[Mesa-dev] [Intel-gfx] gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Andreas Bergmeier abergmeier at gmx.net
Sat Apr 4 13:55:30 UTC 2020

The problem of data transfer costs is not new in Cloud environments. At
work we usually just opt for paying for it since dev time is scarser. For
private projects though, I opt for aggressive (remote) caching.
So you can setup a global cache in Google Cloud Storage and more local
caches wherever your executors are (reduces egress as much as possible).
This setup works great with Bazel and Pants among others. Note that these
systems are pretty hermetic in contrast to Meson.
IIRC Eric by now works at Google. They internally use Blaze which AFAIK
does aggressive caching, too.
So maybe using any of these systems would be a way of not having to
sacrifice any of the current functionality.
Downside is that you have lower a bit of dev productivity since you cannot
eyeball your build definitions anymore.


On Fri, 28 Feb 2020 at 20:34, Eric Anholt <eric at anholt.net> wrote:

> On Fri, Feb 28, 2020 at 12:48 AM Dave Airlie <airlied at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > On Fri, 28 Feb 2020 at 18:18, Daniel Stone <daniel at fooishbar.org> wrote:
> > >
> > > On Fri, 28 Feb 2020 at 03:38, Dave Airlie <airlied at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > > b) we probably need to take a large step back here.
> > > >
> > > > Look at this from a sponsor POV, why would I give X.org/fd.o
> > > > sponsorship money that they are just giving straight to google to pay
> > > > for hosting credits? Google are profiting in some minor way from
> these
> > > > hosting credits being bought by us, and I assume we aren't getting
> any
> > > > sort of discounts here. Having google sponsor the credits costs
> google
> > > > substantially less than having any other company give us money to do
> > > > it.
> > >
> > > The last I looked, Google GCP / Amazon AWS / Azure were all pretty
> > > comparable in terms of what you get and what you pay for them.
> > > Obviously providers like Packet and Digital Ocean who offer bare-metal
> > > services are cheaper, but then you need to find someone who is going
> > > to properly administer the various machines, install decent
> > > monitoring, make sure that more storage is provisioned when we need
> > > more storage (which is basically all the time), make sure that the
> > > hardware is maintained in decent shape (pretty sure one of the fd.o
> > > machines has had a drive in imminent-failure state for the last few
> > > months), etc.
> > >
> > > Given the size of our service, that's a much better plan (IMO) than
> > > relying on someone who a) isn't an admin by trade, b) has a million
> > > other things to do, and c) hasn't wanted to do it for the past several
> > > years. But as long as that's the resources we have, then we're paying
> > > the cloud tradeoff, where we pay more money in exchange for fewer
> > > problems.
> >
> > Admin for gitlab and CI is a full time role anyways. The system is
> > definitely not self sustaining without time being put in by you and
> > anholt still. If we have $75k to burn on credits, and it was diverted
> > to just pay an admin to admin the real hw + gitlab/CI would that not
> > be a better use of the money? I didn't know if we can afford $75k for
> > an admin, but suddenly we can afford it for gitlab credits?
> As I think about the time that I've spent at google in less than a
> year on trying to keep the lights on for CI and optimize our
> infrastructure in the current cloud environment, that's more than the
> entire yearly budget you're talking about here.  Saying "let's just
> pay for people to do more work instead of paying for full-service
> cloud" is not a cost optimization.
> > > Yes, we could federate everything back out so everyone runs their own
> > > builds and executes those. Tinderbox did something really similar to
> > > that IIRC; not sure if Buildbot does as well. Probably rules out
> > > pre-merge testing, mind.
> >
> > Why? does gitlab not support the model? having builds done in parallel
> > on runners closer to the test runners seems like it should be a thing.
> > I guess artifact transfer would cost less then as a result.
> Let's do some napkin math.  The biggest artifacts cost we have in Mesa
> is probably meson-arm64/meson-arm (60MB zipped from meson-arm64,
> downloaded by 4 freedreno and 6ish lava, about 100 pipelines/day,
> makes ~1.8TB/month ($180 or so).  We could build a local storage next
> to the lava dispatcher so that the artifacts didn't have to contain
> the rootfs that came from the container (~2/3 of the insides of the
> zip file), but that's another service to build and maintain.  Building
> the drivers once locally and storing it would save downloading the
> other ~1/3 of the inside of the zip file, but that requires a big
> enough system to do builds in time.
> I'm planning on doing a local filestore for google's lava lab, since I
> need to be able to move our xml files off of the lava DUTs to get the
> xml results we've become accustomed to, but this would not bubble up
> to being a priority for my time if I wasn't doing it anyway.  If it
> takes me a single day to set all this up (I estimate a couple of
> weeks), that costs my employer a lot more than sponsoring the costs of
> the inefficiencies of the system that has accumulated.
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