We’ve said before that the advantage of workload automation software is that it provides a central location from which to monitor your disparate or native job schedulers running on various servers across your enterprise. Jared Dahl, Manager of the Automate Schedule Dvelopment team, is back for another installment of "No-Stress Job Scheduling" to tell you about the four core advantages to using an enterprise job scheduler.
Central Control of Your Production Jobs
As an IT manager, there is a huge advantage to having central access to all of the output from your jobs and all of the job history logs. Being able to access and view the output and outcome of every single production job gives you unprecedented detailed knowledge about your environment—information that you can use to explain production decisions to and improve forecasting for your executives. In turn, on a more micro-level, an enterprise scheduler simplifies the day-to-day management of your data center and production job streams because you no longer need to access each individual server to start or stop job flows. Instead, you can launch enterprise-wide processes from a central monitoring interface. This makes managing your workflows much more efficient.
Central monitoring not only allows you to trigger jobs across your enterprise from a central dashboard, but it also increases your visibility into the success and failure of your jobs—information that is mission-critical for meeting SLAs and maintaining an efficient and effective business.
"Using Automate Schedule's checking and monitoring capabilities, we've increased the level of control we have over job flow and scheduling. Managers are notified immediately when specific jobs need attention."—Bayer in Italy
Cross-System Events Driving Your Schedule
Related to central monitoring is the ability to trigger cross-system events from a central console with an enterprise job scheduler. For example, an event on a Windows box may not kick off until a UNIX job is complete. This type of cross-system scheduling is possible with a platform-agnostic job scheduling tool like Automate Schedule.
In this video, Jared introduces the idea of scheduling for the people—not for computers. Using a scheduling tool that allows you to react rather than merely schedule makes your enterprise more flexible to the nuances of daily operations and any unexpected events. Building a schedule that is reactive based on scheduling events—the completion of the Windows job launches a job on the UNIX box—creates a schedule that is more streamlined overall. With cross-system events driving your schedule, you’ll eliminate any unnecessary “safety” time that was built into your schedule, making the job stream more efficient in the long run.
Reusing Jobs, Commands, and Environments
An enterprise job scheduler like Automate Schedule allows you to reuse jobs, commands, and environments by storing them in a central location. This allows you to define a job once that you can reuse on multiple systems.
In particular, environments are very important, namely user profiles, passwords, and user paths. These environments typically need to be set before these jobs will run, but maintaining them can be a lot of work. The ability to build reusable environments is a huge benefit for programmers, who can build a job or command and go through testing procedures once, knowing that they can rely on and reuse these jobs in the future. For example, if you’re trying to back up 100 Linux systems, you can define one job to take care of the back up on all of those systems.
Here is an additional helpful resource on reusing one job for multiple schedules.
Securing Your Job Schedule
Jared notes that there are three key components to securing your job schedule: single sign-on, minimizing authority, and auditing. Single sign-on access relates to the benefits noted above about centralization: single sign-on gives you the ability to pull information about different systems—your Windows, Linux, and Mac systems, for example—into one place.
In turn, authority is important to securing your job schedule because you do not necessarily want everyone to have access to the whole system if they just need access to certain elements of the job schedule. Role-based security options like those offered by Automate Schedule make it easy to minimize authority and define roles for people, including administrator, operator, and user.
Finally, job history logs within an enterprise job scheduler prove to be invaluable in the auditing process. Job history logs provide an audit trail, which will help you meet any pertinent regulatory requirements. If and when any changes are made to the job schedule—because of the identifiable role-based security options—you’ll know who made the change and you’ll be able to monitor for any repercussions from this change. In this way, an audit history feature is integral to monitoring and maintaining the health of your enterprise schedule.
Not all enterprise job scheduling tools are created equal. As you explore which job scheduling tool might be right for your organization, it’s important to consider features that will help you leverage the core advantages to using an enterprise job scheduler.
Automate Schedule's central monitoring dashboard was built with simplicity in mind to give you control over and visibility into your enterprise production streams. Monitoring your workflows across your complex environment has never been easier.
Here are some useful resources for understanding the core benefits of enterprise job schedulers:
Begin scheduling with Automate Schedule today to reap the benefits of centralized monitoring, cross-system reactivity, reusing successful jobs and commands, and building a secure job schedule.
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