Using event scheduling with Course Manager

When you schedule an event in Course Manager, Course Manager creates a schedule 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 one hour after the event ends.

Staggered start and stop

To make sure your environments are ready when your event starts, and to minimize Skytap rate limiting, Course Manager events are scheduled to start in batches across all events scheduled for a Course Manager account. By default, all environments will have started one hour before the event. After the event ends, Skytap adds a similar buffer interval before deleting the event environments.

How Course Manager schedules start times for event environments

  • A minimum one-hour buffer (configurable for your account) is added before event.
  • The environments for your event are grouped into batches of five environments.
  • The batches are scheduled to start in 20-minute intervals, working backward from the beginning of the buffer before the event start time. For example, you create Class to begin at 8:00 AM and add 15 participants to the event. Working backwards from the start time, Course Manager schedules five environments to run at 6:20 AM, another five environments to run at 6:40 AM, and the remaining five to run at 7:00AM.

    Single event schedule

  • Participants added to Class after it has already begun will be run immediately (not added to the Skytap schedule).
  • If another event already occupies a run-time slot, Course Manager picks an earlier available time slot. For example, after adding 15 participants to Class, which starts at 8:00 AM, you create Demo, which also starts at 8:00 AM on the same day, and you add fifteen participants to it. Because the 6:20 AM, 6:40 AM, and 7:00 AM run time slots are already occupied by the batches for Class participants, the batches for Demo start earlier—at 5:20 AM, 5:40 AM, and 6:00 AM.

    Two event schedule

  • If no time slots are available between the time you create the event and the time the event starts, environments are started immediately (not added to the Skytap schedule). For example, At 7:00 AM, with Class and Demo already scheduled to start at 8:00 AM, you create Special also scheduled to start at 8:00 AM. Any participants added to Special are run immediately since all available time slots are already occupied by participants for Class and Demo.

How Course Manager schedules delete times for event environments

  • A minimum one-hour buffer (configurable for your account) is added after the event to allow participants to complete work after the end of the event.
  • The environments for your event are grouped into batches of five environments.
  • The batches are scheduled for deletion in 20-minute intervals, from the end of the buffer after the event end time. For example, Class, with 15 participants, is scheduled to end at 5:00 PM. The first batch of five environments is scheduled for deletion at 6:00 PM. The next batch of five environments is scheduled for deletion at 6:20 PM, and the final five are scheduled for deletion at 6:40PM.
  • If another event already occupies a delete time slot, Course Manager picks a later time slot. For example, Demo also ends at 5:00 PM on the same day as Class, and has 15 participants. Because the batches for Class already occupy the 6:00 PM, 6:20 PM and 6:40 PM delete time slots, The batches for Demo are scheduled to delete at 7:00 PM, 7:20 PM, and 7:40 PM.

Special case: ASAP events

By default, Course Manager events must be scheduled to begin at least 120 minutes from the current time. For last-minute scheduling, ASAP events allow you to begin your event ‘as soon as possible’, meaning Course Manager disregards the 120-minute limit and schedules participants in the next available time slot.

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

  • Environments are scheduled to run in batches beginning from the next available future time slot. The soonest an ASAP event training environment can be run is 20 minutes from when the participant was added to the event. 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 or delete action time assigned by Course Manager to an event participant environment is influenced by several factors, including:

  • The number of concurrent events scheduled for the account.
  • The number of participants in the event and other, overlapping events.
  • How soon (from the current time) the event is scheduled to begin.
  • Whether the default one-hour buffer setting was changed.
  • Depending on the size of your event, if you set up an event at least two hours before it’s scheduled to begin, Course Manager creates a schedule that automatically starts environments so that every environment for each participant is ready to go when the event begins.
  • 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 number of environments used in the event or when run/delete time slots are available to them.
  • Course Manager does not directly run or delete Skytap environments. It sets the relevant action(s) on the Skytap Scheduler. The Skytap Scheduler starts and deletes the environments.
  • Manually modifiying the Skytap schedules of Course Manager created environment is not recommended. This may result in unexpected behavior.