Using event scheduling with Course Manager

When you schedule an event in Course Manager, Course Manager creates schedules in Skytap to make sure that all of the environments for that event are automatically started and running before the event begins, and then are scheduled for deletion after the event ends.

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Staggered start and stop

To make sure your environments are ready when your event begins, Course Manager schedules environments to start in batches across all events scheduled for a Course Manager account. By default, and when possible, all environments are scheduled to run at least one hour before the event. Skytap adds a similar buffer interval after the event ends before deleting the event environments.

For more information on how Course Manager schedules run and delete times for event environments, see Scheduling an event.

Special case: ASAP events

For last-minute scheduling, ASAP events allow you to begin your event ‘as soon as possible,’ meaning Course Manager schedules participants to run in the next available time slot.

When participants are added to an ASAP event, Course Manager assigns run-time slots as follows:

  • An ASAP event training environment won’t be scheduled to run until at least 15 minutes after the participant is added to the event.
  • Environments are scheduled to run in batches beginning from the next available time slot.
  • The one-hour buffer is not applied.

    ASAP scheduling behavior applies even after the event has begun. Participants added after the event begins will continue to be scheduled for the next available future time slot.

Additional details

  • The Run and Delete times are influenced by several factors, including:
    • Metered RAM of the participant environment.
    • Initial power state of the participant template.
    • Skytap region of the participant environment.
    • The number of concurrent events scheduled for the account.
    • The number of participants in the event and other, overlapping events.
    • How imminent the event is.
    • Whether the default one-hour buffer setting was changed.

    By default, Course Manager allows a maximum of 100 GB Metered RAM of Run or Delete activity per Skytap region during a five-minute interval. If a training environment uses more than 100 GB Metered RAM, multiple intervals may be required to delete it.

  • When you add a participant to an event, Skytap provisions its environment immediately.
  • The end time for an event participant can’t be earlier than the end time for the event. To clean up Skytap resources for a participant that is no longer needed, delete the participant from the event.
  • Re-provisioning a participant’s environment to one with a different metered RAM value may cause changes in the timing of upcoming scheduled actions for this participant.
  • Event environments may start running several hours ahead of when an event is set to begin, or they may persist in Skytap for several hours after the event ends, depending on the availability of Run and Delete time slots.
  • Course Manager does not directly run or delete Skytap environments. It sets the relevant actions for the Skytap schedule. The Skytap schedule runs and deletes the environments.

Best practices

  • Whenever possible, set up the event sufficiently in advance, taking into account all factors that may influence environment Run and Delete times.
    • Adding participants to an event closer to when it begins could result in some participant environments getting scheduled to run after the event’s start time.
  • Avoid changing the start or end time of an event close to when it is scheduled to begin.
    • Depending on other Run and Delete activity scheduled around the same time, this may result in participant environments getting scheduled to run after the event begins.
    • Participant environments whose original run time has already passed will not receive an updated run time.
  • Monitor the event’s environments in Skytap to confirm they were run and stopped according to schedule. Issues such as quota violations that may prevent the Skytap schedule from running or stopping an environment may not be visible in Course Manager.
  • Manually modifying the Skytap schedules of Course Manager created environments is not recommended. This may result in unexpected behavior.