Ignite Technologies Uses Data Center Automation To Manage The Cloud

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What Is Ignite Technologies?

Industry: Technology
Customer Site: Frisco, Texas, United States

Ignite provides the industry's most secure and scalable Enterprise Content Delivery Solution, enabling customers to efficiently publish, deliver, and manage digital assets, from rich media content for training and communications to software patches and virus updates, to anyone, anywhere, at any time.

Success Story Highlights

  • Automate hundreds of thousands of jobs within their datacenter
  • Runs hundreds of thousands of jobs and achieved a 99.9% success rate
  • Automate jobs seamlessly throughout a disparate IT environment
  • Securely receive customer data, analyze it, and return it to customers in a secure format

Datacenter Automation To Manage The Cloud

In many ways, Ignite Technologies is in the business of streaming as much data through as small a pipeline as possible. Headquartered in Frisco, Texas, this software company is one of the leading providers of SaaS-based products and networking technologies to publish, protect, deliver, and measure custom content to audiences via various online formats. Businesses of all sizes use Ignite Technologies' software to develop and deliver content for everything from marketing and product launches to training videos to audiences of tens of thousands. To do so requires a datacenter and an IT organization up to the task, in addition to an enterprise job scheduling and workload automation solution like ActiveBatch to integrate and automate the datacenter.

At its core, Ignite Technologies uses ActiveBatch to automate thousands of jobs within its datacenter, which serves as the logistical hub for Ignite’s numerous SaaS-based offerings. The majority of the processes ActiveBatch automates revolves around Runbook processes critical to the upkeep of Ignite Technologies’ datacenter, and thus their software offerings. “We have a lot of servers on the backend,” says Alan Davis, Network Engineer at Ignite Technologies. “These servers are responsible for everything from where content is stored
and accessed by customers, to machines responsible for customer transactions.”

On a typical day, Ignite Technologies will run over 250,000 jobs using ActiveBatch, averaging a 99.9% success rate. These jobs span a datacenter comprised of numerous server and database types, including SQL server, Microsoft Hyper-V, and others, and will include processes that run SQL backup jobs, processing and cleaning of log files, and deletion of temporary files.

For example, one such offering is Ignite Technologies’ Software Delivery solution, which is a SaaS-based software solution for computer system inventory, asset management and software delivery for deployment of security patches to computers. Customers will store inventory data within a folder in Ignite Technologies’ secure datacenter. Davis leverages ActiveBatch’s event automation capabilities to trigger a workflow in ActiveBatch every time a customer uploads new data. The information is moved from the folder to another server for processing and, upon completion, moved to another database for safe keeping.

Moving Beyond Task Scheduler And Scripting

Before ActiveBatch, the IT department was relying on a multitude of custom scripts that they were executing via Windows Task Scheduler. “The problem was if we changed a job, or had a problem with a system that we were executing a script on, we would have to turn Task Scheduler off to troubleshoot the problem,” Davis says, “and sometimes we’d forget to turn it back on.”

With the datacenter growing, it became obvious an enterprise scheduling solution was required. “It’s about scalability, and ActiveBatch provides that,” Davis says. “Could I go and write scripts for everything we want to do? Yes, but it would take forever and centrally managing the workflows would be nearly impossible. ActiveBatch provides us with that single point of control.”

Monitoring And Automating The Datacenter

ActiveBatch is also being leveraged outside of the datacenter for monitoring business processes that involve customers. As part of the company’s Enterprise Live Streaming solution, custom content is uploaded to servers that Ignite Technologies' customers “poll” as often as four times an hour to see if new content is available. For larger customers this can involve multiple storefronts, such as McDonald’s. “Each of McDonald’s 14,000 stores will poll our servers once an hour to see if new content is available for download,” Davis says. “If we have something go down on our end, we won’t be able to accept polls from customers, and that’s a big problem.”

To ensure uptime, Davis has a SQL database query job set up within ActiveBatch that collects the number of “polls” in the last 15 minutes. If the return value is less than the specified number set within the job, IT operations is pinged via email and phone.

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