Recommended Practice

Managing one or more clusters is not an easy task. In most cases, the administrator should have good knowledge OpenPAI system. Here we recommend some practice experience for the administrator's reference.

Team Shared Practice

There are mainly two kinds of resources in OpenPAI, namely virtual cluster and storage, and they are managed by groups. All users are in the default group. So everyone should have access to the default virtual cluster and one or more storages that are set for the default group. Besides the default group, you can set up different groups for different users. In practice, we recommend you to assign each team with a single group.

For example, if you have two teams: team A working on project A; and Team B working on project B. You can set up group A and group B for Team A and B, correspondingly. Thus each team can share computing and storage resources internally. If a user joins a team, just add him into the corresponding group.

By default, OpenPAI uses basic authentication mode. In this mode, the virtual cluster is exactly bound to groups, which means setting up a group means setting up a virtual cluster in basic authentication mode. In AAD mode, group and virtual cluster are different concepts. Please refer to How to Set Up Virtual Clusters for details.

Onboarding Practice

For new user onboarding in basic authentication mode, the PAI admin should create this user manually in the backend, and notify the user of some instructions and guidelines. In our practice, we will send an e-mail to the new user. Besides account information, we also include the following content in the e-mail:

  • Let the user read the user manual to learn how to submit jobs, debug jobs, and use the client tool.
  • Let the user know their completed jobs may be deleted after 30 days.
  • Let the user know he/she shouldn't always run low-efficiency jobs (e.g. sleep for several days in the container). Otherwise, the administrator may kill the job.
  • Let the user know how to contact the administrator in case they find any problem or have any question.

DRI Practice

DRI stands for Designated Responsible Individual. In our context, we don't have one specific administrator for PAI clusters. Instead, we assign one or two DRIs every week. He/she will become the designated responsible individual for cluster management this week. The assignment is based on rotation so everyone in the team has an equal chance to become a DRI.

The duty of a DRI includes:

  • Solve live site issues of internal deployments, which from alerts and human reported, including cluster alerts and user questions.
  • Upgrade PAI services.

The DRI should be aware of different severities:

  • Severity 0: Impact a whole prod cluster, and it's unavailable totally.
  • Severity 1: Impact important features like cannot submit new jobs, API failures totally, or web UI is down.
  • Severity 2: Some jobs fail consistently, or some users hit problems frequently.
  • Severity 3: Random job failures with low probability.

Besides, if there are multiple clusters, he/she should also be aware of the different priorities of different clusters.

Based on severity and priority, we can make an SLA for the cluster management. Here is an example:

Severity Cluster Acknowledge Update frequency Monitoring hours
0, 1 production cluster 30 minutes 2 hour Working hours
2 production cluster 2 hours 24 hours Working hours
3 all 4 hours 24 hours Working hours

If an issue is raised, the DRI should follow these steps to address it:

  1. All questions or notifications sent to DRIs should be updated by the DRI owner proactively.
  2. DRI owner should send ACK to each incident of PAI alerts. As there are many duplicated alerts so that it doesn't need to ACK on each one.
  3. Besides ACK, the DRI owner should reply to the questions/notification/alerts, if there are updates or it is resolved. Furthermore, the DRI owner should think about why this incident happens, how to avoid it the next time, after it is resolved. If it's applicable, create issues on Github.