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InfoQ Homepage News Google Announces a Managed Cron Service: Google Cloud Scheduler

Google Announces a Managed Cron Service: Google Cloud Scheduler

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Google announced a new Service on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) - Cloud Scheduler, a fully managed cron job service that allows any application to invoke batch, big data and cloud infrastructure operations. The service is currently available in beta.

With Google Cloud Scheduler customers can use the cron service with no need to manage the underlying infrastructure. There is also no need to manually intervene in the event of transient failure, as the services retries failed jobs. Furthermore, customers will only pay for the operations they run -- GCP takes care of all resource provisioning, replication and scaling required to operate Cloud Scheduler. Also, customers can, according to Vinod Ramachandran, product manager at Google, benefit from:

Reliable delivery: Cloud Scheduler offers at-least-once delivery of a job to the target, guaranteeing that mission-critical jobs are invoked for execution.
Fault-tolerant execution: Cloud Scheduler lets you automate your retries and execute a job in a fault-tolerant manner by deploying in different regions, so you eliminate the risk of single point of failure of hosted cron.
Unified management experience: Cloud Scheduler lets you invoke your schedules through the UI, CLI or API and still have a single pane of glass management experience. It also supports the familiar Unix cron format to define your job schedules.

The Cloud Scheduler is suitable for various scenarios such as scheduling database updates, triggering CI/CD pipelines, and invoking Cloud Functions via Cloud Pub/Sub. Developers can schedule jobs using either the Cloud Scheduler UI, CLI or API to invoke an HTTP/S endpoint, Pub/Sub topic or App Engine application. 


For instance, when sending an HTTP request to a specified target destination on a recurring schedule, the target handler executes the job and returns a response. Should a job succeeds, it will return a code 2xx for HTTP/AppEngine to the Cloud Scheduler service. However, should the job fail, the job sends an error back to the Cloud Scheduler service, which subsequently retries the job until the maximum number of attempts is reached. Furthermore, when jobs are scheduled, developers can monitor them on the Cloud Scheduler UI and check for the status.


Google Cloud Scheduler is not the only managed cron service available in the public cloud. Competitors Microsoft and Amazon already have had a scheduler service available for some time. Microsoft offers the Azure Scheduler service, which became generally available in late 2015 and will be replaced by Azure Logic Apps Service - where developers can use the scheduler connector. Also, Logic Apps offers additional capabilities for application and process integration, data integration and B2B communication. Furthermore, AWS released the Batch service with similar capabilities to Scheduler in late 2016 – developers can even schedule functions with cron in AWS Lambda.

Pricing details and documentation are available on the Google Scheduler landing page.

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