Monday, September 26, 2011

Stacks and stacks of PandaBoards

If you watch our scheduler at you may have noticed that even though we are increasing the number of continuous integration tests for Android and Linux kernel, the jobs are clearing out much more quickly in the past few days.  We've added infrastructure and boards and now have 24 PandaBoards in the Linaro Validation Farm!  We've also updated our rack design to more efficiently pack a lot more boards into less space, while keeping them accessible and serviceable.  Here'a picture Dave sent me, showing a bit of what he's put in place there.

We did hit a bit of a snag with one thing, and I anticipated this would be an issue quite a ways back.  We use linaro-media-create to construct the images in the same way anyone else using Linaro images would construct them, but running 30 of these in parallel will pretty much drag the server down to a crawl.  I did some quick tests of multiple processes running linaro-media-create locally and the completion time for every l-m-c process running in parallel increases significantly for each new process you add.  Combine this with lots of boards, lots of jobs, and other IO such as database hits, and it can take hours to complete just the image creation, which should only take minutes.  The long term solution is that we are looking at things like celery to distribute big tasks out to other systems.  In the short term, simply serializing the l-m-c processes results in a significant performance increase for all the jobs

1 comment:

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