GPU mode & concurrency


Please make sure that you have nvidia-docker2 installed. Without this installed, Docker will not be able to properly access your machines GPUs.

By default, Atlas runs all of your jobs without GPUs on the machine. Luckily, if you are hoping to run this on a machine and use the GPUs, it's pretty simple.

Just run atlas-server start -g and you're off to the races.

What does this mean?

Running with GPUs enabled actually provides 2 main benefits:

1: Jobs will have access to your machines / instances GPUs

2: There will be as many Atlas workers as GPUs available to Atlas, allowing you to run multiple jobs concurrently

Important Usage Information

This can be very exciting, especially if you have a really powerful machine that you want to use to make the worlds next AlexNet, but with great power comes great responsibility! Below are some gotchas that you should watch for:

  • Although Atlas makes sure that a job given 1 GPU can only access that GPU, we don't keep track of RAM or CPU usage and your jobs could clash on those resources if you are not careful
  • This feature doesn't magically make your code use all available GPUs, it just makes those GPUs available for your code to use

How to launch jobs that uses GPUs

We have given Atlas access to GPUs, but by simply running foundations submit scheduler ., we still haven't given the job access to the GPUs — we have to use a special argument --num-gpus #. If you are using the Python SDK, you can pass num_gpus=# to the foundations.submit() command.

Queue Priority

The scheduler uses a fairly simplistic process for allocating jobs — in which we only get the next job in the queue.

This means that if Atlas has access to 4 GPUs, with 4 workers, and your queue looks like:

  • Job1(num_gpus=2), Job2(num_gpus=2), Job3(num_gpus=3), Job4(num_gpus=3), Job5(num_gpus=1)

Job1 and Job2 will run, both taking 2 GPUs. Job3 will hold up the rest of the queue since there are not 3 GPUs available.

Once Job1 and Job2 stop, Job3 will start running with 3 GPUs. Job4 will hold up the rest of the queue since it doesn't have enough resources.

Limiting GPU access to Atlas

By default Atlas will have access to all GPUs on the host machine. You can specify specific GPU availability by setting the CUDA_VISIBLE_DEVICES environment variable (more information).

CUDA_VISIBLE_DEVICES takes in a comma separated string of numbers, where each number is the ID of the GPU you wish to make visible to Atlas.

You can export this variable in the same shell right before starting Atlas:

  1. export CUDA_VISIBLE_DEVICES=0,1
  2. atlas-server start -g

Or set the variable in the Atlas start command:

  1. CUDA_VISIBLE_DEVICES=0,2 atlas-server start -g