An Introduction to Jobs

In a series of posts, I am going to take you through setting up the Automation Config product, manually enabling management of deployed systems, creating a custom desired state and eventually integrating with your Cloud templates.

This specific post will take you through the process of initiating some simple jobs, so you gain familiarity with the concept and process.

Job Definition

The definition of a job in Aria Automation Config is a set of tasks to be performed. Out of the box there are many jobs that you can use, whilst it is straight forward to create custom jobs to suit your requirements.

The Ping Job

The first job we are going to execute is a ping job. As you may expect, the job contains the simple task of issuing a ping request from the Aria Automation Config server to our managed ubuntu server. Login to the Aria Automation Config server using your account.

From the navigation menu, expand the Config menu and select Jobs.

What you can see is the default set of jobs. Any jobs that you create later will also be shown here. From the list, select the job by clicking the job name.

Ping Job Definition

The ping job is one of the simplest default jobs, hence, the definition is extremely simple. Looking at the configuration you can likely make most of it out for yourself. However, there are some things to note.

CommandSalt– Salt is used when the target of the job is a minion.

– Salt-Run is used for jobs that are run directly against the Aria Automation Config server
TargetsThe empty value enables you to select the target when executing or scheduling the job
Functionstest.pingThere are multiple built-in functions, which ping is one of them.
ArgumentsThis function doesn’t require any arguments to execute, hence an empty value

Execute the Ping Job

From the navigation menu, click on Minions, then ensure All Minions is selected. Locate your ubuntu server and tick the checkbox for it. Finally, click the RUN JOB button.

In the popup dialog, select the job. Tick both options to notify for success or failure of the job and then click RUN NOW.

In the navigation menu, expand Activity and select In Progress. You will see our job is queued. After a minute, refresh the screen and the job will have dissappeared.

Note: This screen doesn’t currently refresh automatically when a jobs status changes!

Select the Completed option on the navigation menu. You will see our completed job at the top of the list. Click on the entry in the Job ID column to open up the job.

Understanding the Job Output

Although the job details screen is quite intuitive, there are several sections that are important to look at. The below summary shows who executed the job as well as the results. The green tick informs you of the number of minions that reported success to executing the job, the cross those that failed the execution and the brown looking diamond represents minions that have not reported back. Here we can see that our minion reported success.

The lower portion of the screen is divided into selectable sections as shown below.

What does each section contain you ask? Let me give you an overview.

SummaryProvides a very quick view of the job execution providing a true or false to indicate whether the job completed successfully and whether the job returned any errors
Test.PingThe function provides us with a graphical view of the job execution. If all went well, you should see a green bar running to 100%. This represents the fact that the ping sent from the server to the ubuntu server was successful (i.e. no packet loss)
RAWProvides the ‘raw’ output of the function(s) that has executed
Job InfoExtended information. For this simple job it doesn’t offer much information at all.

The Reboot Linux Job

Let’s execute another job. Just as we did previously, select your ubuntu server from under the Minions navigation menu. Run another job, this time selecting the Reboot Linux job as shown below.

Monitor the job to see when it completes. As you will see the job reports as completed, however, your server will still be rebooting. Note that this task does not wait for the server to reboot and come back online.


CIO at Sonar, Automation Practice Lead at Xtravirt and guitarist in The Waders. Loves IT, automation, programming, music

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