[openstack-dev] [magnum] Magnum conductor async container operations

Adrian Otto adrian.otto at rackspace.com
Thu Dec 17 03:19:38 UTC 2015

> On Dec 16, 2015, at 6:24 PM, Joshua Harlow <harlowja at fastmail.com> wrote:
> SURO wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> Please review and provide feedback on the following design proposal for
>> implementing the blueprint[1] on async-container-operations -
>> 1. Magnum-conductor would have a pool of threads for executing the
>> container operations, viz. executor_threadpool. The size of the
>> executor_threadpool will be configurable. [Phase0]
>> 2. Every time, Magnum-conductor(Mcon) receives a
>> container-operation-request from Magnum-API(Mapi), it will do the
>> initial validation, housekeeping and then pick a thread from the
>> executor_threadpool to execute the rest of the operations. Thus Mcon
>> will return from the RPC request context much faster without blocking
>> the Mapi. If the executor_threadpool is empty, Mcon will execute in a
>> manner it does today, i.e. synchronously - this will be the
>> rate-limiting mechanism - thus relaying the feedback of exhaustion.
>> [Phase0]
>> How often we are hitting this scenario, may be indicative to the
>> operator to create more workers for Mcon.
>> 3. Blocking class of operations - There will be a class of operations,
>> which can not be made async, as they are supposed to return
>> result/content inline, e.g. 'container-logs'. [Phase0]
>> 4. Out-of-order considerations for NonBlocking class of operations -
>> there is a possible race around condition for create followed by
>> start/delete of a container, as things would happen in parallel. To
>> solve this, we will maintain a map of a container and executing thread,
>> for current execution. If we find a request for an operation for a
>> container-in-execution, we will block till the thread completes the
>> execution. [Phase0]
> Does whatever do these operations (mcon?) run in more than one process?

Yes, there may be multiple copies of magnum-conductor running on separate hosts.

> Can it be requested to create in one process then delete in another? If so is that map some distributed/cross-machine/cross-process map that will be inspected to see what else is manipulating a given container (so that the thread can block until that is not the case... basically the map is acting like a operation-lock?)

That’s how I interpreted it as well. This is a race prevention technique so that we don’t attempt to act on a resource until it is ready. Another way to deal with this is check the state of the resource, and return a “not ready” error if it’s not ready yet. If this happens in a part of the system that is unattended by a user, we can re-queue the call to retry after a minimum delay so that it proceeds only when the ready state is reached in the resource, or terminated after a maximum number of attempts, or if the resource enters an error state. This would allow other work to proceed while the retry waits in the queue.

> If it's just local in one process, then I have a library for u that can solve the problem of correctly ordering parallel operations ;)

What we are aiming for is a bit more distributed. 


>> This mechanism can be further refined to achieve more asynchronous
>> behavior. [Phase2]
>> The approach above puts a prerequisite that operations for a given
>> container on a given Bay would go to the same Magnum-conductor instance.
>> [Phase0]
>> 5. The hand-off between Mcon and a thread from executor_threadpool can
>> be reflected through new states on the 'container' object. These states
>> can be helpful to recover/audit, in case of Mcon restart. [Phase1]
>> Other considerations -
>> 1. Using eventlet.greenthread instead of real threads => This approach
>> would require further refactoring the execution code and embed yield
>> logic, otherwise a single greenthread would block others to progress.
>> Given, we will extend the mechanism for multiple COEs, and to keep the
>> approach straight forward to begin with, we will use 'threading.Thread'
>> instead of 'eventlet.greenthread'.
>> Refs:-
>> [1] -
>> https://blueprints.launchpad.net/magnum/+spec/async-container-operations
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