IBM scheduler works with grids, mainframes

IBM Corp. on Monday unwrapped new software that allows corporate users to carry out both cross-platform and cross-domain scheduling by integrating enterprise-class applications across both grids and other distributed environments.

With built-in grid support, Version 8.2 of the Workload Scheduler for Virtualized Data Centers can serve as a piece of infrastructure software that helps IT shops glue together an on-demand e-business, and then allow administrators to also manage that environment from just one place, company executives said.

“We think the overall scheduling market is poised for considerable growth as workload scheduling becomes an integral piece of business integration because of the push toward on-demand markets and business models,” said Laura Sanders, vice-president in charge of optimization and resilience development with IBM’s Tivoli unit. “We see an end-to-end offering like this allowing users to recognize savings in IT management by allowing job scheduling resources to reside in a single place,” she said.

With the support for grids and high performance computing (HPC) clusters, IBM executives view the release as a necessary evolution in order for it to play a more meaningful role in on demand environments.

“We see this as a tactical release. It is the first scheduling solution for on-demand operating environments, but with the roadmap we are working on now, we will extend (the Scheduler) into our Enterprise Workload Manager, Tivoli Orchestrator, Provisioning Manager, and a couple of our security products,” said Mark Morneault, Tivoli’s senior marketing manager for Grid Workload Management in Austin, Tex.

The new version has interfaces that are compliant with the Open Grid Services Architecture (OSGA) standard for grids, which allows IBM’s Workload Scheduler to interact with other vendors’ grid offerings, including those of Platform Computing Inc. and Data Synapse Inc.

“This will allow our users to drive workloads into environments and then pass back and forth the management of them, as well as swap results across different environments,” Morneault said.

Some users said they like the idea of being able to manage a patchwork of different environments from a single location, believing it is worth the investment of time and money.

“We think this product can provide Tivoli with a single view of our workload scheduling environment that is made up of mainframes, HPC clusters, and grid pools. We can manage jobs across all those environments from one console,” said Isao Adachi, ESM group manager with NTT Data ITEC.

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