CA Technologies has released the latest update to its Workload Automation software (WLA) featuring more powerful analytics tools, a streamlined user interface and expanded functionality for managing business processes throughout the enterprise.
CA competes with IBM, BMC and others on workload automation. The newest release expands support for SQL Server and has enhancements to the variety of job types that can be managed with the system. New reporting capabilities allow IT managers to centrally track business processes, too.
"WLA is one of our largest product lines because of its ability to orchestrate business services in production environments to deliver value across the spectrum of IT services," says Mark Combs, distinguished senior vice president for CA's mainframe business.
Torsten Volk, a senior analyst at Enterprise Management Associates, says CA, as well as other competitors, are increasingly attempting to expand workload automation to be more tightly integrated with business requirements. The hope is to create systems management solutions that can automate and orchestrate entire business processes. Workload automation tools integrate with other enterprise software, such resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and content management systems (CMS). "Workload automation ties all of those things together to ensure they all deliver the right information to the right place at the right time," Volk explains.
Take an example such as a supermarket chain: A cash register system may be connected to an inventory management system, which would be connected to a product ordering system to ensure the shelves are appropriately stocked.
As organizations continue to look to cloud computing models, this process becomes more complex, and the business process awareness of tools such as CA's WLA becomes essential. "Automation and orchestration is the backbone of cloud," Volk says.
CA has competition in the WLA market, though. Volk says IT shops that have existing relations with CA are most likely to stick with CA, and the company has made that easy to do. Graceful upgrades allow IT managers to pick and choose which portions of the WLA package are upgraded at any given time, so previous versions of WLA will work with the new one.
In addition to the SQL Server compatibility, the newest release also includes other new features such as a remote execution agent, which allows up to six remote systems to be handled under a single license. Improvements were also made to further support Oracle and PeopleSoft.