IBM last month announced software that the company said could help customers create an on-demand computing environment across their WebSphere application servers.

WebSphere Extended Deployment (XD) is a software product that can automate workload allocation across servers in a transactional application environment. IBM introduced the software last October, and has since issued Version 6.0 to extend its capabilities beyond Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) transactional applications.

The new version can be configured to run batch and computing-intensive jobs in the background if there is spare capacity, according to IBM. By tapping unused resources at all times, systems managers could, for example, run their batch jobs intermittently during the day rather than waiting until a specified time.

For Bill Noffsinger, a systems administrator at the University of Florida in Gainesville, XD is capable of providing customers with the ability to “deploy and manage heterogeneous applications from a single deployment manager interface,” as well as visualization tools that could help “application administrators become aware of and respond to performance problems and emergent conditions.”

Noffsinger tested Version 6.0 and says the product would benefit from increased support for scientific workloads. XD is a software add-on to IBM’s WebSphere Application Server platform.

The package installs on WebSphere’s administrative console and distributes software agents to managed application servers.

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