Software manages corporate resources

IBM Corp. last week rolled out workload management software to let users centralize, schedule and manage batch jobs and application processing across multiple platforms, including grid systems.

IBM Tivoli Workload Scheduler for Virtualized Data Centers performs workload scheduling across enterprise resources. The product comprises two components: master scheduler software and agents. The master scheduler program runs on a zSeries mainframe or an AIX workstation and will manage batch jobs across multiple platforms using distributed agent software. The agents can reside on a variety of vendors’ platforms, such as Sun Solaris or Microsoft Windows.

Workload Scheduler for Virtualized Data Centers requires customers to set up a grid-like infrastructure, which IBM says they can do by identifying the resources used by jobs and installing the software agents, so the master scheduler can incorporate the resources in its actions.

“With this product, once the enterprise is virtualized, (network administrators) can take batch jobs and dynamically route them to any free machine,” said Mark Morneault, marketing manager for IBM Tivoli.

He added that the software could also let network managers schedule batch jobs and put unused resources to work at any time during any given day. Typically IT staff would run batch jobs at night, or off business hours, when users and applications aren’t demanding the processing and memory resources. But today many companies maintain operations round the clock and can’t always commit computing power to batch jobs without affecting business-critical applications, Morneault said.

Historically, workload management software from vendors such as Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM and Platform Computing Inc. lets network administrators reallocate CPU and memory resources to applications based on processing requirements as well as limit the number of high-end machines needed to support applications. But the software also had its limitations; it typically could only perform its application resource-sharing tasks on one physical box.

A typical large enterprise deployment — one with 60 to 100 distributed servers — of IBM Tivoli Workload Scheduler for Virtualized Data Centers would cost between US$200,000 and US$300,000. Version 8.2 of the software is available now.

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