2021-07-12 21:28:33 +02:00

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\title{Understanding and Comparing Unsuccessful Executions in Large Datacenters}
%\subtitle{The (optional) subtitle}
\author{Claudio Maggioni}
\advisor[Universit\`a della Svizzera Italiana,
\assistant[Universit\`a della Svizzera Italiana,
\abstract{The thesis aims at comparing two different traces coming from large
datacenters, focusing in particular on unsuccessful executions of jobs and
tasks submitted by users. The objective of this thesis is to compare the
resource waste caused by unsuccessful executions, their impact on application
performance, and their root causes. We show the strong negative impact on
CPU and RAM usage and on task slowdown. We analyze patterns of
unsuccessful jobs and tasks, focusing on their interdependency.
Moreover, we uncover their root causes by inspecting key workload and
system attributes such as machine locality and concurrency level.}
\section{Introduction} In today's world there is an ever growing demand for
efficient, large scale computations. The rising trend of ``big data'' puts the
need for efficient management of large scaled parallelized computing at an all
time high. This fact also increases the demand for research in the field of
distributed systems, in particular in how to schedule computations effectively,
avoid wasting resources and avoid failures.
In 2011 Google released a month long data trace of their own cluster management
system~\cite{google-marso-11} \textit{Borg}, containing a lot of data regarding
scheduling, priority management, and failures of a real production workload.
This data was the foundation of the 2015 Ros\`a et al.\ paper
\textit{Understanding the Dark Side of Big Data Clusters: An Analysis beyond
Failures}~\cite{dsn-paper}, which in its many conclusions highlighted the need
for better cluster management highlighting the high amount of failures found in
the traces.
In 2019 Google released an updated version of the \textit{Borg} cluster
traces~\cite{google-marso-19}, not only containing data from a far bigger
workload due to improvements in computational technology, but also providing
data from 8 different \textit{Borg} cells from datacenters located all over the
Even by glancing at some of the spatial and temporal analyses performed on the
Google Borg traces in this report, it is evident that unsuccessful executions
play a major role in the waste of resources in clusterized computations. For
examples, Figure~\ref{fig:machinetimewaste-rel} shows the distribution of
machine time over ``tasks'' (i.e.\ executables running in Borg) with different
termination ``states'', of which \texttt{FINISH} is the only successful one. For
the 2011 Borg traces we have that more than half of the machine time is invested
in carrying out non-successful executions, i.e.\ executing programs that would
eventually ``crash'' and potentially not leading to useful results\footnote{This
is only a speculation, since both the 2011 and the 2019 traces only provide a
``black box'' view of the Borg cluster system. Neither of the accompanying
papers for both traces~\cite{google-marso-11}~\cite{google-marso-19} or the
documentation for the 2019 traces~\cite{google-drive-marso} ever mention if
non-successful tasks produce any useful result.}. The 2019 subplot paints an
even darker picture, with less than 5\% of machine time used for successful
Given that even a major player in big data computation like Google is struggling
at efficiently allocating computational resources, the impact of execution
failures is indeed significant and worthy of study. Given also the significance
and data richness of both trace packages, the analysis performed in this report
can be of interest for understanding the behaviour of failures in
similar clusterized systems, and could potentially be used to build predictive
models to mitigate or erase the resource impact of unsuccessful executions.
Given that the new 2019 Google Borg cluster traces are about 100 times larger
than the 2011 ones, and given that the entire compressed traces package has a
non-trivial size (weighing approximately 8 TiB~\cite{google-drive-marso}), the
computations required to perform the analysis we illustrate in this report
cannot be performed with classical data science techniques. A
considerable amount of computational power was needed to carry out the
computations, involving at their peek 3 dedicated Apache Spark servers over the
span of 3 months. Additionally, the analysis scripts have been written by
exploiting the power of parallel computing, following most of the time a
MapReduce-like structure.
This project aims to repeat the analysis performed in 2015 DSN Ros\`a et al.\
paper~\cite{dsn-paper} to highlight similarities and differences in Google Borg
workload and the behaviour and patterns of executions within it. Thanks to this
analysis, we aim to understand even better the causes of failures and how to
prevent them. Additionally, given the technical challenge this analysis posed,
the report aims to provide an overview of some basic data engineering techniques
for big data applications.
The report is structured as follows. Section~\ref{sec2} contains information
about the current state of the art for Google Borg cluster traces.
Section~\ref{sec3} provides an overview including technical background
information on the data to analyze and its storage format. Section~\ref{sec4}
discusses about the project requirements and the data science methods used to
perform the analysis. Section~\ref{sec5}, Section~\ref{sec6} and
Section~\ref{sec7} show the result obtained while analyzing, respectively the
performance input of unsuccessful executions, the patterns of task and job
events, and the potential causes of unsuccessful executions. Finally,
Section~\ref{sec8} concludes.
\section{State of the Art}\label{sec2}
\textbf{Cluster} & \textbf{Timezone} \\ \midrule
A & America/New York \\
B & America/Chicago \\
C & America/New York \\
D & America/New York \\
E & Europe/Helsinki \\
F & America/Chicago \\
G & Asia/Singapore \\
H & Europe/Brussels \\
\caption{Approximate geographical location obtained from the datacenter's
timezone of each cluster in the 2019 Google Borg traces.}\label{fig:clusters}
In 2015, Rosà et al.\ published a
research paper titled \textit{Understanding the Dark Side of Big Data Clusters:
An Analysis beyond Failures}~\cite{dsn-paper} in which they performed several
analyses on unsuccessful executions in the Google's 2011 Borg cluster traces
with the aim of identifying their resource waste, their impacts on the
performance of the application, and any causes that may lie behind such
failures. The salient conclusion of that research is that actually lots of
computations performed by Google would eventually end in failure, then leading
to large amounts of computational power being wasted.
However, with the release of the new 2019 traces~\cite{google-marso-19},
the results and conclusions found by that paper could be potentially outdated
in the current large-scale computing world.
The new traces not only provide updated data on Borg's
workload, but provide more data as well: the new traces contain data from 8
different Borg ``cells'' (i.e.\ clusters) in datacenters across the world,
from now on referred as ``Cluster A'' to ``Cluster H''.
The geographical
location of each cluster can be consulted in Figure~\ref{fig:clusters}. The
information in that table was provided by the 2019 traces
The new 2019 traces provide richer data even on a cluster by cluster basis. For
example, the amount and variety of server configurations per cluster increased
significantly from 2011. An overview of the machine configurations in the cluster
analyzed with the 2011 traces and in the 8 clusters composing the 2019 traces
can be found in Figure~\ref{fig:machineconfigs} and in
Figure~\ref{fig:machineconfigs-csts} on a cluster-by-cluster basis.
There are two main works covering the new data, one being the paper
\textit{Borg: The Next Generation}~\cite{google-marso-19}, which compares the
overall features of the trace with the 2011
one~\cite{google-marso-11}~\cite{github-marso}, and one covering the features
and performance of \textit{Autopilot}~\cite{james-muratore}, a software that
provides autoscaling features in Borg. The new traces have also been analyzed
from the execution priority perspective~\cite{down-under}, as well as from a
cluster-by-cluster comparison~\cite{golf-course} given the multi-cluster nature
of the new traces.
Other studies have been performed in similar big-data systems focusing on the
failure of hardware components and software
However, the community has not yet performed any research on the new Borg
traces analysing unsuccessful executions, their possible causes, and the
relationships between tasks and jobs. Therefore, the only current research in
this field is this very report, providing and update to the the 2015 Ros\`a et
al.\ paper~\cite{dsn-paper} focusing on the new trace.
\textit{Borg} is Google's own cluster management software able to run
thousands of different jobs. Among the various cluster management services it
provides, the main ones are: job queuing, scheduling, allocation, and
deallocation due to higher priority computations.
The core structure of Borg is a cell, a set of
machines usually all within the same cluster, whose work is allocated by the
same cluster-management system and hence a cell is handled as a unit. Each
cell may run large computational workload that is submitted to Borg. Such
workload is called ``job'', which outlines the computations that a user wants
to run and is made up of several ``tasks''. A task is an executable program,
consisting of multiple processes, which has to be run on a single machine.
Those tasks may be ran sequentially or in parallel, and the condition for a
job's successful termination is nontrivial.
Both tasks and jobs lifecyles are represented by several events, which are
encoded and stored in the trace as rows of various tables. Among the
information events provide, the field ``type'' provides information on the
execution status of the job or task. We focus only on events whose ``types''
indicate a termination, i.e.\ the end of a task or job's execution.
These termination event types are illustrated in Figure~\ref{fig:eventtypes}.
We then define an unsuccessful execution to be an execution characterized by a
termination event of type \texttt{EVICT}, \texttt{FAIL} or \texttt{KILL}.
Conversely, a successful execution is characterized by a \texttt{FINISH}
termination event.
The data relative to the events happening while Borg cell
processes the workload is then encoded and stored as rows of several tables that
make up a single usage trace. Such data comes from the information obtained by
the cell's management system and single machines that make up the cell. Each
table is identified by a key, usually a timestamp.
In general events can be of two kinds, there are events that are relative to the
status of the schedule, and there are other events that are relative to the
status of a task itself.
\textbf{Type code} & \textbf{Description} \\
\texttt{EVICT} & The job or task was terminated in order to free
computational resources for an higher priority job\\
\texttt{FAIL} & The job or task terminated its execution unsuccesfully
due to a failure\\
\texttt{FINISH} & The job or task terminated succesfully\\
\texttt{KILL} & The job or task terminated its execution because of a
manual request to stop it\\
\caption{Overview of job and task termination event types.}\label{fig:eventtypes}
Figure~\ref{fig:eventTypes} shows the expected transitions between event
\caption{Typical transitions between task/job event types according to
\subsection{Trace Contents}\label{traces-contents}}
The traces provided by Google contain mainly a collection of job and
task events spanning a month of execution of the 8 different clusters.
In addition to this data, some additional data on the machines'
configuration in terms of resources (i.e.~amount of CPU and RAM) and
additional machine-related metadata.
Due to Google's policy, most identification related data (like job/task
IDs, raw resource amounts and other text values) were obfuscated prior
to the release of the traces. One obfuscation that is noteworthy in the
scope of this thesis is related to CPU and RAM amounts, which are
expressed respetively in NCUs (\emph{Normalized Compute Units}) and NMUs
(\emph{Normalized Memory Units}).
NCUs and NMUs are defined based on the raw machine resource
distributions of the machines within the 8 clusters. A machine having 1
NCU CPU power and 1 NMU memory size has the maximum amount of raw CPU
power and raw RAM size found in the clusters. While RAM size is measured
in bytes for normalization purposes, CPU power was measured in GCU
(\emph{Google Compute Units}), a proprietary CPU power measurement unit
used by Google that combines several parameters like number of
processors and cores, clock frequency, and architecture (i.e.~ISA).
\subsection{Trace Format}\label{overview-of-traces-format}}
The traces have a collective size of approximately 8TiB and are stored
in a Gzip-compressed JSONL (JSON lines) format, which means that each
table is represented by a single logical ``file'' (stored in several
file segments) where each carriage return separated line represents a
single record for that table.
There are namely 5 different table ``files'':
\item[\texttt{machine\_configs},] which is a table containing each physical
machine's configuration and its evolution over time;
\item[\texttt{instance\_events},] which is a table of task events;
\item[\texttt{collection\_events},] which is a table of job events;
\item[\texttt{machine\_attributes},] which is a table containing (obfuscated)
metadata about each physical machine and its evolution over time;
\item[\texttt{instance\_usage},] which contains resource (CPU/RAM) measures
of jobs and tasks running on the single machines.
The scope of this thesis focuses on the tables
\texttt{machine\_configs}, \texttt{instance\_events} and
\subsection{Remark on Trace Size}\label{remark-on-traces-size}}
While the 2011 Google Borg traces were relatively small, with a total
size in the order of the tens of gigabytes, the 2019 traces are quite
challenging to analyze due to their sheer size. As stated before, the
traces have a total size of 8 TiB when stored in the format provided by
Google. Even when broken down to table ``files'', unitary sizes still
reach the single tebibyte mark (namely for \texttt{machine\_configs},
the largest table in the trace).
Due to this constraints, a careful data engineering based approach was
used when reproducing the 2015 DSN paper analysis. Bleeding edge data
science technologies like Apache Spark were used to achieve efficient
and parallelized computations. This approach is discussed with further
detail in the following section.
\section{Project Requirements and Analysis Methodology}\label{sec4}
The aim of this project is to repeat the analysis performed in 2015 on the
dataset Google has released in 2019 in order to find similarities and
differences with the previous analysis, and ultimately find whether
computational power is indeed wasted in this new workload as well. The 2019 data
comes from 8 Borg cells spanning 8 different datacenters located in different
geographical positions, all focused on computational oriented workloads. The
data collection time span matches the entire month of May 2019.
Due to the inherent complexity in analyzing traces of this size, non-trivial
data engineering tecniques were adopted to performed the required
computations. We used the framework Apache Spark to perform efficient and
parallel Map-Reduce computations. In this section, we discuss the technical
details behind our approach.
\subsection{Apache Spark}\label{introduction-on-apache-spark}}
Apache Spark is a unified analytics engine for large-scale data
processing. In layman's terms, Spark is really useful to parallelize
computations in a fast and streamlined way.
In the scope of this thesis, Spark was used essentially as a Map-Reduce
framework for computing aggregated results on the various tables. Due to
the sharded nature of table ``files'', Spark is able to spawn a thread
per file and run computations using all processors on the server
machines used to run the analysis.
Spark is also quite powerful since it provides automated thread pooling
services, and it is able to efficiently store and cache intermediate
computation on secondary storage without any additional effort required
from the data engineer. This feature was especially useful due to the
sheer size of the analyzed data, since the computations required to
store up to 1TiB of intermediate data on disk.
The chosen programming language for writing analysis scripts was Python.
Spark has very powerful native Python bindings in the form of the
\emph{PySpark} API, which were used to implement the various queries.
\subsection{Query Architecture}\label{query-architecture}}
In general, each query written to execute the analysis
follows a Map-Reduce template. Traces are first read, then parsed, and then
filtered by performing selections,
projections and computing new derived fields.
After this preparation phase, the
trace records are often passed through a \texttt{groupby()} operation, which by
choosing one or many record fields sorts all the records into several ``bins''
containing records with matching values for the selected fields. Then, a map
operation is applied to each bin in order to derive some aggregated property
value for each grouping.
Finally, a reduce operation is applied to either
further aggregate those computed properties or to generate an aggregated data
structure for storage purposes.
\subsubsection{Parsing Table Files}
As stated before, table ``files'' are composed of several Gzip-compressed
shards of JSONL record data. The specification for the types and constraints
of each record is outlined by Google in the form of a protobuffer specification
file found in the trace release
package~\cite{google-proto-marso}. This file was used as
the oracle specification and was a critical reference for writing the query
code that checks, parses and carefully sanitizes the various JSONL records
prior to actual computations.
The JSONL encoding of traces records is often performed with non-trivial rules
that required careful attention. One of these involved fields that have a
logically-wise ``zero'' value (i.e.~values like ``0'' or the empty string). For
these values the key-value pair in the JSON object is outright omitted. When
reading the traces in Apache Spark is therefore necessary to check for this
possibility and insert back the omitted record attributes.
\subsubsection{The Queries}
Most queries use only two or three fields in each trace records, while the
original table records often are made of a couple of dozen fields. In order to
save memory during the query, a projection is often applied to the data by the
means of a \texttt{.map()} operation over the entire trace set, performed using
Spark's RDD API.
Another operation that is often necessary to perform prior to the Map-Reduce
core of each query is a record filtering process, which is often motivated by
the presence of incomplete data (i.e.~records which contain fields whose values
is unknown). This filtering is performed using the \texttt{.filter()} operation
of Spark's RDD API.
The core of each query is often a \texttt{groupby()} followed by a
\texttt{map()} operation on the aggregated data. The \texttt{groupby()} groups
the set of all records into several subsets of records each having something in
common. Then, each of this small clusters is reduced with a \texttt{map()}
operation to a single record. The motivation behind this way of computing data
is that for the analysis in this thesis it is often necessary to analyze the
behaviour w.r.t. time of either task or jobs by looking at their events. These
queries are therefore implemented by \texttt{groupby()}-ing records by task or
job, and then \texttt{map()}-ing each set of event records sorting them by time
and performing the desired computation on the obtained chronological event log.
Sometimes intermediate results are saved in Spark's parquet format in order to
compute and save intermediate results beforehand.
\subsection{Query Script Design and the \textit{Task Slowdown} Script}
In this section we aim to show the general complexity behind the implementations
of query scripts by explaining in detail some sampled scripts to better
appreciate their behaviour.
One example of analysis script with average complexity and a pretty
straightforward structure is the pair of scripts \texttt{task\} and
\texttt{task\_slowdown\} used to compute the ``task slowdown'' tables
(namely the tables in Figure~\ref{fig:taskslowdown}).
``Slowdown'' is a task-wise measure of wasted execution time for tasks with a
\texttt{FINISH} termination type. It is computed as the total execution time of
the task divided by the execution time actually needed to complete the task
(i.e.\ the total time of the last execution attempt, successful by definition).
The analysis requires to compute the mean task slowdown for each task priority
value, and additionally compute the percentage of tasks with successful
terminations per priority. The query therefore needs to compute the execution
time of each execution attempt for each task, determine if each task has
successful termination or not, and finally combine this data to compute
slowdown, mean slowdown and ultimately the final table found in
\caption{Diagram of the script used for the ``task slowdown''
Figure~\ref{fig:taskslowdownquery} shows a schematic representation of the query
The query first starts reading the \texttt{instance\_events} table, which
contains (among other data) all task event logs containing properties, event
types and timestamps. As already explained in the previous section, the logical
table file is actually stored as several Gzip-compressed JSONL shards. This is
very useful for processing purposes, since Spark is able to parse and load in
memory each shard in parallel, i.e.\ using all processing cores on the server
used to run the queries.
After loading the data, a selection and a projection operation are performed in
the preparation phase so as to ``clean up'' the records and fields that are not
needed, leaving only useful information to feed in the ``group by'' phase. In
this query, the selection phase removes all records that do not represent task
events or that contain an unknown task ID or a null event timestamp. In the 2019
traces it is quite common to find incomplete records, since the log process is
unable to capture the sheer amount of events generated by all jobs in a exact
and deterministic fashion.
Then, after the preparation stage is complete, the task event records are
grouped in several bins, one per task ID\@. Performing this operation the
collection of unsorted task event types is rearranged to form groups of task
events all relating to a single task.
These obtained collections of task events are then sorted by timestamp and
processed to compute intermediate data relating to execution attempt times and
task termination counts. After the task events are sorted, the script iterates
over the events in chronological order, storing each execution attempt time and
registering all execution termination types by checking the event type field.
The task termination is then equal to the last execution termination type,
following the definition originally given in the 2015 Ros\`a et al. DSN paper.
If the task termination is determined to be unsuccessful, the tally counter of
task terminations for the matching task property is increased. Otherwise, all
the task termination attempt time deltas are returned. Tallies and time deltas
are saved in an intermediate time file for fine-grained processing.
Finally, the \texttt{task\_slowdown\} processes this intermediate
results to compute the percentage of successful tasks per execution and
computing slowdown values given the previously computed execution attempt time
deltas. Finally, the mean of the computed slowdown values is computed resulting
in the clear and coincise tables found in Figure~\ref{fig:taskslowdown}.
\section{Analysis: Performance Input of Unsuccessful Executions}\label{sec5}
Our first investigation focuses on replicating the analysis done by the paper of
Ros\`a et al.\ paper~\cite{dsn-paper} regarding usage of machine time
and resources.
In this section we perform several analyses focusing on how machine time and
resources are wasted, by means of a temporal vs.\ spatial resource analysis from
the perspective of single tasks as well as jobs. We then compare the results
from the 2019 traces to the ones that were obtained before to understand the
workload evolution inside Borg between 2011 and 2019.
We discover that the spatial and temporal impact of unsuccessful
executions is very significant, more than in the 2011 traces. In particular,
resource usage is overall dominated by tasks with a final \texttt{KILL}
termination event.
\subsection{Temporal Impact: Machine Time Waste}
The goal of this analysis is to understand how much time is spent in doing
useless computations by exploring how machine time is distributed over task
events and submissions.
Before delving into the analysis itself, we define three kinds of events in a
task's lifecycle:
\item[submission:] when a task is added or re-added to the Borg
system queue, waiting to be scheduled;
\item[scheduling:] when a task is removed from the Borg queue and
its actual execution of potentially useful computations starts;
\item[termination:] when a task terminates its computations either
successfully or unsuccessfully.
By partitioning the set of all terminating tasks by their
termination event, the analysis aims to measure the total time spent by tasks in
3 different execution phases:
\item[resubmission time:] the total of all time intervals between every task
termination event and the immediately succeding task submission event, i.e.\
the total time spent by tasks waiting to be resubmitted in Borg after a
\item[queue time:] the total of all time intervals between every task submission
event and the following task scheduling event, i.e.\ the total time spent by
tasks queuing before execution;
\item[running time:] the total of all time intervals between every task
scheduling event and the following task termination event, i.e.\ the total
time spent by tasks ``executing'' (i.e.\ performing potentially useful
computations) in the clusters.
In the 2019 traces, an additional ``Unknown'' measure is counted. This measure
collects all the times in which the event transitions between the register
events do not allow to safely assume in which execution phase a task may be.
Unknown measures are mostly caused by faults and missed event writes in the task
event log that was used to generate the traces.
The analysis results are depicted in Figure~\ref{fig:machinetimewaste-rel} as a
comparison between the 2011 and 2019 traces, aggregating the data from all
clusters. Additionally, in Figure~\ref{fig:machinetimewaste-rel-csts}
cluster-by-cluster breakdown result is provided for the 2019 traces.
The striking difference between 2011 and 2019 data is in the machine time
distribution per task termination type. In the 2019 traces, 94.38\% of global
machine time is spent on tasks that are eventually \texttt{KILL}ed.
\texttt{FINISH}, \texttt{EVICT} and \texttt{FAIL} tasks respectively register
totals of 4.20\%, 1.18\% and 0.25\% machine time.
Considering instead the distribution between execution phase times, the
comparison shows very similar behaviour between the two traces, having the
``Running'' time being dominant (at a total of 16.63\% across task terminations
in 2019) over the queue and resubmission phases (with respective totals in 2019
of 3.26\% and 0.004\%).
However, another noteworthy difference between 2011 and 2019 data lies in the new
``Unknown'' trace dataset present only in the latter traces, registering a total
80.12\% of global machine time across al terminations. This data can be
interpreted as a strong indication of the ``poor quality'' of the 2019 traces
w.r.t.\ of accuracy of task event logging.
Considering instead the behaviour of each single cluster in the 2019 traces, no
significant difference beween them can be observed. The only notable difference
lies between the ``Running time''-``Unknown time'' ratio in \texttt{KILL}ed
tasks, which is at its highest in cluster A (at 30.78\% by 58.71\% of global
machine time) and at its lowest in cluster H (at 8.06\% by 84.77\% of global
machine time).
The takeaway from this analysis is that in the 2019 traces a lot of computation
time is wasted in the execution of tasks that are eventually \texttt{KILL}ed,
i.e.\ unsuccessful.
\subsection{Average Slowdown per Task}
This analysis aims to measure the average of an ad-hoc defined parameter we call
``slowdown''. We define it as the ratio between the total response time across
all executions of the task and the response time (i.e.\ queue time and running
time) of the last execution of said task. This metric is especially useful to
analyze the impact of unsuccesful executions on each task total execution time
w.r.t.\ the intrinsic workload (i.e.\ computational time) of tasks.
Refer to Figure~\ref{fig:taskslowdown} for a comparison between the 2011 and
2019 mean task slowdown measures broke down by task priority. Additionally, said
means are computed on a cluster-by-cluster basis for 2019 data in
In 2015 Ros\`a et al.~\cite{dsn-paper} measured mean task slowdown per each task
priority value, which at the time were numeric values between 0 and 11. However,
in 2019 traces, task priorities are given as a numeric value between 0 and 500.
Therefore, to allow an easier comparison, mean task slowdown values are computed
by task priority tier over the 2019 data. Priority tiers are semantically
relevant priority ranges defined by Tirmazi et al.\ in
2020~\cite{google-marso-19} that introduced the 2019 traces. Equivalent priority
tiers are also provided next to the 2011 priority values in the table covering
the 2015 analysis.
In the given tables, the \textbf{\% finished} column corresponds to the
percentage of \texttt{FINISH}ed tasks for that priority or tier. \textbf{Mean
response [s] (last execution)} instead shows the mean response time of the last
task execution of each task in that priority/tier.
\textbf{Mean response [s] (all executions)} provides a very similar figure,
though this column shows the mean response time across all executions.
\textbf{Mean slowdown} instead provides the mean slowdown value for each task
Comparing the tables in Figure~\ref{fig:taskslowdown} we observe that the
maximum mean slowdown measure for 2019 data (i.e.\ 7.84, for the BEB tier) is
almost double of the maximum measure in 2011 data (i.e.\ 3.39, for priority $3$
corresponding to the BEB tier). The ``Best effort batch'' tier, as the name
suggest, is a lower priority tier where failures are more tolerated. Therefore,
due to the increased concurrency in the 2019 clusters compared to 2011 and the
higher machine time spent for unsuccesful executions (as observed in the
previous analysis) and increase slowdown rate for this class is not particularly
The amount of non-successful task terminations in the 2019 traces is also rather
high when compared to 2011 data, as it can evinced by the low percentage of
\texttt{FINISH}ed tasks across priority tiers.
Another noteworthy difference is in the mean response times for all and last
executions: while the mean response is overall shorter in time in the 2019
traces by an order of magnitude, the new traces show an overall significantly
higher mean response time than in the 2011 data.
Across 2019 single clusters (as in Figure~\ref{fig:taskslowdown-csts}), the data
shows a mostly uniform behaviour, other than for some noteworthy mean slowdown
spikes. Indeed, cluster A has 82.97 mean slowdown in the ``Free'' tier,
cluster G has 19.06 and 14.57 mean slowdown in the ``BEB'' and ``Production''
tier respectively, and Cluster D has 12.04 mean slowdown in its ``Free'' tier.
\subsection{Spatial Impact: Resource Waste}
In this analysis we aim to understand how physical resources of machines
in the Borg cluster are used to complete tasks. In particular, we compare how
CPU and memory resource allocation and usage are distributed among tasks based
on their termination
Due to limited computational resources w.r.t.\ the data analysis process, the
resource usage for clusters E to H in the 2019 traces is missing. However, a
comparison between 2011 resource usage and the aggregated resource usage of
clusters A to D in the 2019 traces can be found in
Figure~\ref{fig:spatialresourcewaste-actual}. Additionally, a
cluster-by-cluster breakdown for the 2019 data can be found in
From these figures it is clear that, compared to the relatively even
distribution of used resources in the 2011 traces, the distribution of resources
in the 2019 Borg clusters became strikingly uneven, registering a combined
86.29\% of
CPU resource usage and 84.86\% memory usage for \texttt{KILL}ed tasks. Instead,
all other task termination types have a significantly lower resource usage:
\texttt{EVICT}ed, \texttt{FAIL}ed and \texttt{FINISH}ed tasks register respectively
8.53\%, 3.17\% and 2.02\% CPU usage and 9.03\%, 4.45\%, and 1.66\% memory usage.
This resource distribution can also be found in the data from individual
clusters in Figure~\ref{fig:spatialresourcewaste-actual-csts}, with always more
than 80\% of resources devoted to \texttt{KILL}ed tasks.
Considering now requested resources instead of used ones, a comparison between
2011 and the aggregation of all A-H clusters of the 2019 traces can be found in
Figure~\ref{fig:spatialresourcewaste-requested}. Additionally, a
cluster-by-cluster breakdown for single 2019 clusters can be found in
Here \texttt{KILL}ed jobs dominate even more the distribution of resources,
reaching a global 97.21\% of CPU allocation and a global 96.89\% of memory
allocation. Even in allocations, the \texttt{KILL} lead is followed by (in
order) \texttt{EVICT}ed, \texttt{FAIL}ed and \texttt{FINISH}ed jobs, with
respective CPU allocation figures of 2.73\%, 0.06\% and 0.0012\% and memory
allocation figures of 3.04\%, 0.06\% and 0.012\%.
Behaviour across clusters (as
evinced in Figure~\ref{fig:spatialresourcewaste-requested-csts}) in terms of
requested resources is pretty homogeneous, with the exception of cluster A
having a relatively high 2.85\% CPU and 3.42\% memory resource requests from
\texttt{EVICT}ed tasks and cluster E having a noteworthy 1.67\% CPU and 1.31\%
memory resource resquests from \texttt{FINISH}ed tasks.
With more than 98\% of both CPU and memory resources used by
(and more than 99.99\% of both CPU and memory resources requested by)
non-successful tasks, it is clear the spatial resource waste is high in the 2019
\section{Analysis: Patterns of Task and Job Events}\label{sec6}
This section aims to use some of the tecniques used in section IV of
the Ros\`a et al.\ paper~\cite{dsn-paper} to find patterns and interpendencies
between task and job events by gathering event statistics at those events. In
particular, Section~\ref{tabIII-section} explores how the success of a
task is inter-correlated with its own event patterns, which
Section~\ref{figV-section} explores even further by computing task success
probabilities based on the number of task termination events of a specific type.
Finally, Section~\ref{tabIV-section} aims to find similar correlations, but at
the job level.
The results found the the 2019 traces seldomly show the same patterns in terms
of task events and job/task distributions, in particular highlighting again the
overall non-trivial impact of \texttt{KILL} events, no matter the task and job
termination type.
\subsection{Unsuccessful Task Event Patterns}\label{tabIII-section}
In this analysis we compute the distribution of termination events by type at
the task-level events, namely \texttt{EVICT}, \texttt{FAIL}, \texttt{FINISH}
and \texttt{KILL} termination events.
A comparison of the termination event distribution between the 2011 and 2019
traces is shown in Figure~\ref{fig:tableIII}. Additionally, a cluster-by-cluster
breakdown of the same data for the 2019 traces is shown in
Each table from these figures shows the mean and the 95-th percentile of the
number of termination events per task, broke down by task termination. In
addition, the table shows the mean number of \texttt{EVICT}, \texttt{FAIL},
\texttt{FINISH}, and \texttt{KILL} for each task event termination.
The first observation we make is that the mean number of events per
\texttt{EVICT}ed and \texttt{FAIL}ed tasks increased more than 5-fold (namely
from 2.372 to 78.710 and from 3.130 to 24.962 respectively). Also observing the
95-th percentile we can say that the number of events per task has generally
increased overall.
As observed in 2011, 2019 Borg tasks have all a multitude of events with
different types, with \texttt{FINISH}ed tasks experiencing almost always
\texttt{FINISH} events and unsuccessful tasks and the same observation holding
for \texttt{KILL}ed tasks and their \texttt{KILL} events. Differently from the
2011 data, \texttt{EVICT}ed tasks seem to experience an high number of
\texttt{KILL} events as well (25.795 on average per task, over 78.710 overall
events on average). A similar phenomena can be observed with \texttt{KILL}ed
jobs and their \texttt{EVICT} events (1.876 on average per task with a 8.763
event overall average).
Considering cluster-by-cluster behaviour in the 2019 traces (as reported in
Figure~\ref{fig:tableIII-csts}) the general observations still hold for each
cluster, albeit with event count averages having different magnitudes. Notably,
cluster E registers the highest per-event average, with \texttt{FAIL}ed tasks
experiencing 111.471 \texttt{FAIL} events out of \texttt{112.384}.
\subsection{Conditional Probability of Task Success}\label{figV-section}
In this analysis we measure the conditional probability of task success given a
number of specific unsuccessful (i.e. \texttt{EVICT}, \texttt{FAIL} and
\texttt{KILL}) events. This analysis was conducted to better understand how a
given number of unsuccessful events could affect the termination of the task it
belongs to.
Conditional probabilities of each unsuccessful event type are shown in the form
of a plot in Figure~\ref{fig:figureV}, comparing the 2011 traces with the
overall data from the 2019 ones, and in Figure~\ref{fig:figureV-csts}, as a
cluster-by-cluster breakdown of the same data for the 2019 traces.
In Figure~\ref{fig:figureV} the 2011 and 2019 plots differ in their x-axis:
for 2011 data conditional probabilities are computed for a maximum event count
of 30, while for 2019 data are computed for up to 50 events of a specific kind.
Nevertheless, another quite striking difference between the two plots can be
seen: while 2011 data has relatively smooth decreasing curves for all event
types, the curves in the 2019 data almost immediately plateau with no
significant change easily observed after 5 events of any kind.
The presence of even one \texttt{KILL} event almost surely causes the
corresponding task to terminate in an unsuccessful way: a task with no
\texttt{KILL} events has 97.16\% probability of success, but tasks with 1 to 5
\texttt{KILL} events have 0.02\%, 0.20\%, 0.44\%, 0.04\%, and
0.07\% probabilities of success respectively. The same effect can be observed,
albeit in a less drastic fashion, for the \texttt{EVICT} and \texttt{FAIL}
curves. The \texttt{EVICT} curve has for tasks with 0 to 5 kill events 19.70\%,
15.94\%, 1.94\%, 1.67\%, 0.35\% and 0.00\% success probabilities repectively.
The \texttt{FAIL} probability curve has instead 18.55\%, 1.79\%, 14.49\%,
2.08\%, 2.40\%, and 1.29\% success probabilities for the same range.
Considering cluster-to-cluster behaviour in the 2019 traces (as shown in
Figure~\ref{fig:figureV-csts}), some clusters show quite similar behaviour to
the aggregated plot (namely clusters A, F, and H), while some other clusters
show very oscillating probability distribution function curves for
\texttt{EVICT} and \texttt{FINISH} curves. \texttt{KILL} behaviour is instead
homogeneous even on a single cluster basis.
\subsection{Unsuccessful Job Event Patterns}\label{tabIV-section}
The analysis uses very similar techniques to the ones used in
Section~\ref{tabIII-section}, but focusing at the job level instead. The aim is
to better understand the task-job level relationship and to understand how
task-level termination events can influence the termination state of a job.
A comparison of the analyzed parameters between the 2011 and 2019
traces is shown in Figure~\ref{fig:tableIV}. Additionally, a cluster-by-cluster
breakdown of the same data for the 2019 traces is shown in
Considering the distribution of number of tasks in a job, the 2019 traces show a
decrease for the mean figure (e.g.\ for \texttt{FAIL}ed jobs, with a mean 60.5
tasks per job in 2011 and a mean 43.126 tasks per job in 2019) and a fluctuation
of the 95-th percentile figure (e.g.\ for \texttt{FAIL}ed jobs it rose from 110
to 200, but for \texttt{KILL}ed job the figure decreased from 400 to 178).
Considering the distribution of the number of task-wise termination events
instead, the 2019 traces show values generally one or two orders of magnitude
below the ones in 2011. While the behaviour of \texttt{EVICT}ed jobs stays the
same, \texttt{FAIL}ed and \texttt{KILL}ed jobs show a dramatic difference in
the event distribution, with \texttt{KILL} becoming the most popular event
task-wise with mean 12.833 and 11.337 task events per job respectively. Finally,
the \texttt{FINISH}ed job category has a new event distribution too, with
\texttt{FINISH} task events being the most popular at 1.778 events per job in
the 2019 traces.
The cluster-by-cluster comparison in Figure~\ref{fig:tableIV-csts} shows that
the number of tasks per job are generally distributed similarly to the
aggregated data, with only cluster H having remarkably low mean and 95-th
percentiles overall. Event-wise, for \texttt{EVICT}ed, \texttt{FINISH}ed,
and \texttt{KILL}ed jobs again the distributions are similar to the aggregated
one. For some clusters (namely B, C, and D), the mean number of \texttt{FAIL} and
\texttt{KILL} task events for \texttt{FINISH}ed jobs is almost the same.
Additionally, it is noteworthy that cluster A has no \texttt{EVICT}ed jobs.
\section{Analysis: Potential Causes of Unsuccessful Executions}\label{sec7}
This section re-applies the tecniques used in Section V of the Ros\`a et al.\
paper~\cite{dsn-paper} to find causes for unsuccessful events related to
task-level parameters (analyzed in Section~\ref{fig7-section}),
usage of machine resources by tasks (analyzed in Section~\ref{fig8-section}),
and job-level parameters (analyzed in Section~\ref{fig9-section}). In all the
analyses we use the ``event rate'' metric, which represents the relative
percentage of termination type events over a certain task/job parameter
configuration. We compute this metric for all the possible terminations (i.e.\
\texttt{EVICT}, \texttt{FAIL}, \texttt{FINISH} and \texttt{KILL}) in order to
find correlations with the several trace parameters.
\subsection{Task Event Rates vs.\ Task Priority, Event Execution Time, and
Machine Concurrency.}\label{fig7-section} \input{figures/figure_7}
This analysis shows event rates (i.e.\ the relative percentage of termination
type events) over different configurations of task-level parameters.
Figure~\ref{fig:figureVII-a} and Figure~\ref{fig:figureVII-a-csts} show the
distribution of event rates over the various task priority tiers.
Figure~\ref{fig:figureVII-b} and Figure~\ref{fig:figureVII-b-csts} show the
distribution of event rates over the total event execution time. Finally,
Figure~\ref{fig:figureVII-c} and Figure~\ref{fig:figureVII-c-csts} show the
distribution of event rates over the metric of machine concurrency, defined as
the number of co-executing tasks on the machine and at the moment the
termination event is recorded.
From this analysis we can make the following observations:
The behaviour of the curves in the task priority distributions
(in Figure~\ref{fig:figureVII-a} and Figure~\ref{fig:figureVII-a-csts})
for the 2019 traces is almost the opposite of the
2011 ones, i.e.\ in-between priorities have higher kill rates while
priorities at the extremum have lower kill rates;
The event execution time curves (in Figure~\ref{fig:figureVII-b} and
Figure~\ref{fig:figureVII-b-csts}) for the 2019 traces
are quite different than 2011 ones, here it
seems there is a good correlation between short task execution times
and finish event rates, instead of the ``U shape'' curve found in the Ros\`a
et al.\ 2015 DSN paper~\cite{dsn-paper};
The behaviour among different clusters for the event execution time
distributions in Figure~\ref{fig:figureVII-b-csts} seem quite uniform;
The machine concurrency metric, for which a distribution of event rates is
computed in Figure~\ref{fig:figureVII-c} and
Figure~\ref{fig:figureVII-c-csts}, seems to play little role in the event
termination distribution, as for all concurrency factors the \texttt{KILL}
event rate is around 90\% with little fluctuation.
\subsection{Task Event Rates vs.\ Requested Resources, Resource Reservation, and
Resource Utilization}\label{fig8-section}
This analysis is concerned with the distribution of event rates over several
resources related parameters.
Figure~\ref{fig:figureVIII-a} and Figure~\ref{fig:figureVIII-a-csts} show the
distribution of task event rates w.r.t.\ the amount of CPU the task has
requested, while Figure~\ref{fig:figureVIII-b} and
Figure~\ref{fig:figureVIII-b-csts} show task events rates vs.\ requested memory.
Figure~\ref{fig:figureVIII-c} and Figure~\ref{fig:figureVIII-c-csts} show the
distribution of task event rates w.r.t.\ the amount of CPU that has collectively
requested on the machine where the task is running, while
Figure~\ref{fig:figureVIII-d} and Figure~\ref{fig:figureVIII-d-csts} show a
similar distribution but for memory. Finally Figure~\ref{fig:figureVIII-e} and
Figure~\ref{fig:figureVIII-e-csts} show the distribution of task event rates
w.r.t.\ the amount of CPU the task has really been utilized, while
Figure~\ref{fig:figureVIII-f} and Figure~\ref{fig:figureVIII-f-csts} show task
events rates vs.\ used memory.
From this analysis we can make the following observations:
\item In the 2019 trace, the amount of requested CPU resources seem to play
little effect on the job termination as it can evinced in
Figure~\ref{fig:figureVIII-a} and Figure~\ref{fig:figureVIII-a-csts}.
Instead, the job rate distributions w.r.t.\ the amount of requested memory
(Figure~\ref{fig:figureVIII-b} and Figure~\ref{fig:figureVIII-b-csts}) show
no discernable pattern;
Overall a significant increment in the killed event rate can be observed. They
seem to dominate all event rates measures;
Among all clusters in Figure~\ref{fig:figureVIII-a-csts} there can be noted the
dominance of the killed event rate. In 2011, it was observed a more dominant
behaviour by the success event rate curve;
For each analysed distribution, clusters do not show a common behaviour of the
curves. Some are similar, but they are generally distinguishable;
In Figure~\ref{fig:figureVIII-e} there can be seen that while a drastic decrease
of the killed event rate curve is observed as the CPU utilization increases,
the success event rate does not increase much.
\subsection{Job Event Rates vs.\ Job Size, Job Execution Time, and Machine
This analysis shows job event rates (i.e.\ the relative percentage of
termination type events) over different configurations of job size, job
execution time and machine locality.
Figure~\ref{fig:figureIX-a} and Figure~\ref{fig:figureIX-a-csts} provide
the plots of job event rates versus the job
size. Job size is defined as the number of tasks belonging to the job.
Figure~\ref{fig:figureIX-b} and Figure~\ref{fig:figureIX-b-csts} provide
the plots of the job event rates versus
execution time.
Figure~\ref{fig:figureIX-c} and Figure~\ref{fig:figureIX-c-csts} provide
the plots of the job event
rates versus machine locality.
Machine locality is defined as the ratio between the number
of machines used to execute the tasks inside the job and the job size.
By analysing these plots, we can make the following observations:
There can be noted significant variations in the behaviour of the curves
between clusters;
There are no smooth gradients in the various curves unlike in the
2011 traces;
Killed jobs have higher event rates in general, and overall dominate
all event rates measures. As can be seen in Figure~\ref{fig:figureIX-a}, an
higher number of tasks (i.e., an higher job size) seems to be correlated to
an higher killed event rate in 2019 rather than in 2011. In
Figure~\ref{fig:figureIX-b}, we observe the best success event rate for a
job execution time of 4-10 minutes, while in 2011, it seemed that the finish
event rate increases along with the job execution time;
There still seems to be a strong correlation between short execution job
times and successful final termination, and likewise for kills and
higher job terminations. Especially for these two curves, in most cases also
between the clusters, their behaviour suggests a specular trend;
As can be seen in Figure~\ref{fig:figureIX-c}, across all clusters, a machine
locality factor of 1 seems to lead to the highest success event rate, while
in 2011 the same machine locality factor led to the lowest success event
\section{Conclusions, Limitations and Future Work}\label{sec8}
In this report we analyzed the Google Borg 2019 traces and compared them with
their 2011 counterpart from the perspective of unsuccessful executions, their
impact on resources and their causes. We discover that the impact of
unsuccessful executions (especially of \texttt{KILL}ed tasks and jobs) in the
new traces is still very relevant in terms of machine time and resources, even
more so than in 2011. We also discover that unsuccessful job and task event
patterns still play a major role in the overall execution success of Borg jobs
and tasks. We finally discover that unsuccessful job and task event rates
dominate the overall landscape of Borg's own logs, even when grouping tasks and
jobs by parameters such as priority, resource request, reservation and
utilization, and machine locality.
We then can conclude that the performed analysis show many clear trends
regarding the correlation of execution success with several parameters and
metadata. These trends can potentially be exploited to build better scheduling
algorithms and new predictive models that could understand if an execution has
high probability of failure based on its own properties and metadata. The
creation of such models could allow for computational resources to be saved and
used to either increase the throughput of higher priority workloads or to allow
for a larger workload altoghether.
The biggest limitation and threat to validity posed to this project is the
relative lack of information provided by Google on the true meaning of
unsuccessful terminations. Indeed, given the ``black box'' nature of the traces
and the rather scarcity of information in the traces
documentation~\cite{google-drive-marso}, it is not clear if unsuccessful
executions yield any useful computation result or not. Our assumption in this
report is that unsuccesful jobs and tasks do not produce any result and are
therefore just burdens on machine time and resources, but should this assumption
be incorrect then the interpretation of the analyses might change.
Given the significant computational time invested in obtaining the results shown
in this report and due to time and resource limitations, some of the analysis
were not completed on all clusters. Our future work will focus on finishing
these analysis, computing results for the missing clusters and obtaining an
overall picture of the 2019 Google Borg cluster traces w.r.t.\ failures and
their causes.
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