Wilson HTM Investment Group (www.wilsonhtm.com.au) is a diversified financial services organisation with a range of expertise in Investment Management, Capital Markets and Private Wealth Management Services. Wilson HTM is a publicly listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange, has over 110 years of investment experience, and employs 300 plus people across Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and regional centres.
Wilson HTM had a number of critical batch jobs that ran nightly. These critical batch jobs were initially scheduled by a number of different products – Windows Task Scheduler, SQL Server Agent and SQL Server Reporting Services. As the number of jobs increased it became obvious the organization required a true enterprise job scheduling solution for the submission, control, monitoring and notification or these critical overnight batch jobs.
Under the current method there were no dependencies in place between jobs, which increased the business risk of jobs potentially running out of sequence (or not at all). If this was to occur then the result was a significant effort the following day to remedy the situation. Alerting was also sporadic and poorly targeted and on occasions overnight jobs would fail. The IT Team would discover if jobs failed from internal customers who were expecting job outputs. The cost and inconvenience to both the business and IT in lost productivity was significant and there was a flow on reputation cost to IT amongst the business.
Having elected to move away from Windows Task Scheduler, SQL Server Agent and SQL Server Reporting Services, Wilson HTM started compiling a list of enterprise class job schedulers on the market. Once a list had been compiled they were analysed against key criteria to reveal the following results:
|Control M||BMC||Discarded on the basis of cost|
|Tivoli||IBM||Discarded on the basis of cost|
|Enterprise Schedule||ISE||Discarded on the basis of cost – was also provided with a reference site who owned ISE but upgrade to JAMS.|
|Event Manager||SQL Sentry||Discarded as it doesn’t handle windows cmd files – it merely reschedules Windows Task Scheduler and SQL Agent jobs.|
|Visual Cron||Visual Cron||Shortlisted|
Further analysis was undertaken, to produce the below results:
|KEY CRITERIA||VISUAL CRON||JAMS|
|Submit Windows CMD||Yes||Yes|
|Cross Server Dependencies||No||Yes|
|Run on MS Cluster||No||Yes|
|Alerting||Email, User (Popup), Event Log, Sys Log, Sound and Job||Email, User and Job|
|Support||Internet Forum (poor)||24×7 (excellent)|
|Notification||Success, Failure, Timeout (stops job), Non Zero exit||Success, Failure, Stalled, Runs too long, Runs too quick|
|Scheduling||Event triggered, Time triggered||Event Triggered, Time triggered, uses natural language (eg 3rd workday of period)|
|PowerShell||via CMD file||Natively|
|Links into Active Directory||No||Yes|
Wilson HTM indicated there were workarounds for the cross server dependency issue but revealed they were cumbersome. However, there was no work around for its inability to run on a cluster. Pricing for Visual Cron was reportedly a lot more cost effective than JAMS (at a couple of thousand for a site license) as opposed to the thousands of dollars price tag for JAMS. Support was of concern to Wilson HTM also as the batch jobs running nightly were critical to the business.
It was stated by Wilson HTM that “JAMS satisfied all the criteria and then some”. Ian Robert, Senior Technical Consultant said “The support with JAMS was brilliant, and during the course of the evaluation over 70 emails were exchanged, numerous phone calls and one web-ex demonstration. No email went more than 12 hours without response (including overnight). Most were responded to within two hours. A number of issues were identified during the course of the evaluation which the support staff had resolutions to the next day”.
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