Use the correct restart behaviour

Another quick lessons learned in regards to the restart behaviour of your workflows.

So most of my workflows take some input and do their work and nobody really cares about the return values of that particular execution. However, I have a few workflows where I use vOrchestrator as a middle man collecting information from several vCenter servers to a GRAILS web application.

DeployServer for example is one that if vOrchestrator gets restarted while it is in the middle of deploying a server I need it to pick back up where it left off and finish the deployment.

With the Get* workflows however I do not need that and it actually caused a small issue for me today. For some reason vOrchestrator stopped talking to one of my vCenter servers and it would just hang trying to get a list of datacenters from it. To fix the issue with talking to vCenter I restarted the vOrchestrator appliance and everything started working again.

The issue was that every time someone hit the webpage it would kick off the workflow but it would just sit there and they would close their web browser when they finally gave up on it. Eventually I had 15 copies of the workflow running but nobody were there to read the data even if it had eventually finished. So when I restarted the appliance all those 15 copies of the workflow picked back up and did their thing, they collected a list of available datacenters for no reason since the web app would never have retrieved the information.

In this case it was not a big deal, just some wasted work for vOrchestrator, but it made me start thinking about when I should use each option.

It is really quite simple. If you want the workflow to continue after a reboot you select that option and if you want it to fail you select that option.

The default value is to resume the workflow when vOrchestrator reboots which should work great for 90% of your workflows. One exception to the rule may be like in my example above where you have an external tool that uses a workflow to gather information.

I just wanted to mention it so that you take that in to account when you create your workflows, I know I will pay more attention going forward.

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