Using event scheduling with Course Manager

When you add participants to an event, Course Manager creates Skytap schedules to start participant environments before the event begins, and delete them after the event ends. For recurrent events, Course Manager also schedules environments to stop at the end of each class day and start again at the beginning of the following class day, using the event start and end times as the recurrent start and end times.


  • An environment's start action depends on its initial state. Environments that are initially shut down are run, and environments that are initially suspended are resumed.
  • You can set the recurrent stop action (suspend or shut down) by default using your account settings or for an individual event using Course Manager tags.

Staggered start and stop

To make sure your environments are ready at the beginning of your event (and each class day for recurrent events), 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 start at least one hour before the event or class day begins. Course Manager adds a similar buffer interval after the class day or event ends before stopping or deleting environments.

For more information about how Course Manager schedules initial start times, recurrent stop and start times, and final delete times for recurrent event environments, see Scheduling a recurrent event.

For more information about how Course Manager schedules start and delete times for non-recurrent event environments, see Scheduling a non-recurrent 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 participant environments to start in the next available time slot.

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

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

    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

  • Scheduling 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.

    Course Manager limits the amount of scheduling activity allowed per Skytap region in a five-minute interval. The limit is configurable for your account. If a training environment uses more Metered RAM than the limit, multiple intervals may be required to perform the scheduled action.

  • When you add a participant to an event, Skytap provisions an environment for the participant immediately, unless delayed provisioning is enabled and you add the participant sufficiently in advance.

    For more information about using delayed provisioning, see Using delayed provisioning.

  • 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.
  • Reprovisioning 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 be started several hours ahead of when an event or class day begins, or they may be stopped or deleted several hours after the class day or event ends, depending on the availability of time slots.
  • Course Manager doesn’t directly start, stop, or delete Skytap environments. It sets the relevant actions for the Skytap schedule.

Best practices

  • Whenever possible, set up the event sufficiently in advance, taking into account all factors that may influence environment start, stop, and delete times.
    • Adding participants to an event closer to when it begins could result in some participant environments getting scheduled to start 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 activity scheduled by Course Manager around the same time, this may result in participant environments getting scheduled to start after the event begins.
    • Participant environments whose original start time has already passed won’t receive an updated start time.
  • Monitor the event’s environments in Skytap to confirm they were started and stopped according to schedule. Issues such as quota violations that may prevent the Skytap schedule from starting or stopping an environment may not be visible in Course Manager.
  • Manually modifying the Skytap schedules of environments created by Course Manager isn’t recommended. This may result in unexpected behavior.