[openstack-dev] [nova] Update on scheduler and resource tracker progress

Clint Byrum clint at fewbar.com
Fri Feb 12 18:47:23 UTC 2016

Excerpts from Jay Pipes's message of 2016-02-11 12:24:04 -0800:
> Hello all,
> Performance working group, please pay attention to Chapter 2 in the 
> details section.

<snipped the part you let us not pay attention to. ;)>

> Chapter 2 - Addressing performance and scale
> ============================================
> One of the significant performance problems with the Nova scheduler is 
> the fact that for every call to the select_destinations() RPC API method 
> -- which itself is called at least once every time a launch or migration 
> request is made -- the scheduler grabs all records for all compute nodes 
> in the deployment. Once retrieving all these compute node records, the 
> scheduler runs each through a set of filters to determine which compute 
> nodes have the required capacity to service the instance's requested 
> resources. Having the scheduler continually retrieve every compute node 
> record on each request to select_destinations() is extremely 
> inefficient. The greater the number of compute nodes, the bigger the 
> performance and scale problem this becomes.
> On a loaded cloud deployment -- say there are 1000 compute nodes and 900 
> of them are fully loaded with active virtual machines -- the scheduler 
> is still going to retrieve all 1000 compute node records on every 
> request to select_destinations() and process each one of those records 
> through all scheduler filters. Clearly, if we could filter the amount of 
> compute node records that are returned by removing those nodes that do 
> not have available capacity, we could dramatically reduce the amount of 
> work that each call to select_destinations() would need to perform.
> The resource-providers-scheduler blueprint attempts to address the above 
> problem by replacing a number of the scheduler filters that currently 
> run *after* the database has returned all compute node records with 
> instead a series of WHERE clauses and join conditions on the database 
> query. The idea here is to winnow the number of returned compute node 
> results as much as possible. The fewer records the scheduler must 
> post-process, the faster the performance of each individual call to 
> select_destinations().

This is great, and I think it is the way to go. However, I'm not sure how
dramatic the overall benefit will be, since it also shifts some load from
reads to writes. With 1000 active compute nodes updating their status,
each index added will be 1000 more index writes per update period. Still
a net win, but I'm always cautious about shifting things to more writes
on the database server. That said, I do think it will be a win and should
be done.

> The second major scale problem with the current Nova scheduler design 
> has to do with the fact that the scheduler does *not* actually claim 
> resources on a provider. Instead, the scheduler selects a destination 
> host to place the instance on and the Nova conductor then sends a 
> message to that target host which attempts to spawn the instance on its 
> hypervisor. If the spawn succeeds, the target compute host updates the 
> Nova database and decrements its count of available resources. These 
> steps (from nova-scheduler to nova-conductor to nova-compute to 
> database) all take some not insignificant amount of time. During this 
> time window, a different scheduler process may pick the exact same 
> target host for a like-sized launch request. If there is only room on 
> the target host for one of those size requests [5], one of those spawn 
> requests will fail and trigger a retry operation. This retry operation 
> will attempt to repeat the scheduler placement decisions (by calling 
> select_destinations()).
> This retry operation is relatively expensive and needlessly so: if the 
> scheduler claimed the resources on the target host before sending its 
> pick back to the scheduler, then the chances of producing a retry will 
> be almost eliminated [6]. The resource-providers-scheduler blueprint 
> attempts to remedy this second scaling design problem by having the 
> scheduler write records to the allocations table before sending the 
> selected target host back to the Nova conductor.

*This*, to me, is the thing that makes the scheduler dramatically more
scalable. The ability to run as many schedulers as I expect to need to
respond to user requests in a reasonable amount of time, is the key to
victory here.

However, I wonder how you will avoid serialization or getting into
a much tighter retry race for the claiming operations. There's talk
in the spec of inserting allocations in a table atomically. However,
with multiple schedulers, you'll still have the problem where one will
claim and the others will need to know that they cannot. We can talk
about nuts and bolts, but there's really only two ways this can work:
exclusive locking, or compare and swap retry loops.

I think the right way to go is probably the retries, so we can make
use of some of the advantages of Galera. But I think it will need some
collision avoidance mechanisms added in so schedulers generally stay out
of each others' way and avoid too many retries, especially while packing.

More information about the OpenStack-dev mailing list