Using BMC Control-M to Automate Tasks

My largest client recently purchased BMC Control-M to use as our enterprise scheduler. Since this product went live in our environment I have been watching it displace other schedulers to become the centralized scheduler.  As I have learned more about the capabilities of Control-M as well as becoming more alert to seeing references to the product in the market place I have become a huge fan.

Being a database professional I have become very attached to SQL Server Agent for scheduling anything SQL related.  However I know the limitations of SQL Server Agent when it comes to the SQL task being one of many factors in a much larger process.  Over the years I have seen very complex processes implemented to schedule a multi-process job. In cases where one process (non sql) creates a file that another process (sql job) ingests, manipulates, and outputs additional files that will be used by another process (non sql). Those three jobs have to run in a particular order so the IT admins have to get creative with scheduling.

What I have found with Control-M is that it can schedule each task to run in a workflow so each job becomes a task for a single process flow within Control-M.  The design of the workflows in Control-M is much like SSIS.  The major benefit with letting Control-M execute these processes is the ability for it to monitor each process, send notifications on success or failure and immediately kick off the next process in the workflow after successful completion of the previous task.

As a DBA giving up control over scheduling my jobs was an uneasy feeling, however if you are like me, many times you have a job fail due to a dependency. For me it is usually that a file my job is importing didn’t arrive.  If this job was part of a Control-M process then my job would not have ran due to the dependency failure and whomever is responsible for the file I need would be notified.

Our most recent big success with BMC Control-M for Cloud was installing the module for VMware.  We have virtual servers that need weekly reboots (mostly web servers) and using Control-M for Cloud has automated that process eliminating the need for a VMware Admin or someone in our Network Operations Center from having to issue these reboots.  A good friend of mine blogged about his experience setting that up here >> ControlMWithBigAl.Wordpress.com

 

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5 Responses to Using BMC Control-M to Automate Tasks

  1. Joe Goldberg says:

    Hi Tim,

    Love the blog.

    We are always excited to hear what customers are doing with Control-M and when I read your blog I thought there may be lots of other DBAs out there who may be interested too.

    Would you be interested in joining me, and perhaps we can invite another customer or two (Big Al comes to mind), in a BMC-sponsered webinar in which we discuss how DBAs can use and benefit from Control-M.

    Let me know what you think.

    • Tim Radney says:

      Joe, that would be an incredible opportunity. I am all about helping others and sharing knowledge. You can reach me directly at tim @ timradney dot com.

  2. Joe Fuller says:

    Hi Tim,
    I work for a large Financial institution in Australia and I’ve been using Control-M for the past 6 – 7 years. As an Enterprise scheduling tool where tasks need to be synchronised across multiple servers on multiple operating systems going back to SQL Agent would not be feasible.

    Cheers.

    • Shukhrat says:

      Joe, I work in Finance as well – we do trading here in US, what we use for everything (we have multiple servers doing different tasks simultaneously) is Tidal Enteprise Scheduler from CISCO. Capable of everything we need, from checking files from external FTP servers, bringing our system up, having job dependencies, scripting, running reports and pushing them to customers or emailing them. For every step you can have alert notifiying you either via email or phone (though we don’t use phone notification). It also has great customer support.

  3. Charlie says:

    Hi Tim,

    We have been using Control-M across multiple DBMS and OS for many years. This includes running our BI EOD process using SSIS. We have even started to run our SSRS subscription jobs via Control-M to create more visibility. The latter is more challenging due to the nature of subscriptions and how they are created in SQL. This obviously remains a work in progress…

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