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Subject: Re: [OMPI devel] Fault tolerance
From: Josh Hursey (jjhursey_at_[hidden])
Date: 2008-03-06 11:13:40

The checkpoint/restart work that I have integrated does not respond to
failure at the moment. If a failures happens I want ORTE to terminate
the entire job. I will then restart the entire job from a checkpoint
file. This follows the 'all fall down' approach that users typically
expect when using a global C/R technique.

Eventually I want to integrate something better where I can respond to
a failure with a recovery from inside ORTE. I'm not there yet, but
hopefully in the near future.

I'll let the UTK group talk about what they are doing with ORTE, but I
suspect they will be taking advantage of the errmgr to help respond to
failure and restart a single process.

It is important to consider in this context that we do *not* always
want ORTE to abort whenever it detects a process failure. This is the
default mode for MPI applications (MPI_ERRORS_ARE_FATAL), and should
be supported. But there is another mode in which we would like ORTE to
keep running to conform with (MPI_ERRORS_RETURN):

It is known that certain standards conformant MPI "fault tolerant"
programs do not work in Open MPI for various reasons some in the
runtime and some external. Here we are mostly talking about
disconnected fates of intra-communicator groups. I have a test in the
ompi-tests repository that illustrates this problem, but I do not have
time to fix it at the moment.

So in short keep the errmgr around for now. I suspect we will be using
it, and possibly tweaking it in the nearish future.

Thanks for the observation.


On Mar 6, 2008, at 10:44 AM, Ralph Castain wrote:

> Hello
> I've been doing some work on fault response within the system, and
> finally
> realized something I should probably have seen awhile back. Perhaps
> I am
> misunderstanding somewhere, so forgive the ignorance if so.
> When we designed ORTE some time in the deep, dark past, we had
> envisioned
> that people might want multiple ways of responding to process faults
> and/or
> abnormal terminations. You might want to just abort the job, attempt
> to
> restart just that proc, attempt to restart the job, etc. To support
> these
> multiple options, and to provide a means for people to simply try
> new ones,
> we created the errmgr framework.
> Our thought was that a process and/or daemon would call the errmgr
> when we
> detected something abnormal happening, and that the selected errmgr
> component could then do whatever fault response was desired.
> However, I now see that the fault tolerance mechanisms inside of
> OMPI do not
> seem to be using that methodology. Instead, we have hard-coded a
> particular
> response into the system.
> If we configure without FT, we just abort the entire job since that
> is the
> only errmgr component that exists.
> If we configure with FT, then we execute the hard-coded C/R
> methodology.
> This is built directly into the code, so there is no option as to what
> happens.
> Is there a reason why the errmgr framework was not used? Did the FT
> team
> decide that this was not a useful tool to support multiple FT
> strategies?
> Can we modify it to better serve those needs, or is it simply not
> feasible?
> If it isn't going to be used for that purpose, then I might as well
> remove
> it. As things stand, there really is no purpose served by the errmgr
> framework - might as well replace it with just a function call.
> Appreciate any insights
> Ralph
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