5.3. User-Level Fault Mitigation (ULFM)
This chapter documents the features and options specific to the User Level Failure Mitigation (ULFM) Open MPI implementation.
This implementation conforms to the User Level Failure Mitigation (ULFM) MPI Standard draft proposal. The ULFM proposal is developed by the MPI Forum’s Fault Tolerance Working Group to support the continued operation of MPI programs after any type of failures, hard or soft, have impacted the execution. The key principle is that no MPI call (point-to-point, collective, RMA, IO, …) can block indefinitely after a failure, but must either succeed or raise an MPI error. Accordingly, the errors are not all fatal, the MPI implementations will do a best-effort approach to maintain the execution environment up and running.
This implementation produces the three supplementary error codes and five supplementary interfaces defined in the communicator section of the ULFM chapter standard draft document.
MPIX_ERR_PROC_FAILEDwhen a process failure prevents the completion of an MPI operation (error code).
MPIX_ERR_PROC_FAILED_PENDINGwhen a potential sender matching a non-blocking wildcard source receive has failed (error code).
MPIX_ERR_REVOKEDwhen one of the ranks in the application has invoked the
MPI_Comm_revokeoperation on the communicator (error code).
MPIX_Comm_revoke(MPI_Comm comm)Interrupts any communication pending on the communicator at all ranks (API).
MPIX_Comm_shrink(MPI_Comm comm, MPI_Comm* newcomm)creates a new communicator where dead processes in comm were removed, and the remaining processes are renamed to cover all the gaps in the naming from the original communicator (API).
MPIX_Comm_agree(MPI_Comm comm, int *flag)performs a consensus (i.e. fault tolerant allreduce operation) on flag (with the operation bitwise AND) (API). Absorbs all new failures, and propagate the knowledge about failures among the participants.
MPIX_Comm_failure_get_acked(MPI_Comm, MPI_Group*)obtains the group of currently acknowledged failed processes (API).
MPIX_Comm_failure_ack(MPI_Comm)acknowledges that the application intends to ignore the effect of currently known failures on wildcard receive completions and agreement return values (API).
5.3.2. Supported Systems
There are several MPI communication engines available in Open MPI, notably:
However, in Open MPI v5.0.x, only
ob1 is fully adapted to support
fault tolerance. The UCX PML has been successfully tested in some setups,
but at this point we cannot confirm that all UCT devices are fully capable
to provide the necessary features.
ob1 uses BTL (“Byte Transfer Layer”) components for each supported
ob1 supports a variety of networks that can be used in
combination with each other. Collective operations (blocking and
non-blocking) use an optimized implementation on top of
uGNI (Cray Gemini, Aries)
Shared Memory (FT supported with CMA and XPMEM; KNEM is untested)
Tuned and non-blocking collective communications
A full list of supported, untested and disabled components is provided later in this document.
5.3.3. ULFM web site
More information (tutorials, examples, build instructions for leading top500 systems) is also available in the Fault Tolerance Research Hub website: https://fault-tolerance.org
5.3.4. Bibliographic References
If you are looking for, or want to cite a general reference for ULFM, please use:
Wesley Bland, Aurelien Bouteiller, Thomas Herault, George Bosilca, Jack J. Dongarra: Post-failure recovery of MPI communication capability: Design and rationale. IJHPCA 27(3): 244-254 (2013).
Available from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1094342013488238.
5.3.5. Building ULFM support in Open MPI
In Open MPI v5.0.x, ULFM support is enabled by default —
when you build Open MPI, unless you specify
support will automatically be built.
Optionally, you can specify
--with-ft to ensure that ULFM support
is definitely built.
188.8.131.52. Support notes
ULFM Fault Tolerance does not apply to OpenSHMEM. It is recommended that if you are going to use ULFM, you should disable building OpenSHMEM with
SLURM is tested and supported with fault tolerance.
Do not use
srun, or your application gets killed by the scheduler upon the first failure. Instead, use
LSF is untested with fault tolerance.
PBS/Torque is tested and supported with fault tolerance.
Be sure to use
184.108.40.206. Modified, Untested and Disabled Components
Frameworks and components which are not listed in the following list are unmodified and support fault tolerance. Listed frameworks may be modified (and work after a failure), untested (and work before a failure, but may malfunction after a failure), or disabled (they cause unspecified behavior all around when FT is enabled).
All runtime disabled components are listed in the
MCA param file
$installdir/share/openmpi/amca-param-sets/ft-mpi. You can tune the
runtime behavior with ULFM by either setting or unsetting variables in
this file (or by overriding the variable on the command line (e.g.,
--mca btl ofi,self). Note that if fault tolerance is disabled at
runtime, these components will load normally (this may change observed
performance when comparing with and without fault tolerance).
pml: MPI point-to-point management layer
v: untested (they have not been modified to handle faults)
btl: Point-to-point Byte Transfer Layer
sm(+knem): untested (they may work properly, please report)
mtl: Matching transport layer Used for MPI point-to-point messages on some types of networks
mtlcomponents are disabled
coll: MPI collective algorithms
sm: untested (they have not been modified to handle faults, but we expect correct post-fault behavior)
portals4disabled (they have not been modified to handle faults, and we expect unspecified post-fault behavior)
osc: MPI one-sided communications
osccomponents are untested (they have not been modified to handle faults, and we expect unspecified post-fault behavior)
io: MPI I/O and dependent components
fs: File system functions for MPI I/O
fbtl: File byte transfer layer: abstraction for individual read/write operations for OMPIO
fcoll: Collective read and write operations for MPI I/O
sharedfp: Shared file pointer operations for MPI I/O
All components in these frameworks are unmodified, untested (we expect clean post-failure abort)
vprotocol: Checkpoint/Restart components
These components have not been modified to handle faults, and are untested.
wait-sync: Multithreaded wait-synchronization object
qthreads: disabled (these components have not been modified to handle faults; we expect post-failure deadlock)
5.3.6. Running ULFM Open MPI
220.127.116.11. Building your application
As ULFM is still an extension to the MPI standard, you will need to
#include <mpi-ext.h> in C, or
use mpi_ext in Fortran to access
the supplementary error codes and functions.
Compile your application as usual, using the provided
18.104.22.168. Running your application
You can launch your application with fault tolerance by simply using
the normal Open MPI
mpiexec launcher, with the
--with-ft ulfm CLI option:
shell$ mpirun --with-ft ulfm ...
22.214.171.124. Running under a batch scheduler
ULFM can operate under a job/batch scheduler, and is tested routinely
with ALPS, PBS, and Slurm. One difficulty comes from the fact that
many job schedulers will “cleanup” the application as soon as any
process fails. In order to avoid this problem, it is preferred that
mpiexec within an allocation (e.g.,
qsub) rather than a direct launch (e.g.,
126.96.36.199. Run-time tuning knobs
ULFM comes with a variety of knobs for controlling how it runs. The
default parameters are sane and should result in good performance in
most cases. You can change the default settings with
mpi_ft_foo <value> for Open MPI options, and with
errmgr_detector_bar <value> for PRTE options.
188.8.131.52.1. PRTE level options
prrte_enable_recovery <true|false> (default: false)controls automatic cleanup of apps with failed processes within mpirun. Enabling this option also enables
errmgr_detector_priority <int> (default 1005) selects the PRRTE-based failure detector. Only available when
true. You can set this to
0when using the (experimental) Open MPI detector instead.
errmgr_detector_heartbeat_period <float> (default: 5e0)controls the heartbeat period. Recommended value is 1/2 of the timeout.
errmgr_detector_heartbeat_timeout <float> (default: 1e1 seconds)heartbeat timeout (i.e. failure detection speed). Recommended value is 2 times the heartbeat period. The default setup is tuned for failure-free performance at the expense of fault detection reactivity. In environments where faults are expected to be common, less conservative values can be used (e.g., 100ms); Values lower than the TCP poll rate (typically 10ms) can cause false positive.
184.108.40.206.2. Open MPI level options
mpi_ft_enable <true|false> (default: same as prrte_enable_recovery)permits turning on/off fault tolerance at runtime. When false, failure detection is disabled; Interfaces defined by the fault tolerance extensions are substituted with dummy non-fault tolerant implementations (e.g.,
MPIX_Comm_agreeis implemented with
MPI_Allreduce); All other controls below become irrelevant.
mpi_ft_verbose <int> (default: 0)increases the output of the fault tolerance activities. A value of 1 will report detected failures.
mpi_ft_detector <true|false> (default: false), EXPERIMENTAL controls the activation of the Open MPI level failure detector. When this detector is turned off, all failure detection is delegated to PRTE (see above). The Open MPI level fault detector is experimental. There is a tradeoff between failure detection accuracy and performance with this detector. Users that experience accuracy issues may enable a more precise mode. See the tuning knobs below to adjust to taste; The Open MPI failure detector operates on
MPI_COMM_WORLDexclusively. Processes connected from
MPI_COMM_SPAWNmay occasionally not be detected when they fail.
mpi_ft_detector_thread <true|false> (default: false)controls the use of a thread to emit and receive failure detector’s heartbeats. Setting this value to “true” will also set MPI_THREAD_MULTIPLE support, which has a noticeable effect on latency (typically 1us increase). You may want to enable this option if you experience false positive processes incorrectly reported as failed with the Open MPI failure detector.
mpi_ft_detector_period <float> (default: 3e0 seconds)heartbeat period. Recommended value is 1/3 of the timeout. _Values lower than 100us may impart a noticeable effect on latency (typically a 3us increase)._
mpi_ft_detector_timeout <float> (default: 1e1 seconds)heartbeat timeout (i.e. failure detection speed). Recommended value is 3 times the heartbeat period.
220.127.116.11. Known Limitations in ULFM
InfiniBand support is provided through the UCT BTL; fault tolerant operation over the UCX PML is not yet supported for production runs.
TOPO, FILE, RMA are not fault tolerant. They are expected to work properly before the occurrence of the first failure.
18.104.22.168. ULFM Integrated in Open MPI
As of v5.0.x, ULFM is now integrated directly in to the community release of Open MPI. The following sections describe previous ULFM standlone releases.
22.214.171.124. ULFM Standalone Release 4.0.2u1
This is a stability and upstream parity upgrade. It is based on the most current Open MPI Release (v4.0.2, October 2019).
This release is based on Open MPI release v4.0.2 (ompi #cb5f4e737a).
This release is based on ULFM master (ulfm #0e249ca1).
Support for the UCT BTL enters beta stage.
High sensitivity to noise in the failure detector.
Deadlocks when revoking while BTL progress threads are updating messages.
A case where the failure detector would keep observing a dead process forever.
Disable the use of external pmix/libevent by default (the internals are modified to handle error cases).
Clean error paths leaving some rdma registration dangling.
Do not remove the orte job/proc session dir prematurely upon error.
126.96.36.199. ULFM Standalone Release 4.0.1u1
This is a stability and upstream parity upgrade. It improves stability, performance and is based on the most current Open MPI Release (v4.0.1, May 2019).
This release is based on Open MPI release v4.0.1 (ompi #b780667).
This release is based on ULFM master (ulfm #cf8dc43f).
Addition of the
ftbasiccollective component to
Failures of node-local siblings were not always detected
Failure propagation and detection was slowed down by trying to notify known dead processes
There were deadlocks in multithreaded programs
There were issues with PMPI when compiling Fortran Interfaces
There were deadlocks on OS-X
188.8.131.52. ULFM Standalone Release 2.1
This release is a bugfix and upstream parity upgrade. It improves stability, performance and is based on the most current Open MPI main (November 2018).
ULFM is now based upon Open MPI main branch (#37954b5f).
ULFM tuning MCA parameters are exposed by
Fortran 90 bindings have been updated
Correct the behavior of process placement during an MPI_COMM_SPAWN when some slots were occcupied by failed processes.
MPI_COMM_SPAWN accepts process placement directives in the Info object.
Fixed deadlocks in some NBC collective operations.
Crashes and deadlocks in MPI_FINALIZE have been resolved.
Any-source requests that returned with an error status of MPIX_PROC_FAILED_PENDING can now correctly complete during later MPI_WAIT/TEST.
184.108.40.206. ULFM Standalone Release 2.0
Focus has been toward integration with current Open MPI main (November 2017), performance, and stability.
ULFM is now based upon Open MPI main branch (#689f1be9). It will be regularly updated until it will eventually be merged.
Fault Tolerance is enabled by default and is controlled with MCA variables.
Added support for multithreaded modes (MPI_THREAD_MULTIPLE, etc.)
Added support for non-blocking collective operations (NBC).
Added support for CMA shared memory transport (Vader).
Added support for advanced failure detection at the MPI level. Implements the algorithm described in “Failure detection and propagation in HPC systems.” <https://doi.org/10.1109/SC.2016.26>.
Removed the need for special handling of CID allocation.
Non-usable components are automatically removed from the build during configure
RMA, FILES, and TOPO components are enabled by default, and usage in a fault tolerant execution warns that they may cause undefined behavior after a failure.
Code cleanup and performance cleanup in non-FT builds; –without-ft at configure time gives an almost stock Open MPI.
Code cleanup and performance cleanup in FT builds with FT runtime disabled; –mca ft_enable_mpi false thoroughly disables FT runtime activities.
Some error cases would return ERR_PENDING instead of ERR_PROC_FAILED in collective operations.
Some test could set ERR_PENDING or ERR_PROC_FAILED instead of ERR_PROC_FAILED_PENDING for ANY_SOURCE receptions.
220.127.116.11. ULFM Standalone Release 1.1
Focus has been toward improving stability, feature coverage for intercomms, and following the updated specification for MPI_ERR_PROC_FAILED_PENDING.
Forked from Open MPI 1.5.5 devel branch
Addition of the MPI_ERR_PROC_FAILED_PENDING error code, as per newer specification revision. Properly returned from point-to-point, non-blocking ANY_SOURCE operations.
Alias MPI_ERR_PROC_FAILED, MPI_ERR_PROC_FAILED_PENDING and MPI_ERR_REVOKED to the corresponding standard blessed -extension- names MPIX_ERR_xxx.
Support for Intercommunicators:
Support for the blocking version of the agreement, MPI_COMM_AGREE on Intercommunicators.
MPI_COMM_REVOKE tested on intercommunicators.
Disabled completely (.ompi_ignore) many untested components.
Changed the default ORTE failure notification propagation aggregation delay from 1s to 25ms.
Added an Open MPI internal failure propagator; failure propagation between SM domains is now immediate.
SendRecv would not always report MPI_ERR_PROC_FAILED correctly.
SendRecv could incorrectly update the status with errors pertaining to the Send portion of the Sendrecv.
Revoked send operations are now always completed or remote cancelled and may not deadlock anymore.
Cancelled send operations to a dead peer will not trigger an assert when the BTL reports that same failure.
Repeat calls to operations returning MPI_ERR_PROC_FAILED will eventually return MPI_ERR_REVOKED when another process revokes the communicator.
18.104.22.168. ULFM Standalone Release 1.0
Focus has been toward improving performance, both before and after the occurrence of failures. The list of new features includes:
Support for the non-blocking version of the agreement, MPI_COMM_IAGREE.
Compliance with the latest ULFM specification draft. In particular, the MPI_COMM_(I)AGREE semantic has changed.
New algorithm to perform agreements, with a truly logarithmic complexity in number of ranks, which translates into huge performance boosts in MPI_COMM_(I)AGREE and MPI_COMM_SHRINK.
New algorithm to perform communicator revocation. MPI_COMM_REVOKE performs a reliable broadcast with a fixed maximum output degree, which scales logarithmically with the number of ranks.
Improved support for our traditional network layer:
TCP: fully tested
SM: fully tested (with the exception of XPMEM, which remains unsupported)
Added support for High Performance networks
Open IB: reasonably tested
uGNI: reasonably tested
The tuned collective module is now enabled by default (reasonably tested), expect a huge performance boost compared to the former basic default setting
Back-ported PBS/ALPS fixes from Open MPI
Back-ported OpenIB bug/performance fixes from Open MPI
Improve Context ID allocation algorithm to reduce overheads of Shrink
Miscellaneous bug fixes
22.214.171.124. Binary Compatibility
ULFM Open MPI is binary compatible with any version of Open MPI
compatible with the underlying Open MPI main branch or release (see
the binary compatibility and version number section in the upstream
Open MPI README). That is, applications compiled with a compatible
Open MPI can run with the ULFM Open MPI
mpirun and MPI
libraries. Conversely, as long as the application does not employ one
of the MPIX functions, which are exclusively defined in ULFM Open
MPI, an application compiled with ULFM Open MPI can be launched with a
compatible Open MPI
mpirun and run with the non-fault tolerant MPI
5.3.9. ULFM Copyright
Copyright (c) 2012-2022 The University of Tennessee and The University of Tennessee Research Foundation. All rights reserved.