The focus of automated scheduling has shifted from managing high volume workloads with extended turnaround times to orchestrating asynchronous processes that complete in seconds, minutes or hours. In the past enterprises would run jobs that executed at the operating system level.
Following the widespread adoption of packaged applications and, despite vendor claims that their solutions do everything with transactions and are fully integrated, enterprises are having to find ways of scheduling workload with tools that reach into these applications.
Integration is also a challenge with the inexorable growth in Web-driven business transaction activity. In many instances, organizations need to orchestrate the execution of disparate IT applications if business critical back-office workload is to be completed on time.
Virtualization and Cloud introduce a new layer of abstraction as IT departments determine how they manage and monitor the service they deliver to business users. With virtualization enterprises can consolidate their IT operations without incurring the overheads of an expanding data center footprint. Cloud offers IT operations executives new choices in terms of how they can resource and deliver IT services. With the agility and elasticity that these technologies offer come corresponding operational challenges. Automated scheduling and dispatching of business critical workload is ideally positioned to support enterprises wanting to maximize the opportunities that virtualization and Cloud bring, without putting service levels at risk.
Today job scheduling is increasingly referred to as workload automation (WLA) and enterprises are recognizing the need for a solution that will address these new challenges. These developments are reflected in latest research1 published by industry analyst Gartner where WLA is ranked as one of the top three technologies that clients are planning to implement in the next 3-5 years. A recent survey conducted of 500 large (>1000 employee) enterprises located in USA, Brazil, China & India prioritizes virtualization provisioning, WLA and service catalog/self-service tools as stand out data center (DC) solutions organizations plan to deploy before 2016. The research covered 14 different DC solution categories.
Finding the right DC solution to do the job is not sufficient these days as survey respondents rated quality of support as the top priority when selecting a DC solution provider. Completeness of solution and ability to execute were also key considerations while breadth of management tools and having an existing business relationship with a supplier had little bearing on vendor selection. The diagram below shows top ranked technologies for each region. While the USA is the only developed country covered by the survey, it does account for a significant portion of global enterprise software usage.
The survey analysis confirms that WLA is set to play a significant role as part of the future IT strategy for many organizations through 2016 and beyond. Meantime, additional scenarios where WLA can bring benefit are starting to emerge as enterprises explore Big Data in 2013 and other innovations that rely upon the ability to process massive volumes of data across multiple servers within an acceptable timeframe. Until we can find a human that can act as fast a machine making decisions on what to do, where and when, enterprises will continue to find new ways of getting value out of using automation to help manage the critical IT workloads they need to run.
Source: "Tech Go to Market Survey Analysis: The Top Data Center Management Tools in 2013 and Beyond" - Matthew Cheung, Laurie F. Wurster, Gartner, March 7th 2013