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2080 Run Ad Hoc tasks on Machines

15 Minutes intermediate

Create and run ad hoc tasks on running machines without needing to run a full workflow process.

Any Digital Rebar operation (aka "task") can be run as an immediate request on a machine, cluster or resource broker. This process uses the Work Order mode of machines and can be standardized using Blueprints. This lab shows how to run this process by creating a custom Task and Blueprint. It includes using Params to inject configuration into processes dynamically. Business ROI: Allows standardized and reusable actions for running systems (Day 2 operations)


Additional Labs:


  • tasks
  • blueprints
  • work_orders


Create a Cluster of Machines in Work Order Mode

Before we can create tasks in blueprints, we need to create machines that will run the work orders. We do this by creating a cluster of machines that are in WorkOrder mode.

  1. Navigate to Clusters
  2. Click Add Set Name to lab2080

    Set the `broker/name` to `context-broker`
    Set the `cluster/count` to 0
    Click `Save` and wait for it to enter Work Order Mode
  3. Wait for Activity to complete.

  4. Navigate to Lab's dedicated "lab2080" Profile tab or it's profile Add Param on-complete-work-order-mode

    Set the `on-complete-work-order-mode` to `true`
    Set the `cluster/count` to 3
  5. Navigate to the Lab's activity tab The re-evaluate the cluster by Applying the universal-application-base-cluster Blueprint in the "Work Order Management" section.

  6. Observe the Lab2080-* Machines All should created with in Work Order Mode (clipboard icon) enabled.

    Note that the `Workflow` and `Stage` fields are cleared and their queues are empty.

Create a Task

Tasks are the primary way that Digital Rebar does work and operate by creating files that can be used by the system. That is typically simple bash or Powershell, but can include complex template files such as Terraform plans or YAML configuration files. This task will be used in later labs

  1. Navigate to Tasks
  2. Click Create Set Name to lab2080
    Click `New Template +` to create code area (#0) for the task.
    Leave the Name (`template_0`) and Path (empty) as default.
    In the #0 editing area, add the example code.
    # Lab 2080
    echo "=== General Setup ==="
    {{template "setup.tmpl" .}}
    echo "== Lab 2080 ==="
    echo "{{.Machine.Name}}" >> lab2080.txt
    cat lab2080.txt
    wait=$((1 + $RANDOM % 10))
    echo "=== Random Wait $wait ==="
    sleep $wait
    echo "=== Done ==="
    exit 0
    This example, code will run the 1) common setup template, 2) create a file with the machine's name, and 3) the wait up to 10 seconds.
    Click Save

Create and Run the Blueprint

  1. Navigate to Blueprints Click Create

    Set `Name` to `lab2080`
    Click `Add Task +`
    and choose the `lab2080` task that you created earlier
    Click Continue
    Navigate to the [Blueprint's Apply tab](ux://blueprints/lab2080/resources)
    Select all the `lab2080-*` machines.
    Click `Apply lab2080` multiple times to watch the Blueprint be
    queued and processed on all the machines in parallel.
  2. Execute the Blueprint from a Machine Navigate to one of your Lab 2080 Machines

    In the "Work Order Management" section, select and apply the `lab2080` blueprint
    Go to the [Activity tab](ux://machines/Name:lab2080-0/activity) to watch the work order complete.
    Note that you can also run the blueprint from the Activity tab.
    Expand the most recent Activity to see the job log.  You'll see that task was executed and added the machine name.
  3. Run Blueprint from the CLI (optional) For Day 2 IaC operations, you can easily queue work orders directly against a machine. These can be ad hoc work orders or pre-defined blueprints. For

    Since we've defined a blueprint, we'll simply apply that blueprint to one of our machines as we've demostrated via the UX.
    To run the lab2080 blueprint on the lab2080-0 machine, you can use the machines work order management commands of the DRPCLI.
    `drpcli machines work_order add Name:lab2080-0 lab2080`
    This command will return the created Work Order as JSON.

Add a Required Param to Task

  1. Navigate to lab2080 Task Edit the task template in area #0

    On **line 5**, replace the original line `echo "== Lab 2080 ==="` with:
    echo "== {{ .Param "lab2080/note" }} ==="`
    This will allow you to substitute any name for the original
    text. We're going to show you how this can fail in
    practice and then show you how to make this safe practice.
  2. Watch failure of updated lab2080 Blueprint Select and apply the lab2080 blueprint to the machine.

    Notice that the task fails.
    Expand the task information and observe the Missing Parameter error message:
       *executing "template_0" at <.Param>: error calling Param: No such machine parameter lab2080/note*
    This error message is telling you that the Param you included was not available during processing.
  3. Create the Param Navigate to the Params page.

    Click "create" and select a "String" type param.
    Name it "lab2080/note" to match the name used in the [lab2080 task](ux://tasks/lab2080).
    Click "save"
  4. Make Param required in lab2080 Task Return to the lab2080 Task.

    In the "Required Params" field, include the `lab2080/note`.
    This will tell Digital Rebar to check for the existance of the Param before trying to render the task.
    While best practice is to provide a safe default for Params, we still recommend correctly identifying Required and Optional parameters in tasks.  This IaC practice clearly communicates which Params are required and used in a task.
  5. Watch failure of (re)updated lab2080 Blueprint Select and apply the lab2080 blueprint to the machine.

    Notice that the task still fails but the error message has changed.
    Expand the task information and observe changed Missing Parameter error message:
       *ValidationError: Missing required parameter lab2080/note for tasks lab2080*
    This error message is telling you that the Required parameter for the Task was not provided.
  6. Add Param to correct failure of lab2080-0 Add Param lab2080/note to the lab2080 machine.

    Set the `lab2080/note` param to `fixed!` (you can choose other comments if you'd like)
    Navigate to the [Activity tab](ux://machines/Name:lab2080-0/activity).
    Select and Apply the `lab2080` blueprint.
    Observe that the Work Order now completes successfully!
    Expand the Work Order to verify that the text from your param appears in the Task output.
  7. Set lab2080/note for all Machines in lab2080 Cluster Navigate to the shared lab2080 profile directly or via the machines or cluster.

    Set the `lab2080/note` param to `shared!` (you can choose other comments if you'd like)
    Navigate to the [lab2080 blueprint](ux://blueprints/lab2080/resources).
    Select the lab2080 machines and Apply the `lab2080` blueprint.
    If you explore the [Jobs](ux://jobs) created, you will notice that the param you set on the `lab2080-0` machine is used instead of the one you set in the shared profile.  This is because the Digital Rebar uses a specific [precedence]( when evaluating parameters.  This IaC behavior is similar to variable scope in programming and is a common feature of automation systems.

Clean up

  1. Navigate to Clusters Check the lab2080 cluster in the table
    Click `Actions` and then select `Work Flow Mode`
    Click `Actions` and then select `Delete (Cleanup)`
    Click `Cleanup` to confirm the action
    Wait for the clusters and machines to be removed