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Use VirtualWisdom Alarms to Schedule Daily Tasks

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The VirtualWisdom Service part of the VirtualWisdom Platform doesn’t necessarily do everything: our customers’ SANs differ in the small details as well as the larger ones, necessitating VI Services to help with some customization. In many cases, we set things up to run daily, such as grabbing zone info to convert to Nicknames, or converting Nicknames to UDCs and Filters.

In some cases, customers cannot edit the Windows Scheduler to run these, and do not have a UNIX-like system with an available scheduler. This can be due to access, or corporate policy. I wanted to share a workaround for this situation: (mis-)use the Alarm system to do so.

The following image may explain more efficiently than a walk-through:

Example daily alarm to run a batch file

As you can see by the name, the alarm policy should only be applied to one ProbeSW — to one SAN Switch.

The alarm will trigger when any data flows — you can see the trigger set to “> 0, 1 matching interval in domain of 1 interval”, and all it does it runs an external program. The configuration of that external program is also opened in the editor, and you can see that it simply runs a script (using full pathname).

The re-arm of that Alarm Policy Rule is “MB/sec != -1″. Because MB/sec can only go down to zero, “-1″ is impossible, so this rule will always match. The trick is that this has to match one triggered, and has to match for 288 intervals (288 x 5 minutes = 24 hours). Effectively, this is a logic statement that says “don’t run more often than every 24 hours”.

This Alarm Policy Rule effectively runs immediately after the Portal Service is restarted or the Alarm Policy is applied to a switch, and will run every 24 hours thereafter (understanding that 288 might need to be 287 to avoid a 5-minute skew daily).

The “meat” or complexity here would be in the BAT file: the Alarm uses the “External Script” action to run our batch file daily. This avoids configuring the OS Scheduler, but at a cost of not being able to choose the exact time. Additionally, the BAT file executes with the permissions of the Portal Server, which typically cannot view Network Shares and other remote resources.

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