KBEC-00014 - Quarantining an agent so it will not be used for production jobs

Summary

This article describes a method to "partially" remove a resource from operation.

With ElectricCommander, you can disable a resource, which is useful when you bring a new agent machine online or if the machine is faulty or is not configured configured correctly. By disabling the resource, you prevent jobs from running on it. If the job is set to use that resource only, the job will be blocked until the resource is available again. If the job uses the resource through a resource pool, another resource is allocated from the pool, and the job can continue on a working machine.

The problem occurs when you are ready to return the disabled resource to operation, but want to test repairs or configuration on the machine. Because the resource is disabled, you cannot run even a test job on it. However, if you re-enable the resource, you run the risk of running some of your regular jobs on it, before you have had a chance to test it.

Solution

ElectricCommander is very flexible in how it handles references to named objects like resources. ElectricCommander resolves these names at runtime, when it needs to use them, not when you are editing the objects. Because of this process, you can temporarily rename an object, change it back to its original name later, and all references to the object will remain intact.

Depending on how your resource pools are set up and how your procedures refer to resources, you may have to use one or both of the following two techniques:

  1. If you have procedures that refer directly to the resource by name, temporarily change the name of the resource. For example, if the resource name is WinXP-22, you could change its name to Quarantined-WinXP-22.
  2. If you have procedures that refer to resource pools, and the quarantined resource is part of a pool, remove the resource from the pool. To keep a record of which pools the resource is normally a member, edit the resource name and add the string Quarantined- to every pool in the list.

After you take these two steps, you can re-enable the resource and be certain no normal jobs will be assigned to it. Now you can set up a special procedure to run on the quarantined resource for testing purposes. After you are satisfied the machine is operating correctly, edit the resource to restore its original name and original resource pools and it is ready to use for production jobs again.

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