Saturday, April 21, 2012

The art of crontab jobs monitoring

In a regular production or development environment there are normally a lot of crontab jobs configured on running servers. The jobs can be a part of deployed applications or can perform different system administration tasks like backups, reporting, etc. This post will describe several key points which should be considered while configuring crontab jobs in a large environment.

Automatic deployment of crontab configuration
Linux distributions provide a convenient way to automatically deploy new crontab jobs while installing a new software package or using centralized configuration management systems like Puppet or Chef. You simply drop a properly formatted crontab configuration file in directory /etc/cron.d/, and the running crontab scheduler process will automatically read the new file and configure jobs specified in it.