CA Workload Automation Review
We use it as our enterprise-level scheduling systems. We used to have scattered jobs scheduled.


What is most valuable?

What I like about it is that we use it as our enterprise-level scheduling systems. We used to have scattered jobs scheduled. They all had problems every day. The troubleshooting made a huge mess for the whole company. After we started using CA Workload Automation, everything became one integrated system. It makes the troubleshooting and monitoring much easier.

We started with Workload Automation 10 years ago. Before we started, we had about three hundred scheduler jobs distributed in different Unix systems, Window systems, AIX systems. Everyday you need to fix some problem. Once we built the Workload Automation, everything was in one centralized place.

As a management firm, every morning we have to be ready to trade, as soon as the stock market opens. To be able to trade, the nightly cycle jobs are very critical. If any one of them isn’t ready, you cannot trade at 9:30. It's always a struggle for us. For a while, we had about five people just for overnight support. After we integrated Workload Automation into our system, we are down to two people.

What needs improvement?

Like almost everyone else, we like to make it more web-available. Right now, it's a thick client so you need to have a desktop client do all the work and the monitoring. People like to just go to a browser, look for the jobs and monitor them. That is something we’d like to see. I think we're very happy with this system.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had some problems at first. I guess every new system has some problems. That was ten years ago. We had a very good consultant from CA. He basically became a resident expert for us for three months. He basically enhanced the whole workload, and improved all those workflows for us. After that, it has been running very smoothly for us.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Our total number of jobs grew about five-fold. We used to have about 100,000 jobs a month. Now we have about a half million jobs a month.

How is customer service and technical support?

We had one time when we did an upgrade, which did not go smoothly. I remember clearly that we had about 53 open tickets with CA in one week, but CA support is very, very good. They eventually sent us someone who was just wonderful. They sent him to our office and he sat down with us on-site, and he helped us with the whole thing. CA support is wonderful.

The technical support is absolutely the most important to us. When you manage support systems, you want to have someone who can back you up. Luckily CA support is very very good.

How was the initial setup?

I think the initial setup is very straightforward itself. The migration is not. It's not because of the system. It's more because of the job itself. Our firm is about 90 years old. Over the years, it has accumulated a lot of legacy systems, and a lot of legacy jobs. You need to spend time to understand the job when you migrate to a new system.

What other advice do I have?

We had so many NT schedulers, like cron jobs for Unix. We know this is not right. At that time, we luckily had a new CEO. When he came on board, he said the first thing we need to do is to have some enterprise scheduling. I was actually the one who was in charge of finding the right solution.

We went to IBM Tivoli, BMC Control-M; and then we also came to CA. What CA did is: instead of just selling some products to us, they actually sat down with us to understand our environment first. Then they come back to us, and say "Okay, I don't think you guys want to have AutoSys. "At that time, AutoSys was famous. Our environment is not big enough. So they said, "We think the Workload Automation dSeries is actually much better for you." I was very touched by a vendor who came to us and gave us the right solution, instead of just selling us something more expensive. That's the whole reason we chose the dSeries.

If you are considering this product, I would say just go for it. The planning is like I said: the systems stuff itself is easy, but the migration is not. You need to understand what you have now before you move on to different one.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.

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