Advanced Systems Concepts has become the first job scheduling/workload automation vendor to integrate with Windows Azure, Microsoft’s platform for building, deploying, and managing applications and services in the cloud. The new capability enables IT departments to dynamically allocate Azure resources to match workload processing requirements in order to reduce IT operational costs.

ActiveBatch Version 9 changed the workload automation landscape by allowing IT organizations to combine dynamic workload automation and management with the power and flexibility of cloud computing. By automating the management of Azure instances within ActiveBatch, users now have an even more effective way to instantly allocate cloud resources to workload processing, when and where they’re needed.

“As IT increasingly relies on virtual and cloud-based environments, managing the provisioning and de-provisioning of these resources for workload processing can be a major challenge,” said Advanced Systems Concepts' Jim Manias. “The ActiveBatch Extension for Azure ensures that IT organizations have a unified solution for scheduling and automating workloads that cross every physical, virtual and/or cloud environment—including Azure.”

The new ActiveBatch Extension for Azure allows users to provision and manage Azure instances within workflows that direct other applications, platforms and process types, all from within ActiveBatch’s centralized interface. To maximize efficiency, users can take advantage of ActiveBatch’s Smart Queue capabilities to provision Azure instances automatically based on workload demands.

Smart Queue provisions Azure instances based on operating parameters and thresholds defined in advance by the user, such as maximum number of virtual machines (VMs). ActiveBatch will then “spin up” additional Azure instances in advance of scheduled workloads to ensure that adequate resources are available.

The ActiveBatch Extension for Azure offers over 60 production-ready job steps to automate various Azure tasks, including the provisioning/de-provisioning of Azure machines, management of individual or groups of instances, security tasks, machine snapshots, rebooting, synchronizing or termination of instances, and much more. To integrate Azure workflows with other operations throughout the enterprise, ActiveBatch’s Integrated Jobs Library provides more than 400 job steps for various applications, databases and systems, common IT tasks and functions, and more. For example, an administrator might use an ActiveBatch workflow that automatically creates an Active Directory (AD) and Exchange Server account as well as provision an Azure machine for onboarding of new employees.

For more information, check out the Advanced Systems Concepts website.