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From "Shenoy, Gourav Ganesh" <>
Subject Re: [#Spring17-Airavata-Courses] : Distributed Workload Management for Airavata
Date Sun, 05 Feb 2017 20:07:57 GMT
Hi dev,

We were brainstorming some potential designs that might help us with this problem. One possible
option would be to have a “workflow micro-service” which would basically be the mediator/orchestrator
for deciding which micro-service should be executed next – based on the type of the job.
The motive is to make micro-services independent of the workflow; i.e. a micro-service implementation
should be not be aware of which micro-service will be executed next and we should have a central
control of deciding this pattern.
Eg: For job type X, the pattern could be A -> B -> C -> D. Whereas for job type Y,
the pattern could be A -> C -> D; and so on.

An initial design with this idea looks like follows:

We would have a common messaging framework (implementation has not been decided yet). The
database associated with the workflow micro-service could be a graph database (maybe?) –
again the implementation/technology has not been decided yet.

This is just a proposed design, and I would love to hear your thoughts on this and any suggestions/comments
if any. If there is anything that we are missing or should consider, please do let us know.

Thanks and Regards,
Gourav Shenoy

From: "Christie, Marcus Aaron" <>
Reply-To: "" <>
Date: Friday, February 3, 2017 at 9:21 AM
To: "" <>
Subject: Re: [#Spring17-Airavata-Courses] : Distributed Workload Management for Airavata


I’m not sure how relevant it is, but it occurs to me that a microservice that executes jobs
on a cloud requires very little in terms of resources to submit and monitor that job on the
cloud. It doesn’t really matter if the job is a “big” or a “small” job.  So I’m
not sure what heuristic makes sense regarding distributing work to these job execution microservices.
 Maybe a simple round robin approach would be sufficient.

I think a job scheduling algorithm does make sense, however, for a higher level component,
some sort of metascheduler that understands what resources are available on the cloud resources
on which the jobs will be running.  The metascheduler could create work for the job exection
microservices to run on particular cloud resources in a way that optimizes for some metric
(e.g., throughput).



On Feb 3, 2017, at 3:19 AM, Vidya Sagar Kalvakunta <<>>


My scenario is for workload distribution among multiple instances of the same microservice.

If a message broker needs to distribute the available jobs among multiple workers, the common
approach would be to use round robin or a similar algorithm. This approach works best when
all the workers are similar and the jobs are equal.

So I think that a genetic or heuristic job scheduling algorithm, which is also aware of each
of the worker's current state (CPU, RAM, No of Jobs processing) can more efficiently distribute
the jobs. The workers can periodically ping the message broker with their current state info.

The other advantage of using a customized algorithm is that it can be tweaked to use embedded
routing, priority or other information in the job metadata to resolve all of the concerns
raised by Amrutha viz message grouping, ordering, repeated messages, etc.

We can even ensure data privacy, i.e if the workers are spread across multiple compute clusters
say AWS and IU Big Red and we want to restrict certain sensitive jobs to be run only on Big

Some distributed job scheduling algorithms for cloud computing.


Vidya Sagar

On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 1:38 AM, Kamat, Amruta Ravalnath <<>>
Hello all,

Adding more information to the message based approach. Messaging is a key strategy employed
in many distributed environments. Message queuing is ideally suited to performing asynchronous
operations. A sender can post a message to a queue, but it does not have to wait while the
message is retrieved and processed. A sender and receiver do not even have to be running concurrently.

With message queuing there can be 2 possible scenarios:

  1.  ​Sending and receiving messages using a single message queue.
  2.  ​Sharing a message queue between many senders and receivers
​When a message is retrieved, it is removed from the queue. A message queue may also support
message peeking. This mechanism can be useful if several receivers are retrieving messages
from the same queue, but each receiver only wishes to handle specific messages. The receiver
can examine the message it has peeked, and decide whether to retrieve the message (which removes
it from the queue) or leave it on the queue for another receiver to handle.

A few basic message queuing patterns are:

  1.  One-way messaging: The sender simply posts a message to the queue in the expectation
that a receiver will retrieve it and process it at some point.
  2.  Request/response messaging: In this pattern a sender posts a message to a queue and
expects a response from the receiver. The sender can resend if the message is not delivered.
This pattern typically requires some form of correlation to enable the sender to determine
which response message corresponds to which request sent to the receiver.
  3.  Broadcast messaging: In this pattern a sender posts a message to a queue, and multiple
receivers can read a copy of the message. This pattern depends on the message queue being
able to disseminate the same message to multiple receivers. There is a queue to which the
senders can post messages that include metadata in the form of attributes. Each receiver can
create a subscription to the queue, specifying a filter that examines the values of message
attributes. Any messages posted to the queue with attribute values that match the filter are
automatically forwarded to that subscription.
A solution based on asynchronous messaging might need to address a number of concerns:

Message ordering, Message grouping: Process messages either in the order they are posted or
in a specific order based on priority. Also, there may be occasions when it is difficult to
eliminate dependencies, and it may be necessary to group messages together so that they are
all handled by the same receiver.
Idempotency: Ideally the message processing logic in a receiver should be idempotent so that,
if the work performed is repeated, this repetition does not change the state of the system.
Repeated messages: Some message queuing systems implement duplicate message detection and
removal based on message IDs
Poison messages: A poison message is a message that cannot be handled, often because it is
malformed or contains unexpected information.
Message expiration: A message might have a limited lifetime, and if it is not processed within
this period it might no longer be relevant and should be discarded.
Message scheduling: A message might be temporarily embargoed and should not be processed until
a specific date and time. The message should not be available to a receiver until this time.

Amruta Kamat

From: Shenoy, Gourav Ganesh <<>>
Sent: Thursday, February 2, 2017 7:57 PM

Subject: Re: [#Spring17-Airavata-Courses] : Distributed Workload Management for Airavata

Hello all,

Amila, Sagar, thank you for the response and raising those concerns; and apologies because
my email resonated the topic of workload management in terms of how micro-services communicate.
As Ajinkya rightly mentioned, there exists some sort of correlation between micro-services
communication and it’s impact on how that micro-service performs the work under those circumstances.
The goal is to make sure we have maximum independence between micro-services, and investigate
the workflow pattern in which these micro-services will operate such that we can find the
right balance between availability & consistency. Again, from our preliminary analysis
we can assert that these solutions may not be generic and the specific use-case will have
a big decisive role.

For starters, we are focusing on the following example – and I think this will clarify the
doubts on what we are exactly trying to investigate about.

Our test example
Say we have the following 4 micro-services, which each perform a specific task as mentioned
in the box.


A state-full pattern to distribute work

Here each communication between micro-services could be via RPC or Messaging (eg: RabbitMQ).
Obvious disadvantage is that if any micro-service is down, then the system availability is
at stake. In this test example, we can see that Microservice-A coordinates the work and maintains
the state information.

A state-less pattern to distribute work


Another purely asynchronous approach would be to associate message-queues with each micro-service,
where each micro-service performs it’s task, submits a request (message on bus) to the next
micro-service, and continues to process more requests. This ensures more availability, and
perhaps we might need to handle corner cases for failures such as message broker down, or
message loss, etc.

As mentioned, these are just a few proposals that we are planning to investigate via a prototype
project. Inject corner cases/failures and try and find ways to handle these cases. I would
love to hear more thoughts/questions/suggestions.

Thanks and Regards,
Gourav Shenoy

From: Ajinkya Dhamnaskar <<>>
Reply-To: "<>" <<>>
Date: Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 2:22 AM
To: "<>" <<>>
Subject: Re: [#Spring17-Airavata-Courses] : Distributed Workload Management for Airavata

Hello all,

Just a heads up. Here the name Distributed workload management does not necessarily mean having
different instances of a microservice and then distributing work among these instances.

Apparently, the problem is how to make each microservice work independently with concrete
distributed communication infrastructure. So, think of it as a workflow where each microservice
does its part of work and communicates (how? yet to be decided) output. The next underlying
microservice identifies and picks up that output and takes it further towards the final outcome,
having said that, the crux here is, none of the miscoservices need to worry about other miscoservices
in a pipeline.

Vidya Sagar,
I completely second your opinion of having stateless miscoservices, in fact that is the key.
With stateless miscroservices it is difficult to guarantee consistency in a system but it
solves the availability problem to some extent. I would be interested to understand what do
you mean by "an intelligent job scheduling algorithm, which receives real-time updates from
the microservices with their current state information".

On Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 11:48 PM, Vidya Sagar Kalvakunta <<>>

On Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 2:37 PM, Amila Jayasekara <<>>
Hi Gourav,

Sorry, I did not understand your question. Specifically I am having trouble relating "work
load management" to options you suggest (RPC, message based etc.).
So what exactly you mean by "workload management" ?
What is work in this context ?

Also, I did not understand what you meant by "the most efficient way". Efficient interms of
what ? Are you looking at speed ?

As per your suggestions, it seems you are trying to find a way to communicate between micro
services. RPC might be troublesome if you need to communicate with processes separated from
a firewall.


On Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 12:52 PM, Shenoy, Gourav Ganesh <<>>
Hello dev, arch,

As part of this Spring’17 Advanced Science Gateway Architecture course, we are working on
trying to debate and find possible solutions to the issue of managing distributed workloads
in Apache Airavata. This leads to the discussion of finding the most efficient way that different
Airavata micro-services should communicate and distribute work, in such a way that:

1.       We maintain the ability to scale these micro-services whenever needed (autoscale

2.       Achieve fault tolerance.

3.       We can deploy these micro-services independently, or better in a containerized manner
– keeping in mind the ability to use devops for deployment.

As of now the options we are exploring are:

1.       RPC based communication

2.       Message based – either master-worker, or work-queue, etc

3.       A combination of both these approaches

I am more inclined towards exploring the message based approach, but again there arises the
possibility of handling limitations/corner cases of message broker such as downtimes (may
be more). In my opinion, having asynchronous communication will help us achieve most of the
above-mentioned points. Another debatable issue is making the micro-services implementation
stateless, such that we do not have to pass the state information between micro-services.

I would love to hear any thoughts/suggestions/comments on this topic and open up a discussion
via this mail thread. If there is anything that I have missed which is relevant to this issue,
please let me know.

Thanks and Regards,
Gourav Shenoy

Hi Gourav,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is a case of the job shop scheduling problem, as
we may have 'n' jobs of varying processing times and memory requirements, and we have 'm'
microservices with possibly different computing and memory capacities, and we are trying to
minimize the makespan<>.

For this use-case, I'm in favor a highly available and consistent message broker with an intelligent
job scheduling algorithm, which receives real-time updates from the microservices with their
current state information.

As for the state vs stateless implementation, I think that question depends on the functionality
of a particular microservice. In a broad sense, the stateless implementation should be preferred
as it will scale better horizontally.

Vidya Sagar

Vidya Sagar Kalvakunta | Graduate MS CS Student | IU School of Informatics and Computing |
Indiana University Bloomington | (812) 691-5002<tel:8126915002> |<>

Thanks and regards,

Ajinkya Dhamnaskar
Student ID : 0003469679
Masters (CS)
+1 (812) 369- 5416<tel:(812)%20369-5416>

Vidya Sagar Kalvakunta | Graduate MS CS Student | IU School of Informatics and Computing |
Indiana University Bloomington | (812) 691-5002<tel:8126915002> |<>

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