News Column

Patent Issued for Job Processing System, Method and Program

February 13, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventor Tamura, Mineyuki (Tokyo, JP), filed on August 18, 2010, was published online on January 28, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8639792 is Hitachi Systems, Ltd. (Tokyo, JP).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Distributed job processing performed using plural servers aims at processing load distribution and processing efficiency improvement. JP-A No. 2001-160038, for example, discloses a load distributed information processing system. In the system: a job request received from a client computer is temporarily stored in a job storage device; a job arrival notice is sent to plural server computers simultaneously; when the job arrival notice is received, each of the plural server computers calculates a waiting time corresponding to the magnitude of the current load on the server computer and accesses, after staying in a waiting state for the calculated waiting time, the storage device; and the first server computer to access the job storage device acquires and processes the job. In this way, the load of information processing can be evenly distributed among the plural computers.

"JP-A No. 2000-242614 discloses a distributed processing system. In the distributed processing system, a large-scale job is divided into plural small jobs and, of the plural small jobs, those yet to be processed are distributed to terminals from which job acquisition requests have been received for distributed processing among such terminals. This allows the computation load for executing a large-scale job to be divided among plural terminals.

"The technique proposed in JP-A No. 2001-160038 allows the load for executing a large-scale job to be divided among plural computers, but the job storage device is required to manage all server computers to which a job arrival notice is to be sent. Also, each of the server computers is required to calculate a waiting time corresponding to the current load on it and stay waiting for the calculated waiting time.

"According to the technique proposed in JP-A No. 2000-242614, divided jobs are distributed only when requested from plural terminals, so that jobs are processed under the initiative of terminals. In JP-A No. 2000-242614, however, no proposal is made as to how to manage job processing performed at plural terminals or how to realize job distribution taking job attributes into consideration.

"Both JP-A No. 2001-160038 and JP-A No. 2000-242614 appear to assume that the plural computers or terminals to process jobs have uniform processing capacity, and how to manage, when jobs are unevenly distributed among plural computers or terminals, the jobs is not described in either of JP-A No. 2001-160038 and JP-A No. 2000-242614."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "An object of the present invention is to provide a job processing system, method and program which allow jobs to be processed under the initiative of plural servers and in which, even when job processing is not evenly distributed among the plural servers, job processing can be smoothly carried out.

"A job processing system according to the present invention is preferably a job processing system for processing jobs using plural servers, including: a first server having a first program control unit that generates jobs when requested; a second server that manages the jobs generated by the first server, the second server having a storage device that stores attribute information on the jobs and files for use in processing the jobs, a management table that manages management information for the jobs by assigning a unique ID to each of the jobs, and a second program control unit that registers job management information in the management table, refers to the job management information registered in the management table, and registers the files for and attribute information on the jobs in the storage device; and plural third servers that successively acquire and process jobs managed by the second server, the third servers each having one or more job processing programs that process jobs acquired from the second server, a third program control unit that acquires jobs from the second server and issuing responses concerning the processed jobs, and a storage device that stores attribute information on and files for the acquired jobs. In the job processing system: the plural third servers successively make inquiries about job processing to the second server; every time an inquiry is received from any of the third servers, the second server refers to the management table and determines whether there is a job which can be processed by the inquiring third server and, when there is such a job, transmits attribute information on and a file for the job to the inquiring third server; after acquiring the attribute information on and file for the job from the second server, the third server executes a corresponding one of the job processing programs and processes the job by referring to the attribute information and the file, and the third program control unit transmits the file and the attribute information reflecting a result of processing the job to the second server; and the second program control unit of the second server stores the attribute information and the file acquired from the third server in the storage device and updates the management table.

"According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, in the job processing system: the plural third servers have the job processing programs for processing plural different types of jobs and are divided into plural classes corresponding to plural job types; the attribute information on each of the jobs includes information on a class specified for each of the jobs and information on job processing priority within the specified class; the management table holds information on the class specified for each of the jobs and information on the job processing priority within the specified class; and the second program control unit refers to the management table and, when there are jobs which can be processed by the inquiring third server for processing jobs of one class within which job processing priority is specified, assigns such jobs to the inquiring third server complying with the job processing priority.

"According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, in the job processing system, the management table holds information including job IDs, job classes for job classification, priority within each of the job classes, program information for use in processing the jobs, and a status of each job assigned to the third servers.

"A job processing method according to the present invention is preferably a job processing system for processing jobs using plural servers, comprising the steps of: generating in a first server jobs according to requests received via a network; storing in a second server attribute information on each of the jobs generated by the first server and a file for use in processing each of the jobs in a storage device and managing management information on each of the jobs by assigning a unique ID in a management table; making inquiries about job processing to the second server in a plurality of third servers for processing jobs; referring to the management table every time an inquiry is received from any of the third servers and determining whether there is a job which can be processed by the inquiring third server and transmitting attribute information on and a file for the job to the inquiring third server when there is such a job according to the determination; executing in the third server a corresponding one of the job processing programs after acquiring the attribute information on and file for the job from the second server and processing the job by referring to the attribute information and the file and transmitting the file and the attribute information reflecting a result of processing the job to the second server; and storing in the second server the attribute information and the file acquired from the third server in the storage device and updating the management table.

"Programs used in a job processing system according to the present invention are preferably a collection of programs for managing job processing performed by plural servers, including: a first program that, in a first server, generates jobs according to requests for processing received via a network; a second program that, in a second server, stores attribute information on each of the jobs generated by the first server and a file for use in processing each of the jobs in a storage device and manages management information on each of the jobs by assigning a unique ID in a management table, which, every time an inquiry is received from any of the third servers, refers to the management table and determines whether there is a job processable by the inquiring third server and, when there is such a job, transmits attribute information on and a file for the job to the inquiring third server, and that stores the attribute information and the file acquired from the third server in the storage device and updates the management table; and a third program that, in each of plural third servers for processing the jobs, makes inquiries about job processing to the second server, stores and manages the attribute information on and the file for each job acquired from the second server, updates, after executing the corresponding job processing program, the attribute information on and the file for each job, and transmits the attribute information and the file reflecting the result of processing each job to the second server.

"According to the present invention, plural computers can, at their initiative, acquire and process jobs and, even when jobs are not evenly distributed among the plural computers, job processing can be carried out smoothly.

"Also, according to the present invention, plural batch servers can undertake processing of jobs of ranks corresponding to them, respectively, so that the processing capacity of an entire job processing system can be increased.

"Furthermore, according to the present invention, plural batch servers can be assigned to process jobs of a same rank. Therefore, even when one of the plural batch servers goes out of order, the remaining ones of the plural batch servers can process jobs of the same rank, so that the job processing system as a whole is prevented from stopping job processing. In such a cases, among the remaining ones of the plural batch servers, every time a batch server finishes processing a job, it acquires another job of the same rank from a queue server, then processes the job, so that the job processing capacity of the job processing system is prevented from greatly decreasing.

"In the case of an existing centralized job processing system, it is necessary to make the processing capacity of plural servers uniform or otherwise appropriately manage the processing capacity of plural servers. According to the present embodiment, plural batch servers differing in processing capacity can be used."

For additional information on this patent, see: Tamura, Mineyuki. Job Processing System, Method and Program. U.S. Patent Number 8639792, filed August 18, 2010, and published online on January 28, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=18&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=891&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20140128.PD.&OS=ISD/20140128&RS=ISD/20140128

Keywords for this news article include: Hitachi Systems Ltd.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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