IBM is offering a software package that can turn an enterprise IT infrastructure into a grid environment, giving users greater flexibility in the use of its resources and protecting it against failures.
IBMs Batch-on-Grid software—which comprises new versions of the companys Tivoli Workload Scheduler 8.3, Tivoli Workload Scheduler Load Leveler and Tivoli Intelligent Orchestrator—can dynamically allocate resources on the fly and move workloads to the appropriate server.
It also can ensure that the most important jobs are addressed first, and that tasks can be redirected if a server within the grid fails.
“You can begin to broker work to the best resources,” said Mark Morneault, director of Tivoli workload management products for IBM.
The vendor announced the software release May 11 at the Grid World show in Tokyo.
The new software works off the batch computing technique, in which tasks are put into a queue and then scheduled for processing. The technique is used in major enterprises, particularly in such sectors as financial services and government.
Batch-on-Grid automates that batching process, getting the jobs done more efficiently and increasing the amount of work that can be processed by the IT infrastructure, Morneault said.
In standard batch computing, specific jobs are assigned specific times and specific IP addresses, he said, whereas the new software virtualizes those resources in a single pool and then pools of resources can be allocated to address a workload. Once thats done, the resources can be reallocated to another task.
Morneault said Batch-on-Grids capabilities should double or triple the amount of work that can be done, which is important for larger companies, some of which run as many as 300,000 jobs a day.
“Theyre looking at another 300,000 to 600,000 jobs they can do,” he said. “It improves their capacity significantly.”
For companies that have one or more of the software pieces in place, getting the grid environment up and running is fairly simple, he said. Those just starting out may need some help from IBM.
While Morneault sees benefits that the grid solution could bring to midrange companies with 1,000 or fewer employees, the most advantages will be for larger enterprises, he said.
The software will work in heterogeneous environments across mainframe and distributed computing environments, he said. It also can be used within SOA (service-oriented architectures).