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From Romain Manni-Bucau <>
Subject Re: Graal instead of docker?
Date Sat, 05 May 2018 06:18:51 GMT
2018-05-05 2:33 GMT+02:00 Andrew Pilloud <>:

> What docker really buys is a package format and runtime environment that
> is language and operating system agnostic. The docker packaging and
> runtime format is the de facto standard for portable applications such as
> this, and there is a group trying to turn it into an actual standard.
> I would agree with you that dockerd has become bloated but there are
> projects that solve that. There is no longer lock-in to dockerd, there
> are package format compatible docker replacements that eliminate the
> performance issues and overhead associated with docker. CRI-O (
> is a really cool RedHat
> project which is a minimalist replacement for docker. I was recently
> working at a startup where I migrated our "data mover" appliance from
> Docker to CRI-O. Our application was able to get direct access to the
> ethernet driver and block devices which enabled a huge performance boost
> but we were also able to run containers produced by docker without
> modification.
> You mention that docker is "detail of one runner+vendor corrupting all
> the project and adding complexity and work to everyone". It sounds like
> you have a specific example you'd like to share? Is there a runner that is
> unable to move to portability because of docker?

IBM one for instance, some custom ones like an hazelcast based one, etc...
More generally any runner developped outside beam itself - even if we take
a snapshot today, most of beam's ones have the same pitall.

Note: i never said docker was a bad techno or so. Let me try to clarify.

Main issue is that you enforce docker usage which is still trendy. It is
like scla which was promishing to kill java, check what it does today...
It starts to be tooled but it is also very impacting on the deployment side
and for a good number of beam users who deploy it outside the cloud it is
an issue.
Keep in mind beam is embeddable by design, it is not a runner environment
and with the docker choice it imposes some environment which is
inconsistent with beam design itself and this is where this choice blocks.

> Andrew
> On Fri, May 4, 2018 at 4:32 PM Henning Rohde <> wrote:
>> Romain,
>> Docker, unlike selinux, solves a great number of tangible problems for us
>> with IMO a relatively small tax. It does not have to be the only way. Some
>> of the concerns you bring up along with possibilities were also discussed
>> here: I encourage
>> you to take a look.
>> Thanks,
>>  Henning
>> On Fri, May 4, 2018 at 3:18 PM Romain Manni-Bucau <>
>> wrote:
>>> Le 4 mai 2018 21:31, "Henning Rohde" <> a écrit :
>>> I disagree with the characterization of docker and the implications made
>>> towards portability. Graal looks like a neat project (and I never
>>> thought I would live to see the phrase "Practical Partial Evaluation" ..),
>>> but it doesn't address the needs of portability. In addition to Luke's
>>> examples, Go and most other languages don't work on it either. Docker
>>> containers also address packaging, OS dependencies, conflicting versions
>>> and distribution aspects in addition to truly universal language support.
>>> This is wrong, docker also has its conflicts, is not universal (fails on
>>> windows and mac easily - as host or not, cloud vendors put layers limiting
>>> or corrupting it, and it is an infra constraint imposed and a vendor
>>> locking not welcomed in beam IMHO).
>>> This is my main concern. All the work done looks like an implemzntation
>>> detail of one runner+vendor corrupting all the project and adding
>>> complexity and work to everyone instead of keeping it localised
>>> (technically it is possible).
>>> Would you accept i enforce you to use selinux? Using docker is the same
>>> kind of constraint.
>>> That said, it's entirely fine for some runners to use Jython, Graal, etc
>>> to provide a specialized offering similar to the direct runners, but it
>>> would be disjoint from portability IMO.
>>> On Fri, May 4, 2018 at 10:14 AM Romain Manni-Bucau <
>>>> wrote:
>>>> Le 4 mai 2018 17:55, "Lukasz Cwik" <> a écrit :
>>>> I did take a look at Graal a while back when thinking about how
>>>> execution environments could be defined, my concerns were related to it not
>>>> supporting all of the features of a language.
>>>> For example, its typical for Python to load and call native libraries
>>>> and Graal can only execute C/C++ code that has been compiled to LLVM.
>>>> Also, a good amount of people interested in using ML libraries will
>>>> want access to GPUs to improve performance which I believe that Graal can't
>>>> support.
>>>> It can be a very useful way to run simple lamda functions written in
>>>> some language directly without needing to use a docker environment but you
>>>> could probably use something even lighter weight then Graal that is
>>>> language specific like Jython.
>>>> Right, the jsr223 impl works very well but you can also have a perf
>>>> boost using native (like v8 java binding for js for instance). It is way
>>>> more efficient than docker most of the time and not code intrusive at all
>>>> in runners so likely more adoption-able and maintainable. That said all is
>>>> doable behind the jsr223 so maybe not a big deal in terms of api. We just
>>>> need to ensure portability work stay clean and actually portable and doesnt
>>>> impact runners as poc done until today did.
>>>> Works for me.
>>>> On Thu, May 3, 2018 at 10:05 PM Romain Manni-Bucau <
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Hi guys
>>>>> Since some time there are efforts to have a language portable support
>>>>> in beam but I cant really find a case it "works" being based on docker
>>>>> except for some vendor specific infra.
>>>>> Current solution:
>>>>> 1. Is runner intrusive (which is bad for beam and prevents adoption of
>>>>> big data vendors)
>>>>> 2. Based on docker (which assumed a runtime environment and is very
>>>>> ops/infra intrusive and likely too $$ quite often for what it brings)
>>>>> Did anyone had a look to graal which seems a way to make the feature
>>>>> doable in a lighter manner and optimized compared to default jsr223 impls?

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