The Holy Grail of Automated Management

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant is the executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Prior to ENP, Cameron was technical analyst at PCWeek Labs, starting in 1997. Cameron finished up as the eWEEK Labs Technical Director in 2012. Before his extensive labs tenure Cameron paid his IT dues working in technical support and sales engineering at a software publishing firm . Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his analysis is grounded in real-world concern. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at
By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2011-02-02 Email Print this article Print

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! |

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