[slurm-users] Question about having 2 partitions that are mutually exclusive, but have unexpected interactions

David Henkemeyer david.henkemeyer at gmail.com
Thu May 12 14:34:10 UTC 2022

Question for the braintrust:

I have 3 partitions:

   - Partition A_highpri: 80 nodes
   - Partition A_lowpri: same 80 nodes
   - Partition B_lowpri: 10 different nodes

There is no overlap between A and B partitions.

Here is what I'm observing.  If I fill the queue with ~20-30k jobs for
partition A_highpri, and several thousand to partition A_lowpri, then, a
bit later, submit jobs to partition B_lowpri, I am observing that the
Partition B jobs *are queued and not running right away, and are given a
pending reason of "Priority"*, which doesn't seem right to me.  Yes, there
are higher priority jobs pending in the queue (the jobs bound for A_hi),
but there aren't any higher priority jobs pending *for the same partition*
as the Partition B jobs, so theoretically, these partition B jobs should
not be held up.  Eventually, the scheduler gets around to scheduling them,
but it seems to take a while for the scheduler (which is probably pretty
busy dealing with job starts, job stops, etc) to figure this out.

If I schedule fewer jobs to the A partitions ( ~3k jobs ), then the
scheduler schedules the PartitionB jobs much faster, as expected.  As I
increase from 3k, then partition B jobs get held up longer and longer.

I can raise the priority on partition B, and that does solve the problem,
but I don't want those jobs to impact the partition A_lowpri jobs.  In
fact, *I don't want any cross-partition influence*.

I'm hoping there is a slurm parameter I can tweak to make slurm recognize
that these partition B jobs shouldn't ever have a pending state of
"priority".  Or to treat these as 2 separate queues.  Or something like
that.  Spinning up a 2nd slurm controller is not ideal for us (uless there
is a lightweight method to do it).

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