Workload automation is becoming more crucial as IT infrastructure grows more complicated. IDC has estimated that between 2014 and 2019, the global market for workload scheduling and automation software will grow at a compound annual rate of about 8.4 percent. This is a clear indication that enterprises are realizing the importance of automating workflows.
Most companies that consider implementing automation software have the idea that it will save them time and resources. But there are a lot of automation solutions out there. How do you ensure that your new software will get you where you want to be?
The Objectives of Workload Automation
Workload automation should fulfill the specific role of making IT workloads easier to manage. In order to provide the best return on investment to companies across a variety of industries, operators need to be able to perform tasks like database queries, file transfers, and data backup in record time. If deployed properly, these functionalities should accomplish several things:
- Save time: If IT staff doesn't have to physically input items or schedule tasks, this frees up their day to devote to more important tasks that can’t be automated.
- Increase productivity: This goes hand-in-hand with saving time. Managers can do more if their time is not constantly taken up by manual tasks or monitoring job schedules. When productivity goes up, so does the opportunity to generate more revenue. This makes workload automation invaluable from a business perspective.
- Maximize resource utilization: On top of improving time management and creating opportunities for IT staff to be more productive throughout the day, WLA solutions need to help departments use their resources to the fullest potential.
How to Achieve Automation Success
Let’s start with those two most valuable commodities, time and money. Here’s what you want to have:
- Event-driven scheduling: Basic job schedulers will let you schedule tasks based on date and time. So let’s say you need a file to arrive before your process can kick off. You would have to guess when the file will arrive and schedule the job afterwards. If the file arrives early, waiting for it is a waste of time. If it arrives late, the job fails and you lose money. Event-driven scheduling allows the file arrival (or another critical step) to kick off the process.
- Consolidated automation: Modern enterprises have a mixed environment consisting of many disparate systems and applications. Some will have their own automation tools; for example, Informatica has the ability to schedule workflows within the application, and if you’re running Unix you will have cron built in. But when your solutions can’t talk to each other, it’s messy and inefficient. You want a solution that provides comprehensive workload automation across your enterprise.
- Hands-off capabilities: Technically any automated solution should be able to run without a human operator, but do you trust your software? No matter how good your job scheduler is, sometimes things go wrong. The right enterprise job scheduling solution will have job monitors to keep an eye on your critical tasks and send you a notification if anything fails.
Workload automation with these capabilities can save a company hours every day and streamline processes that were wasting significant resources.
Resource Optimization with an Enterprise Job Scheduler
Digging a little deeper into the idea of maximizing resources, there are a few concepts you should be aware of when planning your workload automation strategy:
- Resource pools: Resource pools are what they sound like—a pool of resources, such as CPU and memory, in a virtualized environment. You want to be able to easily move these resources as needed.
- Automated provisioning: When you schedule a high priority task, there should be some type of automated provisioning process that determines the amount of resources the task will need and moves those resources to the virtual machine that needs them. Once the task is complete, the resources can go back in the pool.
- Load balancing: Load balancing is coming at the resource requirements from the other side. Your workload automation tool determines what resources a task will need and submits that task to a server or virtual machine that has the required amount of processing power available. This balances the load between machines and allows more work to be completed in the same amount of time.
Tying It All Together: What Does Automate Schedule Bring to Your Automation Strategy?
Automate Schedule provides the consolidated, event-driven scheduling options and job monitoring capabilities you need to keep your IT overhead low.
If you are using resource pools, Automate Schedule can be used to move the resources in the pool to the proper server before a task is submitted. Automate Schedule can also help with load balancing among Automate agents by using an agent group for submitting tasks. Automate Schedule will calculate how many jobs are running on an agent compared to how many are allowed to run on that agent, and submit the task to the agent with the most resources available.
To start optimizing resources with Automate Schedule today, download the free trial.