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From "Pierce, Marlon" <>
Subject Re: Linked Container Services for Apache Airavata Components - Phase 1 - Requirement identification
Date Thu, 05 Oct 2017 13:34:53 GMT
Thanks, Dimuthu, this is a good summary. Others may comment about Kafka, stateful versus stateless
parts of Airavata, etc.  You may also find some of this discussion on the mailing list archives.


Active-active vs. active-passive is a good question, and we have typically thought of this
in terms of individual Airavata components rather than the whole system.  Some components
can be active-active (like a stateless application manager), while others (like the orchestrator
example you give below) are stafefull and may be better as active-passive.  


There is also the issue of system updates and continuous deployments, which could be added
to your list.





From: "" <>
Reply-To: "" <>
Date: Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 2:40 AM
To: "" <>
Subject: Linked Container Services for Apache Airavata Components - Phase 1 - Requirement


Hi All,


Within last few days, I have been going through the requirements and design of current setup
of Airavata and I identified following ares as the key focusing areas in the technology evaluation


Micorservices deployment platform (container management system) 


Possible candidates: Google Kubernetes, Apache Mesos, Apache Helix 

As the most of the operational units of Airavata is supposed to be moving into microservices
based deployment pattern, having a unified deployment platform to manage those microservices
will make the DevOps operations easier and faster. From the other hand, although writing and
maintaining a single micro service is a somewhat straightforward way, making multiple microservies
running, monitoring and maintaining the lifecycles manually in a production environment is
an tiresome and complex operation to perform. Using such a deployment platform, we can easily
automate lots of pain points that I have mentioned earlier. 




We need a solution that can easily scalable depending on the load condition of several parts
of the system. For example, the workers in the post processing pipeline should be able scaled
up and down depending on the events come into the message queue. 




We need to support solution to be deployed in multiple geographically distant data centers.
When evaluating container management systems, we should consider this is as a primary requirement.
However one thing that I am not sure is the availability mode that Airavata normally expect.
Is it a active-active mode or active-passive mode? 


Service discovery


Once we move in to microservice based deployment pattern, there could be scenarios where we
want service discovery for several use cases. For example, if we are going to scale up API
Server to handle an increased load, we might have to put a load balancer in between the client
and API Server instances. In that case, service discovery is essential to instruct the load
balancer with healthy API Server endpoints which are currently running in the system.


Cluster coordination


Although micorservices are supposed to be stateless in most of the cases, we might have scenarios
to feed some state to particular micorservices. For example if we are going to implement a
microservice that perform Orchestrator's role, there could be issues if we keep multiple instances
of it in several data centers to increase the availability. According to my understanding,
there should be only one Orchestrator being running at a time as it is the one who takes decisions
of the job execution process. So, if we are going to keep multiple instances of it running
in the system, there should be an some sort of a leader election in between Orchestrator quorum.


Common messaging medium in between mocroservices


This might be out of the scope but I thought of sharing with the team to have an general idea.
Idea was raised at the hip chat discussion with Marlon and Gaourav. Using a common messaging
medium might enable microservices to communicate with in a decoupled manner which will increase
the scalability of the system. For example there is a reference architecture that we can utilize
with kafka based messaging medium [1], [2]. However I noticed in one paper that Kafka was
previously rejected as writing clients was onerous. Please share your views on this as I'm
not familiar with the existing fan out model based on AMQP and  pain points of it. 


Those are the main areas that I have understood while going through Airavata current implementation
and requirements stated in some of the research papers. Please let me know whether my understanding
on above items are correct and suggestions are always welcome :)







Marru, S., Gunathilake, L., Herath, C., Tangchaisin, P., Pierce, M., Mattmann, C., Singh,
R., Gunarathne, T., Chinthaka, E., Gardler, R. and Slominski, A., 2011, November. Apache airavata:
a framework for distributed applications and computational workflows. In Proceedings of the
2011 ACM workshop on Gateway computing environments (pp. 21-28). ACM.


Nakandala, S., Pamidighantam, S., Yodage, S., Doshi, N., Abeysinghe, E., Kankanamalage, C.P.,
Marru, S. and Pierce, M., 2016, July. Anatomy of the SEAGrid Science Gateway. In Proceedings
of the XSEDE16 Conference on Diversity, Big Data, and Science at Scale (p. 40). ACM.


Pierce, Marlon E., Suresh Marru, Lahiru Gunathilake, Don Kushan Wijeratne, Raminder Singh,
Chathuri Wimalasena, Shameera Ratnayaka, and Sudhakar Pamidighantam. "Apache Airavata: design
and directions of a science gateway framework." Concurrency and Computation: Practice and
Experience 27, no. 16 (2015): 4282-4291.


Pierce, Marlon, Suresh Marru, Borries Demeler, Raminderjeet Singh, and Gary Gorbet. "The apache
airavata application programming interface: overview and evaluation with the UltraScan science
gateway." In Proceedings of the 9th Gateway Computing Environments Workshop, pp. 25-29. IEEE
Press, 2014.


Marru, Suresh, Marlon Pierce, Sudhakar Pamidighantam, and Chathuri Wimalasena. "Apache Airavata
as a laboratory: architecture and case study for component- based gateway middleware." In
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on The Science of Cyberinfrastructure: Research, Experience,
Applications and Models, pp. 19-26. ACM, 2015.




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