Zombie Jobs Can’t Be Stopped By Email Broadcasts

Incident Management / Integrations / IT Management / Partners
Abbas Haider Ali ON Aug 30, 2011

CA Workload Automation AE (formerly AutoSys) is used by hundreds of companies across the world to manage their critical distributed platform jobs.  For operations teams keeping an eye on these business critical activities, any jobs that stall or fail require immediate action.  CA Workload Automation AE provides two modes for monitoring jobs – eyes on glass using the dashboard, or email alerts when something goes wrong.  The challenge with the first approach is that it is people intensive and wasteful.  The second approach typically blasts out an email notification to a list of people who then have to connect back to the console from wherever they are to address the issue…..and all of this typically happens at 2am  when everyone is fast asleep (or at least shouldn’t be focusing on their batch jobs).

Sound like a process that could be optimized?  It is.  Turns out that within the bounds of our existing partnership with CA Technologies we’ve already been addressing this very issue with other CA products – Spectrum, and Service Desk Manager.  xMatters relevance engines are designed to take critical events and get them into the right people’s hands so that they can take corrective actions from wherever they are.  It directs alerts about events to people using knowledge of on call schedules, escalation rules, technicians’ expertise, location, severity of issue, and more.  The alerts are all interactive and delivered via email, phone calls, SMS text messages, smartphones, and tablets.

So what does all that mean if you use CA Workload Automation AE?  You can now deploy a xMatters (IT) engine for CA Workload Automation AE (formerly Autosys) that brings these capabilities to bear when managing your critical jobs.  If a job fails in the middle of the night, Autosys can automatically pick up the phone, call the technical expert or application programmer who is responsible for that job, speak to them in any of 12 different languages, and give them the ability using touchtones to restart it.  The tech could do the same thing using SMS text messages, or with their tablet or smartphone without the need to drive into the operations center or power up a VPN connection.  No eyes needed to watch the console 24×7, no email blasts to people who can’t do anything about the issue, no waking up the wrong person in the middle of the night.  As an added bonus, the relevance engine can also automagically provide a heads up to the key business stakeholders that an issue occurred AND that it had already been handled.  No more early morning calls starting with “Why didn’t anyone tell me about ______?”

Now that’s how you take down a zombie job plague before it gets out of control.

Abbas Haider Ali.

UPDATE: Check out the press release after the jump.

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