JAMS Brings Scheduling and File Transfer Capabilities to i OS
September 29, 2009 Alex Woodie
System i shops looking for a third-party product to help get a handle on their job scheduling and file transfer needs may want to add another vendor to their search: MVP Systems Software. Earlier this month, the Connecticut company announced a new release of its JAMS enterprise job scheduler that introduces file transfer capabilities, putting the product at the crossroads of the emerging market for managed file transfer software.
Whether a job scheduler makes sense for a company depends on the size and complexity of the company’s operations, and its tolerance for delays in the computer room. Smaller outfits running applications on a stand-alone iSeries or Windows box can usually get away with a part-time operator keeping things on track. But a larger shop with cross-platform application dependencies and thousands of critical batch jobs–such as backups, file de-duplication, reporting, and file transfers–may soon find that just keeping up with everyday IT operations is an overwhelming task for one or more operators.
A job scheduler is an excellent investment when a company can no longer afford the consequences of missed or delayed jobs. With the capability to initiate and monitor jobs running across hundreds or thousands of servers, a company often finds its enterprise job scheduler soon becomes as critical an application as the programs it’s charged with coordinating.
MVP Systems Software is not well-known in the AS/400 and System i community. That’s because its .NET-based JAMS job scheduler is more focused on the Windows world, where most of its 700 customers reside. But the company does develop a job scheduling agent that runs natively on i OS (i5/OS), and it does have AS/400 shops using JAMS in production (including one manufacturer that runs JD Edwards, the company says).
Earlier this month, MVP announced JAMS release 4.8, which added file transfer capabilities to the job scheduler. JAMS can now automatically transfer files using the following protocols: FTP, FTPS (FTP over SSL), SFTP (FTP using SSH), and SCP, or Secure Copy, which also uses SSH.
JAMS’ new file transfer feature also supports automatic retries and wildcards, making the product more useful in enterprise environments. The file transfer features also abide by JAMS’ existing security access controls and keeps a fully documented trail of activity in the audit log.
The addition of file transfer capabilities makes the job scheduling component of JAMS that much stronger. Users could previously configure JAMS to automate server workloads by creating schedules based on the calendar, or by available resources (such as disk capacity or I/O). With support for file transfer in JAMS, job activities can be triggered by the completion of file transfers.
MVP Systems Software is not the first vendor to see the wisdom in combining job scheduling and file transfer capabilities. Many other vendors offer both IT disciplines in a single package, or as separate but integrated modules. The combination of job scheduling and file transfer are also key ingredients many companies look for when considering a managed file transfer (MFT) solution.
MVP developed support for file transfers as a response to customer feedback, says John Vottero, a principal with the company. “Customers use JAMS to schedule critical business processes that need to run once related file transfers have completed,” he says. “JAMS 4.8 will be a welcome upgrade for our users.”
Asked what sets JAMS apart from other job schedulers on the market, MVP’s Scott McCausland replied that it’s an easy installation. “From the installation (10 minutes) to deployment, we can have customers up and running in a matter of two to three days,” he says via e-mail. “Also, our real strength is in the Windows market since JAMS is the only .NET engineered batch scheduler on the market. So, as much as we target IT people, we also target application developers who need to embed job scheduling in their own apps.”
The JAMS job scheduler runs on Windows or OpenVMS servers, and supports agents on i OS (i5/OS), Unix, Linux, and OpenVMS servers. Typical pricing includes $10,000 for the JAMS scheduler and $2,000 for each JAMS agent, although MVP also sells an enterprise version and a “lite” version for customers with different needs. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.jamsscheduler.com.