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Overview

Motivation

A pod can be defined as a set of containers co-located and co-managed on an agent that share some resources (e.g., network namespace, volumes) but not others (e.g., container image, resource limits). Here are the use cases for pod:

  • Run a side-car container (e.g., logger, backup) next the main application controller.
  • Run an adapter container (e.g., metrics endpoint, queue consumer) next to the main container.
  • Run transient tasks inside a pod for a operations which are short-lived and whose exit does not imply that a pod should exit (e.g., a task which backs up data in a persistent volume).
  • Provide performance isolation between latency-critical application and supporting processes.
  • Run a group of containers sharing volumes and network namespace while some of them can have their own mount namespace.
  • Run a group of containers with the same life cycle, e.g, one container’s failure would cause all other containers being cleaned up.

In order to have first class support for running “pods”, two new primitives are introduced in Mesos: Task Group and Nested Container.

Background

Mesos has the concept of Executors and Tasks. An executor can launch multiple tasks while the executor runs in a container. An agent can run multiple executors. The pod can be implemented by leveraging the executor and task abstractions. More specifically, the executor runs in the top level container (called executor container) and its tasks run in separate nested containers inside this top level container, while the container image can be specified for each container.

New Primitives: Task Group and Nested Container

Task Group

The concept of Task Group addresses the limitation of the existing Scheduler and Executor APIs, which cannot send a group of tasks to an executor atomically. Even though a scheduler can launch multiple tasks for the same executor in a LAUNCH offer operation, these tasks are delivered to the executor one at a time via separate LAUNCH events. It cannot guarantee atomicity since any individual task might be dropped due to different reasons (e.g., network partition). Therefore, the Task Group provides all-or-nothing semantics to ensure a group of tasks are delivered atomically to an executor.

Nested Container

The concept of Nested Container describes containers nested under an executor container. They share the network namespace and volumes while they may have their own container images and resource limits. By introducing the new agent API for nested container in the following section, executors no longer need to implement their own containerization. Instead, executors can reuse the containerizer (in the agent) to launch nested container. Both authorized operators or executors will be allowed to create nested containers.

Task Group API

Framework API

message TaskGroupInfo {
  repeated TaskInfo tasks = 1;
}

message Offer {
  ...

  message Operation {
    enum Type {
      ...
      LAUNCH_GROUP = 6;
      ...
    }
    ...

    message LaunchGroup {
      required ExecutorInfo executor = 1;
      required TaskGroupInfo task_group = 2;
    }
    ...

    optional LaunchGroup launch_group = 7;
  }
}

By using the TaskGroup Framework API, frameworks can launch a task group with the default executor or a custom executor. The group of tasks can be specified through an offer operation LaunchGroup when accepting an offer. The ExecutorInfo indicates the executor to launch the task group, while the TaskGroupInfo includes the group of tasks to be launched atomically.

To use the default executor for launching the task group, the framework should:

  • Set ExecutorInfo.type as DEFAULT.
  • Set ExecutorInfo.resources for the resources needed for the executor.

Please note that the following fields in the ExecutorInfo are not allowed to set when using the default executor:

  • ExecutorInfo.command.
  • ExecutorInfo.container.type, ExecutorInfo.container.docker and ExecutorInfo.container.mesos.

To allow containers to share a network namespace:

  • Set ExecutorInfo.container.network.

To allow containers to share an ephemeral volume:

  • Specify the volume/sandbox_path isolator.
  • Set TaskGroupInfo.tasks.container.volumes.source.type as SANDBOX_PATH.
  • Set TaskGroupInfo.tasks.container.volumes.source.sandbox_path.type as PARENT and the path relative to the parent container’s sandbox.

Executor API

message Event {
  enum Type {
    ...
    LAUNCH_GROUP = 8;
    ...
  }
  ...

  message LaunchGroup {
    required TaskGroupInfo task_group = 1;
  }
  ...

  optional LaunchGroup launch_group = 8;
}

A new event LAUNCH_GROUP is added to Executor API. Similar to the Framework API, the LAUNCH_GROUP event guarantees a group of tasks are delivered to the executor atomically.

Nested Container API

New Agent API

package mesos.agent;

message Call {
  enum Type {
    ...
    // Calls for managing nested containers underneath an executor's container.
    NESTED_CONTAINER_LAUNCH = 14;  // See 'NestedContainerLaunch' below.
    NESTED_CONTAINER_WAIT = 15;    // See 'NestedContainerWait' below.
    NESTED_CONTAINER_KILL = 16;    // See 'NestedContainerKill' below.
  }

  // Launches a nested container within an executor's tree of containers.
  message LaunchNestedContainer {
    required ContainerID container_id = 1;
    optional CommandInfo command = 2;
    optional ContainerInfo container = 3;
  }

  // Waits for the nested container to terminate and receives the exit status.
  message WaitNestedContainer {
    required ContainerID container_id = 1;
  }

  // Kills the nested container. Currently only supports SIGKILL.
  message KillNestedContainer {
    required ContainerID container_id = 1;
  }

  optional Type type = 1;
  ...
  optional NestedContainerLaunch nested_container_launch = 6;
  optional NestedContainerWait nested_container_wait = 7;
  optional NestedContainerKill nested_container_kill = 8;
}

message Response {
  enum Type {
    ...
    NESTED_CONTAINER_WAIT = 13;    // See 'NestedContainerWait' below.
  }

  // Returns termination information about the nested container.
  message NestedContainerWait {
    optional int32 exit_status = 1;
  }

  optional Type type = 1;
  ...
  optional NestedContainerWait nested_container_wait = 14;
}

By adding the new Agent API, any authorized entity, including the executor itself, its tasks, or the operator can use this API to launch/wait/kill nested containers. Multi-level nesting is supported by using this API. Technically, the nested level is up to 32 since it is limited by the maximum depth of pid namespace and user namespace from the Linux Kernel.

The following is the workflow of how the new Agent API works:

  1. The executor sends a NESTED_CONTAINER_LAUNCH call to the agent.

                                    +---------------------+
                                    |                     |
                                    |     Container       |
                                    |                     |
     +-------------+                | +-----------------+ |
     |             |     LAUNCH     | |                 | |
     |             | <------------+ | |    Executor     | |
     |             |                | |                 | |
     | Mesos Agent |                | +-----------------+ |
     |             |                |                     |
     |             |                |                     |
     |             |                |                     |
     +-------------+                |                     |
                                    +---------------------+
    
  2. Depending on the LaunchNestedContainer from the executor, the agent launches a nested container inside of the executor container by calling containerizer::launch().

                                     +---------------------+
                                     |                     |
                                     |     Container       |
                                     |                     |
      +-------------+                | +-----------------+ |
      |             |     LAUNCH     | |                 | |
      |             | <------------+ | |    Executor     | |
      |             |                | |                 | |
      | Mesos Agent |                | +-----------------+ |
      |             |                |                     |
      |             |                | +---------+         |
      |             | +------------> | |Nested   |         |
      +-------------+                | |Container|         |
                                     | +---------+         |
                                     +---------------------+
    
  3. The executor sends a NESTED_CONTAINER_WAIT call to the agent.

                                    +---------------------+
                                    |                     |
                                    |     Container       |
                                    |                     |
     +-------------+                | +-----------------+ |
     |             |      WAIT      | |                 | |
     |             | <------------+ | |    Executor     | |
     |             |                | |                 | |
     | Mesos Agent |                | +-----------------+ |
     |             |                |                     |
     |             |                | +---------+         |
     |             |                | |Nested   |         |
     +-------------+                | |Container|         |
                                    | +---------+         |
                                    +---------------------+
    
  4. Depending on the ContainerID, the agent calls containerizer::wait() to wait for the nested container to terminate or exit. Once the container terminates or exits, the agent returns the container exit status to the executor.

                                     +---------------------+
                                     |                     |
                                     |     Container       |
                                     |                     |
      +-------------+      WAIT      | +-----------------+ |
      |             | <------------+ | |                 | |
      |             |                | |    Executor     | |
      |             | +------------> | |                 | |
      | Mesos Agent |  Exited with   | +-----------------+ |
      |             |  status 0      |                     |
      |             |                | +--XX-XX--+         |
      |             |                | |   XXX   |         |
      +-------------+                | |   XXX   |         |
                                     | +--XX-XX--+         |
                                     +---------------------+
    

Future Work

  • Authentication and authorization on the new Agent API.
  • Command health checks inside of the container’s mount namespace.
  • Resource isolation for nested containers.
  • Resource statistics reporting for nested containers.
  • Multiple task groups.

Reference