IBM rolls out grid software for batch processing

* IBM Batch-on-Grid

IBM recently announced a self-managing software package for grid environments that automatically accommodates for changes in workload.

Called IBM Batch-on-Grid, the package allocates servers automatically to changing workloads, thus allowing organizations to continue operations despite system failures, maintenance or natural disasters.

In a research note released by Enterprise Management Associates, EMA analysts "believes IBM is making a very interesting and timely move with this solution. Traditional job scheduling software, while it is irreplaceable for many modern applications, is underutilized with new technology such as cluster, grid, virtual, and SOA applications, largely because few vendors have adapted to these technology changes."

The package consists of the Tivoli Workload Scheduler 8.3, the Tivoli Workload Scheduler Load Leveler and the Tivoli Intelligent Orchestrator. The Workload Scheduler is used to manage mainframe and open systems batch processing workloads. Load Leveler is AIX and Linux job scheduling software that lets users match processing needs and priority to available resources. Intelligent Orchestrator automatically triggers the provisioning, configuration and deployment network servers, operating systems, storage and applications when needed for production. Intelligent Orchestrator runs on any open systems platform.

Batch-on-Grid is intended for use by IBM's customers who are running grid networks and doing batch processing. IBM claims that the majority of its grid customers are using their grids for batch jobs. In batch computing, jobs are submitted to queues and scheduled for processing based on priority of the job.

Using rules and policies, customers can prioritize and automatically shift workloads. A rule could be created for instance that will limit a server to 95% capacity. When that threshold is reached, the software will automatically shift the job being run to another server.

The Batch-on-Grid package is available now starting at $3,200 per processor.

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