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Scheduling Strategies


When the Run:ai scheduler schedules Jobs, it can use two alternate placement strategies:

Strategy Description
Bin Packing Fill up a GPU and/or a node before moving on to the next one
Spreading Equally spread Jobs amongst GPUs and nodes

Bin Packing

Bin packing is the default strategy. With bin packing, the scheduler tries to:

  • Fill up a node with Jobs before allocating Jobs to second and third nodes.
  • In a multi GPU node, when using fractions, fill up a GPU before allocating Jobs to a second GPU.

The advantage of this strategy is that the scheduler, over time, can package more Jobs into the cluster. As the strategy minimizes fragmentation.

For example, if we have 2 GPUs in a single node on the cluster, and 2 tasks requiring 0.5 GPUs each, using bin-packing, we would place both Jobs on the same GPU and remain with a full GPU ready for the next Job.


There are disadvantages to bin-packing:

  • Within a single GPU, two fractional Jobs compete for the same onboard compute power.
  • Within a single node, two Jobs (even on separate GPUs) compete for networking resources, compute power and memory.

When there are more resources available than requested, it sometimes makes sense to spread Jobs amongst nodes and GPUs, to allow higher utilization of computing resources and network resources.

Returning to the example above, if we have 2 GPUs in a single node on the cluster, and 2 Jobs requiring 0.5 GPUs each, using spread scheduling we would place each Job on a separate GPU, allowing both to benefit from the computing power of a full GPU.

Changing Scheduler Strategy

The strategy affects the entire cluster. To change the strategy run:

kubectl edit runaiconfig -n runai

Find `runai-scheduler' and add:

  placementStrategy: spread

Last update: August 3, 2022