Time to Automation

August 14th, 2015 by

The results are in! Over 70% of VMTurbo users automate within 30 days of seeing a demo.

Automate What?

First of all, when I say “automate,” what do I mean? Check out this post where I go into a bit more detail on Decision Automation. To summarize, it’s the toughest type of automation, data center automation. You have tons of different data points, tons of entities to monitor, and an endless combination of decisions you could make to keep the environment healthy.

So when I say Decision Automation, I mean that software is automatically figuring out what actions need to be taken to keep an environment in a state where applications are receiving the resources they need to operate properly while using the least amount of physical infrastructure. That’s the Desired State—application performance is assured, while infrastructure utilization is maximized.

Think of driving a car. Now imagine a button within that car that, when pressed, turns it into a self-driving autonomous car.

Now, how long would it take before you decided to press that button?

The Data

Given that we don’t own autonomous cars (yet), let’s look back at the past 24 months of VMTurbo’s customer engagements and review when users finally took the plunge towards Decision Automation in their datacenter.

The time frame we chose to evaluate was the time taken for a user to automate after seeing a demo of VMTurbo. A demo is defined as the initial exposure the user has to Operations Manager – depending on how we initially engaged with a user, this could be a demo in our in-house lab or a demo in the customer’s environment. (It’s not surprising that a good portion of our demos are conducted in our users’ environments since Operations Manager can be setup in minutes after downloading.)

vmturbo-global-settingsThe act of automating is defined as a user enabling any form of automation within VMTurbo – this could include automated placement, storage placement, rightsizing up, rightsizing down, provisioning, or suspension decisions.   

The Results

Looking over the past 24 months, we were able to gather over 1,000 data points with an even mixture of in-house demos vs user-environment demos. “Time to Automation” was grouped into six different time periods:

  1. 5 Days or Less
  2. 6-14 Days
  3. 15-30 Days
  4. 31-60 Days
  5. 61-90 Days
  6. Greater Than 90 Days

time to automation 1time to automation 2
The largest adoption period occurs in just the first five days with 32% of users automating decisions in their environment. As VMTurbo offers a free 30-day trial of Operations Manager, it’s also useful to evaluate the adoption of automation within that 30-day window. It was found that 72% of users see value in automating within 30 days.

We also looked at size of environment as a factor to see what the adoption of automation was like for SMB organizations vs large enterprises. Looking at organizations with sockets in excess of 50, over 50% of users are automating within 14 days. For organizations in excess of 100 sockets, over 50% of users are automating within 30 days.


The concept of “automation” has many different connotations within the virtualization and cloud industry. Automated provisioning, automated orchestration, automated cloud bursting, automated ticketing, etc. But none of these matter if you’re missing the decision automation. When do you actually need to provision a new server? Where should it be deployed? How many resources should it be given? Which workloads and when should I send to a public cloud?

It shouldn’t take weeks or months to achieve Decision Automation and our users know that. You don’t need expensive monitoring systems collecting data, baselining normal, and establishing smart alerts – all with the end-result of having a human trying to interpret what to do to keep the environment healthy. That can be done in software—in days, if not hours.

Experience what over 70% of our users are experiencing within 30 days – datacenter control.

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