[slurm-users] Steps to upgrade slurm for a patchlevel change?

Paul Edmon pedmon at cfa.harvard.edu
Fri Sep 29 14:10:28 UTC 2023

This is one of the reasons we stick with using RPM's rather than the 
symlink process. It's just cleaner and avoids the issue of having the 
install on shared storage that may get overwhelmed with traffic or 
suffer outages. Also the package manager automatically removes the 
previous versions and local installs stuff. I've never been a fan of the 
symlink method has it runs counter to the entire point and design of 
Linux and package managers which are supposed to do this heavy lifting 
for you.

Rant aside :). Generally for minor upgrades the process is less touchy. 
For our setup we follow the following process that works well for us, 
but does create an outage for the period of the upgrade.

1. Set all partitions to down: This makes sure no new jobs are scheduled.

2. Suspend all jobs: This makes sure jobs aren't running while we upgrade.

3. Stop slurmctld and slurmdbd.

4. Upgrade the slurmdbd. Restart slurmdbd

5. Upgrade the slurmd and slurmctld across the cluster.

6. Restart slurmd and slurmctld simultaneously using choria.

7. Unsuspend all jobs

8. Reopen all partitions.

For major upgrades we always take a mysqldump and backup the spool for 
the slurmctld before upgrading just in case something goes wrong. We've 
had this happen before when the slurmdbd upgrade cut out early (note, 
always run the slurmdbd and slurmctld upgrades in -D mode and not via 
systemctl as systemctl can timeout and kill the upgrade midway for large 

That said I've also skipped steps 1, 2, 7, and 8 before for minor 
upgrades and it works fine. The slurmd, slurmctld, and slurmdbd can all 
run on different versions so long as the slurmdbd > slurmctld > slurmd.  
So if you want to do a live upgrade you can do it. However out paranoia 
we general stop everything. The entire process takes about an hour start 
to finish, with the longest part being the pausing of all the jobs.

-Paul Edmon-

On 9/29/2023 9:48 AM, Groner, Rob wrote:
> I did already see the upgrade section of Jason's talk, but it wasn't 
> much about the mechanics of the actual upgrade process, more of a big 
> picture it seemed.  It dealt a lot with different parts of slurm at 
> different versions, which is something we don't have.
> One little wrinkle here is that while, yes, we're using a symlink to 
> point to what version of slurm is the current one...it's all on a 
> shared filesystem.  So, ALL nodes, slurmdb, slurmctld are using that 
> same symlink.  There is no means to upgrade one component at a time.  
> That means to upgrade, EVERYTHING has to come down before it could 
> come back up.  Jason's slides seemed to indicate that, if there were 
> separate symlinks, then I could focus on just the slurmdb first and 
> upgrade it...then focus on slurmctld and upgrade it, and then finally 
> the nodes (take down their slurmd, upgrade the link, bring up slurmd). 
> So maybe that's what I'm missing.
> Otherwise, I think what I'm saying is that I see references to a 
> "rolling upgrade", but I don't see any guide to a rolling upgrade.  I 
> just see the 14 steps  in 
> https://slurm.schedmd.com/quickstart_admin.html#upgrade 
> <https://slurm.schedmd.com/quickstart_admin.html#upgrade>, and I guess 
> I'd always thought of that as the full octane, high fat upgrade.  I've 
> only ever done upgrades during one of our many scheduled downtimes, 
> because the upgrades were always to a new major version, and because 
> I'm a scared little chicken, so I figured there were maybe some 
> smaller subset of steps if only upgrading a patchlevel change.  
> Smaller change, less risk, less precautionary steps...?  I'm seeing 
> now that's not the case.
> Thank you all for the suggestions!
> Rob
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* slurm-users <slurm-users-bounces at lists.schedmd.com> on behalf 
> of Ryan Novosielski <novosirj at rutgers.edu>
> *Sent:* Friday, September 29, 2023 2:48 AM
> *To:* Slurm User Community List <slurm-users at lists.schedmd.com>
> *Subject:* Re: [slurm-users] Steps to upgrade slurm for a patchlevel 
> change?
> You don't often get email from novosirj at rutgers.edu. Learn why this is 
> important <https://aka.ms/LearnAboutSenderIdentification>
> I started off writing there’s really no particular process for 
> these/just do your changes and start the new software (be mindful of 
> any PATH that might contain data that’s under your software tree, if 
> you have that setup), and that you might need to watch the timeouts, 
> but I figured I’d have a look at the upgrade guide to be sure.
> There’s really nothing onerous in there. I’d personally back up my 
> database and state save directories just because I’d rather be safe 
> than sorry, or for if have to go backwards and want to be sure. You 
> can run SlurmCtld for a good while with no database (note that -M on 
> the command line will be broken during that time), just being mindful 
> of the RAM on the SlurmCtld machine/don’t restart it before the DB is 
> back up, and backing up our fairly large database doesn’t take all 
> that long. Whether or not 5 is required mostly depends on how long you 
> think it will take you to do 6-11 (which could really take you seconds 
> if your process is really as simple as stop, change symlink, start), 
> 12 you’re going to do no matter what, 13 you don’t need if you skipped 
> 5, and 14 is up to you. So practically, that’s what you’re going to do 
> anyway.
> We just did an upgrade last week, and the only difference is that our 
> compute nodes are stateless, so the compute node upgrades were a 
> reboot (we could upgrade them running, but we did it during a 
> maintenance period anyway, so why?).
> If you want to do this with running jobs, I’d definitely back up the 
> state save directory, but as long as you watch the timeouts, it’s 
> pretty uneventful. You won’t have that long database upgrade period, 
> since no database modifications will be required, so it’s pretty much 
> like upgrading anything else.
> --
> #BlackLivesMatter
> ____
> || \\UTGERS, |---------------------------*O*---------------------------
> ||_// the State |         Ryan Novosielski - novosirj at rutgers.edu
> || \\ University | Sr. Technologist - 973/972.0922 (2x0922) ~*~ 
> RBHS Campus
> ||  \\    of NJ | Office of Advanced Research Computing - MSB 
> A555B, Newark
>      `'
>> On Sep 28, 2023, at 11:58, Groner, Rob <rug262 at psu.edu> wrote:
>> There's 14 steps to upgrading slurm listed on their website, 
>> including shutting down and backing up the database.  So far we've 
>> only updated slurm during a downtime, and it's been a major version 
>> change, so we've taken all the steps indicated.
>> We now want to upgrade from 23.02.4 to 23.02.5.
>> Our slurm builds end up in version named directories, and we tell 
>> production which one to use via symlink.  Changing the symlink will 
>> automatically change it on our slurm controller node and all slurmd 
>> nodes.
>> Is there an expedited, simple, slimmed down upgrade path to follow if 
>> we're looking at just a . level upgrade?
>> Rob
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