, Automic happened to be a natural fit. It was a much easier transition from ESP to Automic. We had familiarity with the vendor and the product.

What needs improvement?

There are pain points, like anything else. Sometimes, things they say work, and sometimes, they don't work. You need to find out why they don't work and then go back and have them fixed. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using it for close to a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Like any product, there are glitches. We had used ESP for almost 30 years. So, we were very familiar with the tool, and it was pretty stable. This is an agent-based solution. So, sometimes, the agents don't respond and triggers don't work. Those kinds of issues are still there.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Workload automation is not heavy stuff. When things have to happen, they just wake up and do the work. It is not like an E-commerce solution where your workload is going to increase by X factor and then you add X servers. It is not that way. So, from a scalability point of view, it is scalable.

How are customer service and support?

They're pretty okay. We worked with CA before Broadcom bought them. So, we've got a long working relationship with them for over 20 years, and their support is pretty okay.

How was the initial setup?

They work with a partner to help you with implementation and migration. The partner had tools for migration from ESP to Automic, which was helpful.

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

Its price is way up there with BMC. It is a little bit on the expensive side.

What other advice do I have?

We only use it for workload automation. We haven't explored the tool as such. It claims to have a lot of features, but we have just touched the surface of it.

From a workload automation point of view, there are multiple tools. You've got BMC. You've got Automic, and you've got Stonebranch. Stonebranch is the smaller of the lot, and from a solution perspective, their agent can work with any other automation tool. Cost-wise also, it is much cheaper than the others. If you are a small enterprise and don't have an existing tool, Stonebranch wouldn't be a bad option.

I would rate Automic Workload Automation a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Architect & Technical Director at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5
Functions are easy to use, scalable, and good technical support

What is our primary use case?

The solution can be used for scheduling workloads.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is the functions are easy to use.

What needs improvement?

The solution could improve by having support for container environments.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for approximately 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

AutoSys Workload Automation is scalable.

I have many customers running this solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support has been good.

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

I am using Stonebranch Universal Automation Center alongside this solution.

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

The price of this solution is reasonable and there is an annual license required.

What other advice do I have?

I evaluate AutoSys Workload Automation an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
Buyer's Guide
Workload Automation
June 2022
Get our free report covering BMC, IBM, Broadcom, and other competitors of Stonebranch Universal Automation Center. Updated: June 2022.
609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.