Always On – How Workload Automation Supports Business Continuity

online vs offlineCentralized workload automation provides considerable value to businesses that strive to be “always on”. Designing resilient IT environments with year-round, 24/7 availability, helps meet customer demand for continuous access to applications and information.

Centralized workload automation aligns well with new standards of “Business Continuity” because it ensures that mission-critical functions continue both during and after a failure. Providing Business Continuity has all but replaced the traditional goal of providing Disaster Recovery, a practice that focused mostly on recovering from rare catastrophic events, such as natural disasters or national emergencies. Twenty years ago, even a single mainframe hardware or software failure could cause such a failure. Fortunately, the monolithic, mainframe-centric systems of the past have been replaced by distributed, layered and redundant systems.

 

Impediments to “Business Continuity”

A recent Plan B survey analyzing the key factors that cause major IT incidents and service failures showed that human error (including acts such as accidentally powering something off or disconnecting something, as well as typing errors or incorrect actions taken by operators or users) accounted for 47 percent of incidents, followed by server failures at 29 percent and power and communications provider failure at 15 percent. Fire, flood or ‘Acts of God’ accounted for 9 percent of breaks in Business Continuity.

Regardless of how likely you think you are to experience each of these issues, you’ll be better off by preparing for any of them. Leveraging a centralized automation solution, such as JAMS, enables you to respond quickly to outages and maintain the highest possible levels of service.

JAMS uses a central database and centralized scheduling engines to manage tasks distributed across multiple systems – local, remote or even in the cloud. If any of those systems fail, or if the network connection to any of those systems is lost, JAMS can respond rapidly – employing any number of appropriate, predefined actions.

 

Network Connection Loss?

When a network connection fails, JAMS continues to operate. Once the connection is restored, JAMS automatically reconnects with agents, and retrieves all of the job data that was missed during the outage.

 

Remote Machine Failure?

In case of a remote system failure, JAMS will alert operators to the fact that any jobs executing on the remote system(s) have failed. Through the JAMS User Interface, operators can easily see which tasks were impacted by the system failure and can take appropriate actions, such as rerunning tasks, or running a group of predefined recovery tasks. The run book documentation built into JAMS provides a centralized place to keep recovery instructions.

 

Failure of the Scheduler’s Host Machine?

The centralized architecture of JAMS is, itself, highly available. JAMS has completely transparent failover support. A number of different ways can be used to achieve transparent failover including the ability to configure automatic Failover JAMS Server. JAMS can also operate seamlessly in a clustered environment.

The Digital Enterprise is here, and it needs to be ‘always on’. Customers and users demand it. Automating IT with JAMS Scheduler provides a solid foundation upon which to build your Business Continuity strategy.