Orchestrating Complex Update And Reboot Sequences Involving Multiple Target Computers

BatchPatch has a unique capability that we call the ‘Advanced multi-row queue sequence‘. Admittedly the name of this functionality isn’t its best feature, but we chose to name it for exactly what it is and what it does rather than a fancier name that would be less descriptive. 🙂

The advanced multi-row queue sequence is essentially an orchestration feature that enables you to have an unlimited number of distinct computers participate in a singular sequence such that you can control the update and reboot process (or any custom script execution or deployment etc) so that a particular order of events is preserved across all of the systems that are included in the sequence.

Let’s break this down a bit. BatchPatch has a more basic automation functionality called the ‘Job Queue‘. The job queue in BatchPatch enables the administrator to execute a queue of different tasks on a given target computer (or on a group of target computers). So for example with the job queue you might instruct a target computer (or a group of computers) to download and install updates, then reboot, then wait 10 minutes, then make sure that the computer is online, then execute a custom script, then initiate another reboot. The job queue enables you to create a single-click task that executes the entire queue on the desired computers. However, what if you have multiple computers, and each computer has its own customized job queue, and you want to create a sequence that instructs each target computer to execute its own custom job queue in a particular sequence such that certain computers execute their assigned queues first, followed by a second set of computers executing their assigned queues, followed by a third set of computers executing their assigned queues, and so on. This is where the advanced multi-row queue sequence comes in to play. While a job queue applies to each independent computer separately, the advanced multi-row queue sequence enables you to orchestrate a process that involves each computer executing its own custom job queue within a larger multi-computer sequence.

Job Queue Example:

Instruct computer1, computer2, and computer3 to each execute the following list of actions:

  • Download and install updates + reboot
  • Wait 10 minutes
  • Wait for host to be detected online
  • Download and install updates + reboot

Advanced Multi-Row Queue Sequence Example:

Instruct computer1, computer2, and computer3 to each execute the following list of actions:

  • Download and install updates + reboot
  • Wait 10 minutes
  • Wait for host to be detected online
  • Download and install updates + reboot

Then when all actions have completed for computer1, computer2, and computer3, instruct computer4, computer5, and computer6 to each execute the following list of actions:

  • Execute a custom script
  • Wait 10 minutes
  • Download and install updates + reboot
  • Wait 10 minutes
  • Wait for host to be detected online
  • Execute a custom script

Then when all actions have completed for computer4, computer5, and computer6, instruct computer7 to execute the following list of actions:

  • Reboot
  • Execute a custom script

Summary and Tutorials:

So, while the job queue enables you to execute a set of actions on a target host (or multiple target hosts), the advanced multi-row queue sequence enables you to orchestrate a group of target computers to each execute a defined queue of actions (each computer can have its own separate queue of actions to execute) within a larger sequence, allowing you to control the ordering of which target computers execute their queues in which position of the overall sequence.

We have a number of tutorials that demonstrate various uses of the advanced multi-row queue sequence, including a video tutorial to help you better understand how it all works and when you might want to use it:

Advanced Multi-Row Queue Sequence – Video Tutorial

Virtual Machine Guest + Host Update and Reboot Sequence Automation

Custom Update And Reboot Sequences for Multiple Computers

Advanced Multi-Row Queue Sequence – Contingent Operations with Custom Scripts

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