Best of breed and moving farther ahead
June 22, 2016

Best of breed and moving farther ahead

Mark Francome | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Control-M

Control-M is used as the corporate Workload Automation tool and is particularly used in cross-platform scenarios (mainly Linux and Windows servers) when active resource management is required, for integrated housekeeping tasks (e.g. server housekeeping, backups, DB housekeeping) and when we need to ensure guaranteed operations. We use it to send out SMS alerts (and emails) when serious errors occur.

Application-wise we use it for Data Warehouse, PeopleSoft, file transfers, various banking apps, direct DB jobs (Control-M for Databases), Cadis, Tableau and managing various in-house apps.
  • Control-M Advanced File Transfer is a very useful add-on, allowing for a wide variety of file transfers to be configured "out of the box" and then used as part of the standard batch flow. This module is not included in the base price but is available at a relatively small additional cost.
  • Using Control-M's GUI (the Enterprise Manager) allows for efficient management of the enterprise and can tie up a lot of "loose ends". Often the first point of tracking problems is to check with the Control-M guys!
  • BMC is definitely moving the product forward, the new module "Application Integrator" is very helpful in building and deploying your own bespoke Control-M jobs and allows for closer and more secure integration.
  • Although Control-M does open up the enterprise in an operational sense, the security settings (should you choose to implement them) are robust.
  • The reporting provided with Control-M could have more functionality, Many users end up creating their own reporting based on the Control-M DB. I believe BMC are addressing this.
  • Within the Advanced File Transfer (AFT) it would be useful to have an integrated FT server and not rely on the underlying SSH.
  • All batch schedulers have issues with fully automating tasks in a Windows environment and Control-M is no exception. Userids and profiles are harder concepts to deal with in the Windows world but BMC are doing their best to address this and Control-M would be better at handling these scenarios than the alternative products.
  • In terms of ROI, Control-M pays for itself within 12 months of purchase, sometimes sooner. Pointing this out to your fellow product qwners will not make you popular.
  • By automating repetitive tasks you free staff from these mundane and error-prone roles and allow them to be more productive. An example would be using the AFT module for file transfers. File transfer scripts tend to be in-house scripts that need maintaining. Using the AFT removes most of this overhead and allows for easy problem resolution.
We last reviewed the market in 2001 (schedulers are long-term commitments!) and Control-M edged (by a very narrow margin) the Tivoli alternative, with Dollar Universe (now part of Automic) back in third place. We also tested the Tidal Software scheduler (now part of Cisco) but I cannot see that listed here. Control-M won out through reliability and cross-platform support. Since we made our choice it has become clear that Control-M has moved ahead of the alternatives.
Control-M makes a lot of sense if you need cross-platform scheduling and require verifiable task management (not the "hit and hope" approach of the Windows Task Scheduler or cron). Tying your operational tasks together on one screen makes sense in most modern enterprises. The fact that Control-M is the market leader and yet the vendor is, if anything, increasing the rate of development tells you all you need to know.

However, Control-M is a high-end solution and if your batch requirements are low (say below 200 tasks/jobs) and those tasks are not critical to your enterprise then maybe consider alternatives. Also, if your Agent platforms are not supported by Control-M (BMC can provide a list but very few OS are not included) then Control-M would be more difficult (but not impossible) to implement.

Control-M Feature Ratings

Multi-platform scheduling
Central monitoring
Alerts and notifications
Analysis and visualization
Application integration