August 4, 2016 Batch Automation 0 Comments

Multi-tasking: Bad for People, Great for Software

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Multi-tasking isn’t really a successful strategy for getting things done. We don’t tolerate the interruptions as well as we think we do. Simply putting your head down and getting something done works better with our brains. But that’s us. It turns out that multi-tasking gives you quite a benefit when software does it. But some software does it better than others.

Let’s look at JES2. We’ve all seen the movie where someone walks onto the set, picks up a single item, moves it somewhere and then comes back to pick up another item. It could be a child resenting the demand to set the table, taking the silverware to its place one piece at a time. It’s funny in a movie. But we all know it doesn’t make sense. Grab all the plates and then pile the silverware on top and now you have something.

Identifying the Problem

But JES2 is worse than that. Imagine a tiny kitchen so tightly configured that only one person can be in it at a time. So while the child is grabbing one fork at a time, the parent (cook) has to wait to use the kitchen. JES2 waits until the job is initiated before gathering—”one fork at a time”—the components it needs to run the job. That initiator and a lot of processing power wait while JES2 gathers forks. You don’t see this because it is how it works every time, but it’s slowing down your batch.

So what can you do about it? You’re not going to rewrite JES. What you really need is software that multi-tasks and, even better, gets a batch job ready to go before it initiates. It’s as if you have an army rushing to get the job ready before it takes up space that another, ready job could use. Wouldn’t that save time? This would definitely be an improvement on JES2 and could make you look like a really smart sysprog, all the while you don’t really have to do anything except let it do its job.

Finding the Solution

This is just one of the cool aspects of ThruPut Manager. The solution hands JES2 a ready-to-go job, meaning that you’ve just eliminated a ton of wait time and freed up processing power to other, ready work. ThruPut Manager knows what resources a job needs and can determine if and when they are available. It offers a multitude of other great features that answer the question, “If you were building a job execution system from scratch, knowing what we know now, how would you do it?”

This is just a taste of what you can get, but sometimes the basics are what can really excite you. Can you do better than JES2? Absolutely.

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Chief Innovator, Denise P. Kalm began her career in biochemical genetics (M.S. University of Michigan). She went on to have a career in IT, beginning with programming, moving to performance and capacity planning and then to work for vendors. Her experience as a performance analyst/capacity planner, software consultant, and then marketing maven at various software companies grounds her work providing contract writing, editing, marketing and speaking services. She is a frequently published author in both the IT world and outside. Kalm is a requested speaker at such venues as SHARE, CMG and ITFMA and has enhanced her skills through Toastmasters where she has earned her ACG/ALB. She is also a personal coach at DPK Coaching.