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About Remote Jobs

JuanPablo Jofre|Last Updated: 11/17/2016
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2 Contributors

about_Remote_Jobs

SHORT DESCRIPTION

Describes how to run background jobs on remote computers.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A background job is a command that runs asynchronously without interacting with the current session. The command prompt returns immediately, and you can continue to use the session while the job runs.

By default, background jobs run on the local computer. However, you can use several different procedures to run background jobs on remote computers.

This topic explains how to run a background job on a remote computer. For information about how to run background jobs on a local computer, see about_Jobs. For more information about background jobs, see about_Job_Details.

REMOTE BACKGROUND JOBS

You can run background jobs on remote computers by using three different methods.

-- Start an interactive session with a remote computer, and start a job in the interactive session. The procedures are the same as running a local job, although all actions are performed on the remote computer.

-- Run a background job on a remote computer that returns its results to the local computer. Use this method when you want to collect the results of background jobs and maintain them in a central location on the local computer.

-- Run a background job on a remote computer that maintains its results on the remote computer. Use this method when the job data is more securely maintained on the originating computer.

START A BACKGROUND JOB IN AN INTERACTIVE SESSION

You can start an interactive session with a remote computer and then start a background job during the interactive session. For more information about interactive sessions, see about_Remote, and see Enter-PSSession.

The procedure for starting a background job in an interactive session is almost identical to the procedure for starting a background job on the local computer. However, all of the operations occur on the remote computer, not the local computer.

STEP 1: ENTER-PSSESSION

Use the Enter-PSSession cmdlet to start an interactive session with a remote computer. You can use the ComputerName parameter of Enter-PSSession to establish a temporary connection for the interactive session. Or, you can use the Session parameter to run the interactive session in a Windows PowerShell� session (PSSession).

The following command starts an interactive session on the Server01 computer.

C:\PS> Enter-PSSession -computername Server01

The command prompt changes to show that you are now connected to the Server01 computer.

Server01\C:>

STEP 2: START-JOB

To start a background job in the session, use the Start-Job cmdlet.

The following command runs a background job that gets the events in the Windows PowerShell event log on the Server01 computer. The Start-Job cmdlet returns an object that represents the job.

This command saves the job object in the $job variable.

Server01\C:> $job = start-job -scriptblock {get-eventlog "Windows PowerShell"}

While the job runs, you can use the interactive session to run other commands, including other background jobs. However, you must keep the interactive session open until the job is completed. If you end the session, the job is interrupted, and the results are lost.

STEP 3: GET-JOB

To find out if the job is complete, display the value of the $job variable, or use the Get-Job cmdlet to get the job. The following command uses the Get-Job cmdlet to display the job.

Server01\C:> get-job $job  

SessionId  Name  State      HasMoreData  Location   Command  
---------  ----  -----      -----------  --------   -------  
1          Job1  Complete   True         localhost  get-eventlog "Windows PowerShell"

The Get-Job output shows that job is running on the "localhost" computer because the job was started on and is running on the same computer (in this case, Server01).

STEP 4: RECEIVE-JOB

To get the results of the job, use the Receive-Job cmdlet. You can display the results in the interactive session or save them to a file on the remote computer. The following command gets the results of the job in the $job variable. The command uses the redirection operator (>) to save the results of the job in the PsLog.txt file on the Server01 computer.

Server01\C:> receive-job $job > c:\logs\PsLog.txt

STEP 5: EXIT-PSSESSION

To end the interactive session, use the Exit-PSSession cmdlet. The command prompt changes to show that you are back in the original session on the local computer.

Server01\C:> Exit-PSSession  
C:\PS>

STEP 6: INVOKE-COMMAND: GET-CONTENT

To view the contents of the PsLog.txt file on the Server01 computer at any time, start another interactive session, or run a remote command. This type of command is best run in a PSSession (a persistent connection) in case you want to use several commands to investigate and manage the data in the PsLog.txt file. For more information about PSSessions, see about_PSSessions.

The following commands use the New-PSSession cmdlet to create a PSSession that is connected to the Server01 computer, and they use the Invoke-Command cmdlet to run a Get-Content command in the PSSession to view the contents of the file.

C:\PS> $s = new-pssession -computername Server01  
C:\PS> invoke-command -session $s -scriptblock {get-content c:\logs\pslog.txt}

START A REMOTE JOB THAT RETURNS THE RESULTS TO THE LOCAL COMPUTER (ASJOB)

To start a background job on a remote computer that returns the command results to the local computer, use the AsJob parameter of a cmdlet such as the Invoke-Command cmdlet.

When you use the AsJob parameter, the job object is actually created on the local computer even though the job runs on the remote computer. When the job is completed, the results are returned to the local computer.

You can use the cmdlets that contain the Job noun (the Job cmdlets) to manage any job created by any cmdlet. Many of the cmdlets that have AsJob parameters do not use Windows PowerShell remoting, so you can use them even on computers that are not configured for remoting and that do not meet the requirements for remoting.

STEP 1: INVOKE-COMMAND -ASJOB

The following command uses the AsJob parameter of Invoke-Command to start a background job on the Server01 computer. The job runs a Get-Eventlog command that gets the events in the System log. You can use the JobName parameter to assign a display name to the job.

invoke-command -computername Server01 -scriptblock {get-eventlog system} -asjob

The results of the command resemble the following sample output.

SessionId   Name    State      HasMoreData     Location   Command  
---------   ----    -----      -----------     --------   -------  
1           Job1    Running    True            Server01   get-eventlog system

When the AsJob parameter is used, Invoke-Command returns the same type of job object that Start-Job returns. You can save the job object in a variable, or you can use a Get-Job command to get the job.

Note that the value of the Location property shows that the job ran on the Server01 computer.

STEP 2: GET-JOB

To manage a job started by using the AsJob parameter of the Invoke-Command cmdlet, use the Job cmdlets. Because the job object that represents the remote job is on the local computer, you do not need to run remote commands to manage the job.

To determine whether the job is complete, use a Get-Job command. The following command gets all of the jobs that were started in the current session.

get-job

Because the remote job was started in the current session, a local Get-Job command gets the job. The State property of the job object shows that the command was completed successfully.

SessionId   Name   State      HasMoreData     Location   Command  
---------   ----   -----      -----------     --------   -------  
1           Job1   Completed  True            Server01   get-eventlog system

STEP 3: RECEIVE-JOB

To get the results of the job, use the Receive-Job cmdlet. Because the job results are automatically returned to the computer where the job object resides, you can get the results with a local Receive-Job command.

The following command uses the Receive-Job cmdlet to get the results of the job. It uses the session ID to identify the job. This command saves the job results in the $results variable. You can also redirect the results to a file.

$results = receive-job -id 1

START A REMOTE JOB THAT KEEPS THE RESULTS ON THE REMOTE COMPUTER

To start a background job on a remote computer that keeps the command results on the remote computer, use the Invoke-Command cmdlet to run a Start-Job command on a remote computer. You can use this method to run background jobs on multiple computers.

When you run a Start-Job command remotely, the job object is created on the remote computer, and the job results are maintained on the remote computer. From the perspective of the job, all operations are local. You are just running commands remotely to manage a local job on the remote computer.

STEP 1: INVOKE-COMMAND START-JOB

Use the Invoke-Command cmdlet to run a Start-Job command on a remote computer.

This command requires a PSSession (a persistent connection). If you use the ComputerName parameter of Invoke-Command to establish a temporary connection, the Invoke-Command command is considered to be complete when the job object is returned. As a result, the temporary connection is closed, and the job is canceled.

The following command uses the New-PSSession cmdlet to create a PSSession that is connected to the Server01 computer. The command saves the PSSession in the $s variable

$s = new-pssession -computername Server01

The next command uses the Invoke-Command cmdlet to run a Start-Job command in the PSSession. The Start-Job command and the Get-Eventlog command are enclosed in braces.

invoke-command -session $s -scriptblock {start-job -scriptblock {get-eventlog system}}

The results resemble the following sample output.

Id       Name    State      HasMoreData     Location   Command  
--       ----    -----      -----------     --------   -------  
2        Job2    Running    True            Localhost  get-eventlog system

When you run a Start-Job command remotely, Invoke-Command returns the same type of job object that Start-Job returns. You can save the job object in a variable, or you can use a Get-Job command to get the job.

Note that the value of the Location property shows that the job ran on the local computer, known as "LocalHost", even though the job ran on the Server01 computer. Because the job object is created on the Server01 computer and the job runs on the same computer, it is considered to be a local background job.

STEP 2: INVOKE-COMMAND GET-JOB

To manage a remote background job, use the Job cmdlets. Because the job object is on the remote computer, you need to run remote commands to get, stop, wait for, or retrieve the job results.

To see if the job is complete, use an Invoke-Command command to run a Get-Job command in the PSSession that is connected to the Server01 computer.

invoke-command -session $s -scriptblock {get-job}

The command returns a job object. The State property of the job object shows that the command was completed successfully.

SessionId       Name    State      HasMoreData     Location   Command  
---------       ----    -----      -----------     --------   -------  
2               Job2    Completed  True            LocalHost   get-eventlog system

STEP 3: INVOKE-COMMAND RECEIVE-JOB

To get the results of the job, use the Invoke-Command cmdlet to run a Receive-Job command in the PSSession that is connected to the Server01 computer.

The following command uses the Receive-Job cmdlet to get the results of the job. It uses the session ID to identify the job. This command saves the job results in the $results variable. It uses the Keep parameter of Receive-Job to keep the result in the job cache on the remote computer.

$results = invoke-command -session $s -scriptblock {receive-job -sessionid 2 -keep}

You can also redirect the results to a file on the local or remote computer. The following command uses a redirection operator to save the results in a file on the Server01 computer.

invoke-command -session $s -command {receive-job -sessionid 2 > c:\logs\pslog.txt}

SEE ALSO

about_Jobs

about_Job_Details

about_Remote

about_Remote_Variables

Invoke-Command

Start-Job

Get-Job

Wait-Job

Stop-Job

Remove-Job

New-PSSession

Enter-PSSession

Exit-PSSession

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