[openstack-dev] [Nova] FPGA as a resource

Roman Dobosz roman.dobosz at intel.com
Wed Apr 6 05:34:46 UTC 2016

On Tue, 5 Apr 2016 13:58:44 +0100
"Daniel P. Berrange" <berrange at redhat.com> wrote:

> Along similar lines we have proposals to add vGPU support to Nova,
> where the vGPUs may or may not be exposed using SR-IOV. We also want
> to be able to on the fly decide whether any physical GPU is assigned
> entirely to a guest as a full PCI device, or whether we only assign
> individual "virtual functions" of the GPU. This means that even if
> the GPU in question does *not* use SR-IOV, we still need to track
> the GPU and vGPUs in the same way as we track PCI devices, so that
> we can avoid assigning a vGPU to the guest, if the underlying physical
> PCI device is already assigned to the guest.

That's correct. I'd like to mention, that FPGAs can be also exposed
other way than PCI (like in Xeon+FPGA). Not sure if this also applies
to GPU.

> I can see we will have much the same issue with FPGAs, where we may
> either want to assign the entire physical PCI device to a guest, or
> just assign a particular slot in the FPGA to the guest. So even if
> the FPGA is not using SR-IOV, we need to tie this all into the PCI
> device tracking code, as we are intending for vGPUs.
> All in all, I think we probably ought to generalize the PCI device
> assignment modelling so that we're actually modelling generic
> hardware devices which may or may not be PCI based, so that we can
> accurately track the relationships between the devices.
> With NIC devices we're also seeing a need to expose capabilities
> against the PCI devices, so that the schedular can be more selective
> in deciding which particular devices to assign. eg so we can distinguish
> between NICs which support RDMA and those which don't, or identify NIC
> with hardware offload features, and so on. I can see this need to
> associate capabilities with devices is something that will likely
> be needed for the FPGA scenario, and vGPUs too. So again this points
> towards more general purpose modelling of assignable hardware devices
> beyond the limited PCI device modelling we've got today.
> Looking to the future I think we'll see more usecases for device
> assignment appearing for other types of device.
> IOW, I think it would be a mistake to model FPGAs as a distinct
> object type on their own. Generalization of assignable devices
> is the way to go

That's why I've bring the topic here on the list, so we can think about
similar devices which could be generalized into one common accelerator
type or even think about modeling PCI as such.

> > All of that makes modelling resource extremely complicated, contrary to 
> > CPU resource for example. I'd like to discuss how the goal of having 
> > reprogrammable accelerators in OpenStack can be achieved. Ideally I'd 
> > like to fit it into Jay and Chris work on resource-*.
> I think you shouldn't look at the FPGAs as being like CPU resource, but
> rather look at them as a generalization of PCI device asignment.

CPU in this context was only an example of "easy" resource, which
doesn't need any preparation before VM can use it :)

Roman Dobosz

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