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Introduction to the Task Scheduler

 

In the NorthStar Controller UI, navigate to Administration > Task Scheduler to manage the NorthStar task types. The Task List at the top of the window shows the already scheduled and completed tasks. In the Task List, sorting and column selection options become available when you hover over a column heading and click the down arrow that appears. To display optional columns, hover over any column heading, click the down arrow that appears, and highlight Columns to display a list of available columns. Click the check box for any columns you want to add to the display. You can also rearrange the columns that are displayed in the list by clicking and dragging a column heading.

Click Add to begin creating a new task. Using the Task Group drop-down menu, you can either display the task type options alphabetically (select All Tasks) or by group. Use the Task Type drop-down menu to select a particular task to add. Figure 1 shows the Create New Task window with the Task Group menu expanded.

Figure 1: Create New Task Window
Create New Task Window

The task types are described in Table 1, organized by group. For most task types, one or more links to additional information are provided.

Table 1: Task Types Managed from the Task Scheduler

Task Group

Task Types

Bandwidth Management Tasks

Bandwidth management has to do with adjusting RSVP bandwidth reservations based on actual traffic.

  • Bandwidth Sizing

    Periodically sends a new planned bandwidth for bandwidth sizing-enabled LSPs to the NorthStar PCS. The PCS determines whether it needs to provision the new planned bandwidth with a path that satisfies the new bandwidth requirement.

    See Bandwidth Management.

  • Container Normalization Task

    Enables periodic container LSP normalization in NorthStar. The task computes aggregated bandwidth for each container LSP and sends it to the NorthStar Path Computation Server (PCS). The PCS determines whether it needs to add or remove sub-LSPs belonging to the container LSP, based on its new aggregated bandwidth.

    See Bandwidth Management.

Collection Tasks

The NorthStar Controller Analytics features require that the Controller periodically connect to the network in order to obtain the configuration of network devices. It uses this information to correlate IP addresses, interfaces, and devices, as well as collecting various types of statistics. Completion of device profiles (Administration > Device Profile) is a prerequisite for successfully running collection tasks.

  • Device Collection

    Connection to the network in order to obtain the configuration of network devices. Starting with NorthStar Controller Release 5.1.0, Device Collection includes the option to add raw and spec network data to the database for import into the NorthStar Planner.

    See Scheduling Device Collection for Analyticsfor more information.

  • LDP Traffic Collection

    Collection of LDP traffic statistics that track the volume of traffic passing through forwarding equivalence classes. The data can also be imported into the NorthStar Planner for capacity planning and failure simulation studies.

    See LDP Traffic Collection.

  • Link Latency Collection

    Collection of round trip time (RTT) statistics using a ping operation.

    See Link Latency Collection.

  • SNMP Traffic Collection

    Collection of tunnel and interface traffic via SNMP.

    See Data Collection via SNMP.

Report Tasks

See Reports Overview for information about accessing reports generated by NorthStar.

  • Demand Reports

    Generation of reports on detailed network traffic information.

    See Netflow Collector.

Utility Tasks

  • Demand Aging

    Demands are created whenever traffic flows are measured in the network. This task type automates the process of removing demands that are no longer active, according to the maximum age you specify.

    For more information about network flows and demand aging, see Netflow Collector.

  • Network Archive

    Creates a network model in a database, for use in the NorthStar Planner. You also have the option to archive the network model.

    See Collection Tasks to Create Network Archives.

  • Network Cleanup

    User-controlled automation of network cleanup options such as removing links or nodes that are down, forcing removal of links containing user attributes, generating purge reports, and including cleanup notifications in the NorthStar timeline.

    See Network Cleanup Task.

  • Network Maintenance

    This task creates a maintenance event for specified network elements when they meet specified conditions. As of NorthStar Release 5.0, this is only used to create maintenance events for nodes with the overload bit set, rerouting traffic until the overload bit is no longer set.

    See Maintenance Events.

In addition to the tasks you can create, there are system tasks launched by NorthStar to run scripts. You cannot add or modify these tasks, but you might see them in the Task List. In the Type column, they are listed as ExecuteScript. In the optional System Task column, they are listed as true.

Some system task examples include:

  • CollectionCleanup: purges old raw and aggregated analytics data.

  • ESRollup: Aggregates the collected data from the previous hour.

See NorthStar Analytics Raw and Aggregated Data Retention for more information about these system tasks.

You can schedule tasks to recur periodically using the scheduling window that is part of the Create New Task process. Figure 2 shows an example of the Create New Task - Schedule window. You can execute a task only once, or repeat it at configurable intervals.

Figure 2: Example Task Scheduling Window
Example Task Scheduling
Window

Instead of scheduling recurrence, you can, for most task types, select to chain the task after an already-scheduled recurring task, so it launches as soon as the other task completes. When you select the “Chain after another task” radio button, a drop-down list of recurring tasks is displayed from which you can select.