The Holy Grail of Automated Management
I talked with UC4 today about their upcoming launch of a workload automation tool set currently scheduled for March 15. They seek the holy grail of predictive workload management, automating the allocation of scarce storage, network, compute resources along with complex job scheduling. Way back in the dusty history of time (circa 1998), CA (then known as Computer Associates) experimented with a smart agent called a Neugent, which it got from acquiring a company called AI Ware. This was the first time that I had personal experience with this elusive quest for a piece of code that could make intelligent decisions.
The new CEO of UC4, Jason Liu, has six months on the job. Of his serial entrepreneurships, the one I know him from is Calisto Software and an early mobile phone manager called the Orbiter. You can read my 2001 review of Orbiter and Mobile Automation here. Calisto went on to be acquired and digested by Novell. Jason and my news colleague, Chris Premeisberger spent the better part of an hour discussing job scheduling, managed file transfer, and systems management. According to Liu, UC4 seeks to be the brain that interprets information gathered from legacy management systems including the Big 4 (BMC, CA, HP, IBM/Tivoli) and virtual machine managers including VMware and Microsoft to automate workload performance.
Even though I’ve been pitched automation tools I like to get my hands dirty with them before passing judgements one way or the other. With CA and the Neugents, I went to Brigham Young University, then a CA beta customer and spent a couple days checking out how the technology worked, which turned out to be not too well at the time. With UC4, I’ll be looking to do a “Labs On Site” to see how well the latest revision of their tool set works in real life. The portofolio includes Automation Platform, Decision, Insight, ClearView, PrintView, and Mobile. I’ll let you check out the website for the elevator pitch on what each component does. If you’re thinking of using the package and want to talk with me about how it works, please drop me a line!