CA enhances Workload Automation suite


CA this week is set to announce upgrades across its workload automation suite that will help customers automate batch and other jobs across an enterprise network in an on-demand manner.

CA Workload Automation is a suite of products that helps customers automate existing workflows and perform jobs without redesigning processes. CA says this release goes beyond traditional job scheduling software, which is typically time and date dependent, to provide workload automation in an unscheduled environment. In such an environment, batch and other server jobs can be run when capacity is free and resources are available.

“This release provides scheduled features but also provides real-time, event-driven capabilities to automate jobs and workloads in an on-demand manner,” says Jim Anderson, a director of product management at CA. “Workload automation provides customers the ability to orchestrate work, which includes jobs, business processes and manual tasks.”

The suite now includes CA Workload Control Center, a portal application that comes with the distributed CA AutoSys 11 or mainframe-hosted CA-7 11, which provides a central management console from which to trigger and monitor enterprise jobs, CA says. The addition of such a portal, industry watchers say, will enable IT managers to better track physical and virtual resources as well as manual and automated processes. The portal lets IT managers customize workflows and also includes executive-level dashboards and enterprise reporting capabilities.

“Workload Control Center with the single interface works with both mainframe and distributed systems,” says Rich Ptak, principal and founder of research firm Ptak, Noel and Associates. “[The suite] provides real-time management of virtualized resources and allows a smooth integration of manual activities into the automated pieces of the scheduling process.”

The suite — which provides tools to define jobs, configure software to start jobs automatically and monitor their progress and completion — includes applications that run in both mainframe and distributed environments, depending on customer need. The software includes server and distributed agent technology.

Also with this suite release, CA will introduce a new product for midsize businesses. CA dSeries is a workload automation product for distributed environments developed from with technology CA acquired last year with Cybermation. The product would provide similar features to smaller environments.

IDC estimates the job scheduling software market will grow to US$1.8 billion in 2007, yet CA’s Anderson says the enterprise market for workload automation products could be at least 99% saturated, partly because the company faces competition from equally established vendors BMC and IBM. Anderson says the mid-market for such workload automation software is only about 50% saturated among 8,000 to 10,000 companies CA defines as in the mid-market. “[Small and midsize] companies for CA runs from $300 million to $1 billion, which are good-sized companies and a real market opportunity,” Ptak adds.

Pricing for the Workload Automation Solution starts at $25,000 for distributed environments. The software is expected to be generally available by May.


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