i OS Jobs Spawn Anew with Halcyon’s Updated Scheduler
January 20, 2009 Alex Woodie
Halcyon Software unveiled a new version of its Job Scheduler last week that’s designed to drive more automation into management of System i systems. The biggest new feature in Job Scheduler 4.0 is something that Halcyon calls “multiple dependencies,” which enables a System i server and its various jobs to run with higher degrees of autonomy than before. The British software developer also made its first U.S. sale of its systems management tools for Intel-based servers.
Halcyon’s Job Scheduler reduces the need for human intervention in the management of System i servers, and contributes toward the goal of “lights out” in terms of operations. The product gives users many options for scheduling jobs on the System i server. They can set them up according to a calendar, to run sequentially, or when triggered by other programs. The product also supports scripting languages to set up schedules.
With version 4, Halcyon has added another dimension to the job scheduler: multiple dependencies. According to the company, multiple dependencies allow the user to submit jobs that spawn and monitor other jobs. In other words, System i server jobs that are submitted with multiple dependencies will start only when other jobs managed by Job Scheduler (on the same server or on networked servers) reach a certain state.
This is a very powerful feature, and is the most important enhancement delivered with version 4, according to Donnie MacColl, head of technical services for Halcyon Software. “The multiple dependencies spawned by Job Scheduler 4.0 is the feature that really sets this apart from other similar job schedulers out there,” he says.
Other features delivered with version 4 include a way to automatically convert job schedules and job groups originally developed with IBM schedulers to the Halcyon scheduler. Halcyon is pushing its product’s flexibility and customizability to win customers from other job schedulers.
Support for multiple environments in the new version will allow users to restrict access to certain jobs residing on the System i server to a group of users in a business unit (or to certain customers, for a box that’s being used to run multiple outsourced workloads). Similarly, users can define their own job schedule templates with version 4, which should reduce the amount of time it takes to make additions or changes to schedules or groups.
Job Scheduler 4.0 also brings support for IBM i 6.1 (formerly i5/OS V6R1). The product is available as part of a bundle of Halcyon systems management tools or as an individual product. When sold independently, Job Scheduler 4.0 pricing begins at £3,750, or about $5,500 at current exchange rates.
In other Halcyon news, the company announced the first sale of its systems management tools for Windows-based systems to a U.S. company: Shepard Exposition Services, an exposition services company based in Atlanta, Georgia. The deal was a big one for Halcyon, according to Sean Gallagher, the company’s channel manager.
“Halcyon has had a presence in the U.S. market since 2001,” Gallagher says. “[B]ut having Shepard Exposition Services purchase our Intel tools is an important milestone as it demonstrates the confidence of our clients and partners in Halcyon’s system management tools outside of our IBM System i portfolio.”
The deal was closed by Vertical VAR, an IBM reseller based in Atlanta. The reseller has been a Halcyon partner since 2005, and has made several deals for Halcyon’s System i tools.
Aaron Long, Director of Business Development at Vertical VAR comments, “Halcyon Software has an impressive range of systems management and monitoring tools, which caters to the needs of our prospective clients who require support with their IBM System i servers and IT environment. Currently the largest area for growth is support for the Wintel platforms. Ultimately, we were impressed by Halcyon’s ability to deliver exactly what Shepard Exposition Services is looking for in a scalable, proven and cost effective systems management tool.”
Halcyon’s Network Server Suite, which it commonly calls its Intel systems management tool, runs on and monitors Windows Server environments. The company also sells a tool for monitoring Unix and Linux environments, which is called the Syslog Suite. For more information on Halcyon’s products, visit the company’s Web site at www.halcyonsoftware.com.