CA Tweaks Job Schedulers, Positions Them as Workload Automation
April 10, 2007 Timothy Prickett Morgan
A year ago, systems software maker CA acquired a smaller rival, Cybermation, which like CA got its start as a supplier of products for mainframes and which over the years expanded out to cover the array of distributed systems that populate the data centers. Today, CA is updating its four products and providing them with Web services extensions that allow them to integrate with each other and with other Unicenter systems management products.
Both companies had their own mainframe and distributed system products before CA paid $75 million to acquire Cybermation; these programs scheduled jobs across a total of 26 different platforms. (The job scheduling software runs on either a mainframe or a Unix, Windows, or Linux server, depending on the platform, and then agents run on other systems, including myriad proprietary systems that are still used in data centers today.) CA has not yet converged its original products with the Cybermation products, and thanks to the Web and various open protocols, it really doesn’t have to.
According to Keith Woodward, director of product marketing at CA, the company is taking portal technology it developed under the code-name “Clearpath” and using it to provide a single pane of glass for system administrators to use the four different CA job scheduling tools. This portal, which is called the Workload Control Center, can link into the eTrust identity management software that CA provides to simplify access to the tools and control it, and it also has features that allow it to kick out reports through Crystal Reports, a popular reporting tool. The control center portal has also been equipped with a business rules engine called CA Workflow, which is what apparently changes this from a job scheduling tool to a workload automation tool. Rather than just kicking off scripts at timed intervals as job scheduling software does, the workflow engine allows the CA products to monitor situations and then kick off jobs based on policies and conditions in the network of machines they are plugged into. The tools can also now integrate into the configuration management data base (CMDB), which means they can recognize similar machines as pools of resources and group them accordingly.
As part of the rollout, three of the four job scheduling programs will be updated to hook into the Workload Control Center. CA 7 r11, the original CA mainframe product that has around 2,500 customers, was recently updated; it will eventually be merged into the CA ESP product, which came from Cybermation and which has about 200 customers. These products both run on IBM‘s z/OS mainframe operating system. This software is priced on a per-MIPS basis, and Woodward says that on a mainframe that has under 500 MIPS of power, it has a starting price of around $50,000 and can range up into the millions of dollars.
AutoSys r11, an update of the original CA distributed platform job scheduling software, will be available in late April or early May, according to Woodward, and it has a base list price of $25,000. (Autosys has about 2,000 customers.) CA dSeries, which is the distributed job scheduling product that came from Cybermation and which is aimed at smaller customers than the AutoSys product, is available today. (dSeries has about 100 customers.)
The Cybermation ESP product will be updated with a 5.5 release to plug into the portal and use the workflow engine, and will also be available later in April or maybe in May.