Dan's Take

Why Batch Processing Is Still Critical to IT Operations

An updated product emphasizes its continuing importance.

Advanced Systems Concepts has just launched ActiveBatch V11. It expands ActiveBatch's support of the Hadoop ecosystem and adds new features to improve workflow performance.

Here's a snippet of what the company says about ActiveBatch V11:

ActiveBatch Extension for Hadoop provides:

  • Production-ready content for components of the Hadoop ecosystem including HDFS, Hive, MapReduce, Spark, HBase, Pig, Sqoop, Oozie and more. With access to pre-built code that is pre-tested, the creation of workflows and workloads is simplified, enabling IT to build and automate end-to-end workflows in half the time.
  • HDFS Event Trigger brings the power of advanced event-driven automation to big data, improving time to insight by getting the latest data into the hands of the end user faster.
  • Ability for users to take full advantage of ActiveBatch's advanced scheduling and automation functionality, including the creation of re-useable customizable templates. Job Steps can now be saved for future use, making it easy for other developers to re-use and re-purpose content, improving manageability and reducing the time spent scripting.
Dan's Take: Addressing IT's Dirty Little Secret
Advanced Systems Concepts has long been on my radar screen as a supplier of intelligent, sophisticated workload automation software. I've watched them since my days as an Intel/UNIX business manager for DEC (you know, back in the age of the Brontosaurus.)

An extensive use of batch processes is a dirty little secret many enterprise IT shops often don't mention. IT executives would rather talk about things like Internet of Things, Big Data analysis and just about anything other than the age-old use of batch processes. After all, these business critical functions are not seen as sexy or leading edge, and thus seldom mentioned. They do, however, support sexy, leading-edge portions of enterprise workloads.

That being said, batch is still a very important function built into nearly all significant enterprise workloads; even the ones that might be accessed by smartphone, tablet and laptop users. Something has to go through the enterprise databases and update records, prices and so on.

Advanced Systems Concepts continues to add new features to its workload automation software so the back-end batch functions can play nicely with front end IoT, Big Data and other sexy applications. Being able to move files from place to place, keep track of what's changed during processing and other functions is certain to simplify the work of IT developers and administrators, even though these functions are not likely to be the ones the CIO touts at board meetings.

Is your computing environment complex, with a mix of user-facing and back-end functions? If so, your enterprise may already be using ActiveBatch. I'd suggest knowing about the company and its products either way.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.


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