Heterogeneous Job Support
- Submitting Jobs
- Burst Buffers
- Managing Jobs
- Launching Applications (Job Steps)
- Environment Variables
- Heterogeneous Steps
- System Administrator Information
Slurm version 17.11 and later supports the ability to submit and manage heterogeneous jobs, in which each component has virtually all job options available including partition, account and QOS (Quality Of Service). For example, part of a job might require four cores and 4 GB for each of 128 tasks while another part of the job would require 16 GB of memory and one CPU.
The salloc, sbatch and srun commands can all be used to submit heterogeneous jobs. Resource specifications for each component of the heterogeneous job should be separated with ":" character. For example:
$ sbatch --cpus-per-task=4 --mem-per-cpu=1 --ntasks=128 : \ --cpus-per-task=1 --mem-per-cpu=16 --ntasks=1 my.bash
Options specified for one component of a heterogeneous job (or job step) will be used for subsequent components to the extent which is expected to be helpful. Propagated options can be reset as desired for each component (e.g. a different account name could be specified for each hetjob component. For example, --immediate and --job-name are propagated, while --ntasks and --mem-per-cpu are reset to default values for each component. A list of propagated options follows.
- --epilog (option available only in srun)
- --kill-on-bad-exit (option available only in srun)
- --label (option available only in srun)
- --msg-timeout (option available only in srun)
- --no-allocate (option available only in srun)
- --open-mode (option available only in srun)
- --prolog (option available only in srun)
- --pty (option available only in srun)
- --quit-on-interrupt (option available only in srun)
- --slurmd-debug (option available only in srun)
- --task-epilog (option available only in srun)
- --task-prolog (option available only in srun)
- --unbuffered (option available only in srun)
The task distribution specification applies separately within each job component. Consider for example a heterogeneous job with each component being allocated 4 CPUs on 2 nodes. In our example, job component zero is allocated 2 CPUs on node "nid00001" and 2 CPUs on node "nid00002". Job component one is allocated 2 CPUs on node "nid00003" and 2 CPUs on node "nid00004". A task distribution of "cyclic" will distribute the first 4 tasks in a cyclic fashion on nodes "nid00001" and "nid00002", then distribute the next 4 tasks in a cyclic fashion on nodes "nid00003" and "nid00004" as shown below.
|Node nid00001||Node nid00002||Node nid00003||Node nid00004|
|Rank 0||Rank 1||Rank 4||Rank 5|
|Rank 2||Rank 3||Rank 6||Rank 7|
Some options should be specified only in the first hetjob component. For example, specifying a batch job output file in the second hetjob component's options will result in the first hetjob component (where the batch script executes) using the default output file name.
Environment variables used to specify default options for the job submit command will be applied to every component of the heterogeneous job (e.g. SBATCH_ACCOUNT).
Batch job options can be included in the submitted script for multiple heterogeneous job components. Each component should be separated by a line containing the line "#SBATCH hetjob" as shown below.
$ cat new.bash #!/bin/bash #SBATCH --cpus-per-task=4 --mem-per-cpu=16g --ntasks=1 #SBATCH hetjob #SBATCH --cpus-per-task=2 --mem-per-cpu=1g --ntasks=8 srun run.app $ sbatch new.bash
Is equivalent to the following:
$ cat my.bash #!/bin/bash srun run.app $ sbatch --cpus-per-task=4 --mem-per-cpu=16g --ntasks=1 : \ --cpus-per-task=2 --mem-per-cpu=1g --ntasks=8 my.bash
The batch script will be executed in the first node in the first component of the heterogeneous job. For the above example, that will be the job component with 1 task, 4 CPUs and 64 GB of memory (16 GB for each of the 4 CPUs).
If a heterogeneous job is submitted to run in multiple clusters not part of a federation (e.g. "sbatch --cluster=alpha,beta ...") then the entire job will be sent to the cluster expected to be able to start all components at the earliest time.
A resource limit test is performed when a heterogeneous job is submitted in order to immediately reject jobs that will not be able to start with current limits. The individual components of the heterogeneous job are validated, like all regular jobs. The heterogeneous job as a whole is also tested, but in a more limited fashion with respect to quality of service (QOS) limits. Each component of a heterogeneous job counts as a "job" with respect to resource limits.
A burst buffer can either be persistent or linked to a specific job ID (at least the Cray implementation). Since a heterogeneous job consists of multiple job IDs, a job-specific burst buffer will be associated with only one heterogeneous job component. Only a persistent burst buffer can be accessed by all components of a heterogeneous job. A sample batch script demonstrating this for a Cray system is appended.
#!/bin/bash #SBATCH --nodes=1 --constraint=haswell #BB create_persistent name=alpha capacity=10 access=striped type=scratch #DW persistentdw name=alpha #SBATCH hetjob #SBATCH --nodes=16 --constraint=knl #DW persistentdw name=alpha ...
NOTE: Cray's DataWarp interface directly reads the job script, but has no knowledge of "Slurm's "hetjob" directive, so Slurm internally rebuilds the script for each job component so that only that job components burst buffer directives are included in that script. The batch script first component of the job will be modified in order to replace the "#DW" directives of other job components with "#EXCLUDED DW" to prevent their interpretation by Cray infrastructure. Since the batch script will only be executed by the first job component, the subsequent job components will not include commands from the original script. These scripts are build and managed by Slurm for internal purposes (and visiable from various Slurm commands) from a user script as shown above. An example is shown below:
Rebuilt script for first job component #!/bin/bash #SBATCH --nodes=1 --constraint=haswell #BB create_persistent name=alpha capacity=10 access=striped type=scratch #DW persistentdw name=alpha #SBATCH hetjob #SBATCH --nodes=16 --constraint=knl #EXCLUDED DW persistentdw name=alpha ... Rebuilt script for second job component #!/bin/bash #SBATCH --nodes=16 --constraint=knl #DW persistentdw name=alpha exit 0
Information maintained in Slurm for a heterogeneous job includes:
- job_id: Each component of a heterogeneous job will have its own unique job_id.
- het_job_id: This identification number applies to all components of the heterogeneous job. All components of the same job will have the same het_job_id value and it will be equal to the job_id of the first component. We refer to this as the "heterogeneous job leader".
- het_job_id_set: Regular expression identifying all job_id values associated with the job.
- het_job_offset: A unique sequence number applied to each component of the heterogeneous job. The first component will have a het_job_offset value of 0, the next a value of 1, etc.
Table 1: Example job IDs
The squeue and sview commands report the components of a heterogeneous job using the format "<het_job_id>+<het_job_offset>". For example "123+4" would represent heterogeneous job id 123 and its fifth component (note: the first component has a het_job_offset value of 0).
A request for a specific job ID that identifies a ID of the first component of a heterogeneous job (i.e. the "heterogeneous job leader") will return information about all components of that job. For example:
$ squeue --job=93 JOBID PARTITION NAME USER ST TIME NODES NODELIST 93+0 debug bash adam R 18:18 1 nid00001 93+1 debug bash adam R 18:18 1 nid00011 93+2 debug bash adam R 18:18 1 nid00021
A request to cancel or otherwise signal a heterogeneous job leader will be applied to all components of that heterogeneous job. A request to cancel a specific component of the heterogeneous job using the "#+#" notation will apply only to that specific component. For example:
$ squeue --job=93 JOBID PARTITION NAME USER ST TIME NODES NODELIST 93+0 debug bash adam R 19:18 1 nid00001 93+1 debug bash adam R 19:18 1 nid00011 93+2 debug bash adam R 19:18 1 nid00021 $ scancel 93+1 $ squeue --job=93 JOBID PARTITION NAME USER ST TIME NODES NODELIST 93+0 debug bash adam R 19:38 1 nid00001 93+2 debug bash adam R 19:38 1 nid00021 $ scancel 93 $ squeue --job=93 JOBID PARTITION NAME USER ST TIME NODES NODELIST
While a heterogeneous job is in pending state, only the entire job can be cancelled rather than its individual components. A request to cancel an individual component of a heterogeneous job in pending state will return an error. After the job has begun execution, the individual component can be cancelled.
Email notification for job state changes (the --mail-type option) is only supported for a heterogeneous job leader. Requests for email notifications for other components of a heterogeneous job will be silently ignored.
Requests to modify an individual component of a job using the scontrol command must specify the job ID with the "#+#" notation. A request to modify a job by specifying the het_job_id will modify all components of a heterogeneous job. For example:
# Change the account of component 2 of heterogeneous job 123: $ scontrol update jobid=123+2 account=abc # Change the time limit of all components of heterogeneous job 123: $ scontrol update jobid=123 timelimit=60
Requests to perform the following operations a job can only be requested for a heterogeneous job leader and will be applied to all components of that heterogeneous job. Requests to operate on individual components of the heterogeneous will return an error.
The sbcast command supports heterogeneous job allocations. By default, sbcast will copy files to all nodes in the job allocation. The -j/--jobid option can be used to copy files to individual components as shown below.
$ sbcast --jobid=123 data /tmp/data $ sbcast --jobid=123.0 app0 /tmp/app0 $ sbcast --jobid=123.1 app1 /tmp/app1
The srun commands --bcast option will transfer files to the nodes associated with the application to be launched as specified by the --het-group option.
Slurm has a configuration option to control behavior of some commands with respect to heterogeneous jobs. By default a request to cancel, hold or release a job ID that is not the het_job_id, but that of a job component will only operate that one component of the heterogeneous job. If SchedulerParameters configuration parameter includes the option "whole_hetjob" then the operation would apply to all components of the job if any job component is specified to be operated upon. In the below example, the scancel command will either cancel all components of job 93 if SchedulerParameters=whole_hetjob is configured, otherwise only job 93+1 will be cancelled. If a specific heterogeneous job component is specified (e.g. "scancel 93+1"), then only that one component will be effected.
$ squeue --job=93 JOBID PARTITION NAME USER ST TIME NODES NODELIST 93+0 debug bash adam R 19:18 1 nid00001 93+1 debug bash adam R 19:18 1 nid00011 93+2 debug bash adam R 19:18 1 nid00021 $ scancel 94 (where job ID 94 is equivalent to 93+1) # Cancel 93+0, 93+1 and 93+2 if SchedulerParameters includes "whole_hetjob" # Cancel only 93+1 if SchedulerParameters does not include "whole_hetjob"
Slurm's accounting database records the het_job_id and het_job_offset fields. The sacct command reports job's using the format "<het_job_id>+<het_job_offset>" and can accept a job ID specification for filtering using the same format. If a het_job_id value is specified as a job filter, then information about all components of that job will be reported as shown below by default. The --whole-hetjob=[yes|no] option can be used to force to report the information about all the components of that job or just about the specific component requested, no matter if the job filter includes the het_job_id (leader) or not.
$ sacct -j 67767 JobID JobName Partition Account AllocCPUS State ExitCode ------- ------- --------- ------- --------- --------- -------- 67767+0 foo debug test 2 COMPLETED 0:0 67767+1 foo debug test 4 COMPLETED 0:0 $ sacct -j 67767+1 JobID JobName Partition Account AllocCPUS State ExitCode ------- ------- --------- ------- --------- --------- -------- 67767+1 foo debug test 4 COMPLETED 0:0 $ sacct -j 67767 --whole-hetjob=no JobID JobName Partition Account AllocCPUS State ExitCode ------- ------- --------- ------- --------- --------- -------- 67767+0 foo debug test 4 COMPLETED 0:0 $ sacct -j 67767+1 --whole-hetjob=yes JobID JobName Partition Account AllocCPUS State ExitCode ------- ------- --------- ------- --------- --------- -------- 67767+0 foo debug test 2 COMPLETED 0:0 67767+1 foo debug test 4 COMPLETED 0:0
The srun command is used to launch applications. By default, the application is launched only on the first component of a heterogeneous job, but options are available to support different behaviors.
srun's "--het-group" option defines which hetjob component(s) are to have applications launched for them. The --het-group option takes an expression defining which component(s) are to launch an application for an individual execution of the srun command. The expression can contain one or more component index values in a comma separated list. Ranges of index values can be specified in a hyphen separated list. By default, an application is launched only on component number zero. Some examples follow:
IMPORTANT: The ability to execute a single application across more than one job allocation does not work with all MPI implementations or Slurm MPI plugins. Slurm's ability to execute such an application can be disabled on the entire cluster by adding "disable_hetjob_steps" to Slurm's SchedulerParameters configuration parameter.
IMPORTANT: While the srun command can be used to launch heterogeneous job steps, mpirun would require substantial modification to support heterogeneous applications. We are aware of no such mpirun development efforts at this time.
By default, the applications launched by a single execution of the srun command (even for different components of the heterogeneous job) are combined into one MPI_COMM_WORLD with non-overlapping task IDs.
As with the salloc and sbatch commands, the ":" character is used to separate multiple components of a heterogeneous job. This convention means that the stand-alone ":" character can not be used as an argument to an application launched by srun. This includes the ability to execute different applications and arguments for each job component. If some heterogeneous job component lacks an application specification, the next application specification provided will be used for earlier components lacking one as shown below.
$ srun --label -n2 : -n1 hostname 0: nid00012 1: nid00012 2: nid00013
If multiple srun commands are executed concurrently, this may result in resource contention (e.g. memory limits preventing some job steps components from being allocated resources because of two srun commands executing at the same time). If the srun --het-group option is used to create multiple job steps (for the different components of a heterogeneous job), those job steps will be created sequentially. When multiple srun commmands execute at the same time, this may result in some step allocations taking place, while others are delayed. Only after all job step allocations have been granted will the application being launched.
All components of a job step will have the same step ID value. If job steps are launched on subsets of the job components there may be gaps in the step ID values for individual job components.
$ salloc -n1 : -n2 beta bash salloc: Pending job allocation 1721 salloc: Granted job allocation 1721 $ srun --het-group=0,1 true # Launches steps 1721.0 and 1722.0 $ srun --het-group=0 true # Launches step 1721.1, no 1722.1 $ srun --het-group=0,1 true # Launches steps 1721.2 and 1722.2
The maximum het-group specified in a job step allocation (either explicitly specified or implied by the ":" separator) must not exceed the number of components in the heterogeneous job allocation. For example
$ salloc -n1 -C alpha : -n2 -C beta bash salloc: Pending job allocation 1728 salloc: Granted job allocation 1728 $ srun --het-group=0,1 hostname nid00001 nid00008 nid00008 $ srun hostname : date : id error: Attempt to run a job step with het-group value of 2, but the job allocation has maximum value of 1
Slurm environment variables will be set independently for each component of the job by appending "_HET_GROUP_" and a sequence number to the usual name. In addition, the "SLURM_JOB_ID" environment variable will contain the job ID of the heterogeneous job leader and "SLURM_HET_SIZE" will contain the number of components in the job. Note that if using srun with a single specific het group (for instance --het-group=1) "SLURM_JOB_ID" will contain the job ID of the heterogeneous job leader. The job ID for a specific heterogeneous component is set in "SLURM_JOB_ID_HET_GROUP_<component_id>". For example:
$ salloc -N1 : -N2 bash salloc: Pending job allocation 11741 salloc: job 11741 queued and waiting for resources salloc: job 11741 has been allocated resources $ env | grep SLURM SLURM_JOB_ID=11741 SLURM_HET_SIZE=2 SLURM_JOB_ID_HET_GROUP_0=11741 SLURM_JOB_ID_HET_GROUP_1=11742 SLURM_JOB_NODES_HET_GROUP_0=1 SLURM_JOB_NODES_HET_GROUP_1=2 SLURM_JOB_NODELIST_HET_GROUP_0=nid00001 SLURM_JOB_NODELIST_HET_GROUP_1=nid[00011-00012] ... $ srun --het-group=1 printenv SLURM_JOB_ID 11741 11741 $ srun --het-group=0 printenv SLURM_JOB_ID 11741 $ srun --het-group=1 printenv SLURM_JOB_ID_HET_GROUP_1 11742 11742 $ srun --het-group=0 printenv SLURM_JOB_ID_HET_GROUP_0 11741
The various MPI implementations rely heavily upon Slurm environment variables for proper operation. A single MPI application executing in a single MPI_COMM_WORLD requires a uniform set of environment variables that reflect a single job allocation. The example below shows how Slurm sets environment variables for MPI.
$ salloc -N1 : -N2 bash salloc: Pending job allocation 11741 salloc: job 11751 queued and waiting for resources salloc: job 11751 has been allocated resources $ env | grep SLURM SLURM_JOB_ID=11751 SLURM_HET_SIZE=2 SLURM_JOB_ID_HET_GROUP_0=11751 SLURM_JOB_ID_HET_GROUP_1=11752 SLURM_JOB_NODELIST_HET_GROUP_0=nid00001 SLURM_JOB_NODELIST_HET_GROUP_1=nid[00011-00012] ... $ srun --het-group=0,1 env | grep SLURM SLURM_JOB_ID=11751 SLURM_JOB_NODELIST=nid[00001,00011-00012] ...
Create a heterogeneous resource allocation containing one node with 256GB of memory and a feature of "haswell" plus 2176 cores on 32 nodes with a feature of "knl". Then launch a program called "server" on the "haswell" node and "client" on the "knl" nodes. Each application will be in its own MPI_COMM_WORLD.
salloc -N1 --mem=256GB -C haswell : \ -n2176 -N32 --ntasks-per-core=1 -C knl bash srun server & srun --het-group=1 client & wait
This variation of the above example launches programs "server" and "client" in a single MPI_COMM_WORLD.
salloc -N1 --mem=256GB -C haswell : \ -n2176 -N32 --ntasks-per-core=1 -C knl bash srun server : client
The SLURM_PROCID environment variable will be set to reflect a global task rank. Each spawned process will have a unique SLURM_PROCID.
Similarly, the SLURM_NPROCS and SLURM_NTASKS environment variables will be set to reflect a global task count (both environment variables will have the same value). SLURM_NTASKS will be set to the total count of tasks in all components. Note that the task rank and count values are needed by MPI and typically determined by examining Slurm environment variables.
The backfill scheduler has limitations in how it tracks usage of CPUs and memory in the future. This typically requires the backfill scheduler be able to allocate each component of a heterogeneous job on a different node in order to begin its resource allocation, even if multiple components of the job do actually get allocated resources on the same node.
In a federation of clusters, a heterogeneous job will execute entirely on the cluster from which the job is submitted. The heterogeneous job will not be eligible to migrate between clusters or to have different components of the job execute on different clusters in the federation.
Caution must be taken when submitting heterogeneous jobs that request multiple overlapping partitions. When the partitions share the same resources it's possible to starve your own job by having the first job component request enough nodes that the scheduler isn't able to fill the subsequent request(s). Consider an example where you have partition p1 that contains 10 nodes and partition p2 that exists on 5 of the same nodes. If you submit a heterogeneous job that requests 5 nodes in p1 and 5 nodes in p2, the scheduler may try to allocate some of the nodes from the p2 partition for the first job component, preventing the scheduler from being able to fulfill the second request, resulting in a job that is never able to start.
Job arrays of heterogeneous jobs are not supported.
The srun command's --no-allocate option is not supported for heterogeneous jobs.
Only one job step per heterogeneous job component can be launched by a single srun command (e.g. "srun --het-group=0 alpha : --het-group=0 beta" is not supported).
The sattach command can only be used to attach to a single component of a heterogeneous job at a time.
License requests only work correctly when made on the first component job (e.g. "sbatch -L ansys:2 : script.sh").
Heterogeneous jobs are only scheduled by the backfill scheduler plugin. The more frequently executed scheduling logic only starts jobs on a first-in first-out (FIFO) basis and lacks logic for concurrently scheduling all components of a heterogeneous job.
Heterogeneous jobs are not supported on GANG scheduling operations.
Heterogeneous jobs are not supported on Cray ALPS systems.
Heterogeneous jobs are not supported on IBM PE systems.
Slurm's PERL APIs currently do not support heterogeneous jobs.
The srun --multi-prog option can not be used to span more than one heterogeneous job component.
The srun --open-mode option is by default set to "append".
Ancient versions of OpenMPI and their derivatives (i.e. Cray MPI) are dependent upon communication ports being assigned to them by Slurm. Such MPI jobs will experience step launch failure if any component of a heterogeneous job step is unable to acquire the allocated ports. Non-heterogeneous job steps will retry step launch using a new set of communication ports (no change in Slurm behavior).
Slurm version 20.11 introduces the ability to request heterogeneous job steps from within a non-homogeneous job allocation. This allows you the flexibility to have different layouts for job steps without requiring the use of heterogeneous jobs, where having separate jobs for the components may be undesirable.
Some limitations for heterogeneous steps are that the steps must be able to run on unique nodes. You also cannot request heterogeneous steps from within a heterogeneous job.
An example scenario would be if you have a task that needs to use 1 GPU per processor while another task needs all the available GPUs on a node with only one processor. This can be accomplished like this:
$ salloc -N2 --exclusive --gpus=10 salloc: Granted job allocation 61034 $ srun -N1 -n4 --gpus=4 printenv SLURMD_NODENAME : -N1 -n1 --gpus=6 printenv SLURMD_NODENAME node02 node01 node01 node01 node01
The job submit plugin is invoked independently for each component of a heterogeneous job.
The spank_init_post_opt() function is invoked once for each component of a heterogeneous job. This permits site defined options on a per job component basis.
Scheduling of heterogeneous jobs is performed only by the sched/backfill plugin and all heterogeneous job components are either all scheduled at the same time or deferred. The pending reason of heterogeneous jobs isn't set until backfill evaluation. In order to ensure the timely initiation of both heterogeneous and non-heterogeneous jobs, the backfill scheduler alternates between two different modes on each iteration. In the first mode, if a heterogeneous job component can not be initiated immediately, its expected start time is recorded and all subsequent components of that job will be considered for starting no earlier than the latest component's expected start time. In the second mode, all heterogeneous job components will be considered for starting no earlier than the latest component's expected start time. After completion of the second mode, all heterogeneous job expected start time data is cleared and the first mode will be used in the next backfill scheduler iteration. Regular (non-heterogeneous jobs) are scheduled independently on each iteration of the backfill scheduler.
For example, consider a heterogeneous job with three components. When considered as independent jobs, the components could be initiated at times now (component 0), now plus 2 hour (component 1), and now plus 1 hours (component 2). When the backfill scheduler runs in the first mode:
- Component 0 will be noted to possible to start now, but not initiated due to the additional components to be initiated
- Component 1 will be noted to be possible to start in 2 hours
- Component 2 will not be considered for scheduling until 2 hours in the future, which leave some additional resources available for scheduling to other jobs
When the backfill scheduler executes next, it will use the second mode and (assuming no other state changes) all three job components will be considered available for scheduling no earlier than 2 hours in the future, which may allow other jobs to be allocated resources before heterogeneous job component 0 could be initiated.
The heterogeneous job start time data will be cleared before the first mode is used in the next iteration in order to consider system status changes which might permit the heterogeneous to be initiated at an earlier time than previously determined.
A resource limit test is performed when a heterogeneous job is submitted in order to immediately reject jobs that will not be able to start with current limits. The individual components of the heterogeneous job are validated, like all regular jobs. The heterogeneous job as a whole is also tested, but in a more limited fashion with respect to quality of service (QOS) limits. This is due to the complexity of each job component having up to three sets of limits (association, job QOS and partition QOS). Note that successful submission of any job (heterogeneous or otherwise) does not ensure the job will be able to start without exceeding some limit. For example a job's CPU limit test does not consider that CPUs might not be allocated individually, but resource allocations might be performed by whole core, socket or node. Each component of a heterogeneous job counts as a "job" with respect to resource limits.
For example, a user might have a limit of 2 concurrent running jobs and submit a heterogeneous job with 3 components. Such a situation will have an adverse effect upon scheduling other jobs, especially other heterogeneous jobs.
Last modified 10 February 2022