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ASC Addresses Key Workload Automation Issue

Advanced Systems Concepts is expected to ship in June a new version of its ActiveBatch Workload Automation and Job Scheduling Software. Version 9.0 of the product adds integrated capabilities to join reactive and predictive forms of resource management to optimize service level agreements (SLAs) for enterprise business services.

The new version of the product has two major functions. Automatic server provisioning allocates virtual and cloud-based resources in real time to ensure that workflows continue to have enough resources to complete their tasks. The program also uses scheduling analytics to provision resources in advance of their execution by combining historical analysis and workload forecasting to ensure that enough resources will continue to be available for workflows so they can complete their tasks in a way that complies with SLAs.

"ActiveBatch V9 addresses SLA-based resource optimization as the core challenge of modern workload automation," says Torsten Volk, senior analyst for Enterprise Management Associates, a Boulder, Colo., consultancy. "Dynamically placing workloads where they can be processed in the most cost-effective manner, while remaining compliant with business priorities, is the ultimate goal of enterprise IT. Enterprise IT can now truly take advantage of the individual strengths of its physical, virtual and cloud environments."

ASCI is introducing predictive analytics to anticipate which physical, virtual, and cloud resources should be used for a specific workload, based on historic performance data, compliance requirements, and resource availability and capacity, he says. "With V9, ASCI is even going one step further, automatically provisioning servers in real time to ensure adequate resource allocation in order to ensure workflow completion within the SLA required timeframe."

With the new predictive capabilities in this version of the product, users are expected to be able to more easily manage mixed workloads based on business policies in which on-premises and cloud-based resources are assigned or deassigned to meet individual SLAs, according to the Morristown, N.J., company. The predictive analysis features use factors such as historical workflow performance, resource availability and capacity to govern the execution of workflows and processes; analyzes those behaviors; and then uses anticipated needs to manage, provision, and schedule jobs or allocate resources in real time, leveraging both cloud and virtual resources. This means that companies have the ability to reconfigure their virtual environments and public clouds as frequently as minute by minute to take advantage of changing conditions, the company says.

To perform this functionality, Version 9 includes Generic Queues functionality to support the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), as well as support for virtualization platforms such as Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager and VMware. The company says it intends to provide support for the Xen hypervisor and XenServer virtualization software from Citrix.

ActiveBatch Workload Automation and Job Scheduling Software 9.0 is scheduled to be available in the second quarter of this year, most likely in June. Pricing is dependent on customer configuration and requirements, and starts at about $25,000, the company says.

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