IBM Virtual Private Cloud

The IBM VPC client of Lithops can provide a truely serverless user experience on top of IBM VPC where Lithops creates new VSIs (Virtual Server Instance) dynamically in runtime, and scale Lithops jobs against them. Alternatively Lithops can start and stop an existing VSI instances.

Note that IBM VPC is a standalone backend, and as such, you can configure extra parameters in the ‘standalone’ section of the configuration:

Group

Key

Default

Mandatory

Additional info

standalone

runtime

python3

no

Runtime name to run the functions. Can be a Docker image name

standalone

auto_dismantle

True

no

If False then the VM is not stopped automatically.

standalone

soft_dismantle_timeout

300

no

Time in seconds to stop the VM instance after a job completed its execution

standalone

hard_dismantle_timeout

3600

no

Time in seconds to stop the VM instance after a job started its execution

standalone

exec_mode

consume

no

One of: consume, create or reuse. If set to create, Lithops will automatically create new VMs for each map() call based on the number of elements in iterdata. If set to reuse will try to reuse running workers if exist

standalone

pull_runtime

False

no

If set to True, Lithops will execute the command docker pull <runtime_name> in each VSI before executing the a job (in case of using a docker runtime)

standalone

workers_policy

permissive

no

One of: permissive, strict. If set to strict will force creation of required workers number

IBM VPC

The assumption that you already familiar with IBM Cloud, have your IBM IAM API key created (you can create new keys here), have valid IBM COS account, region and resource group.

Follow IBM VPC setup if you need to create IBM Virtual Private Cloud. Decide the region for your VPC. The best practice is to use the same region both for VPC and IBM COS, hoewever there is no requirement to keep them in the same region.

Minimum setup requirements

  1. Create new VPC if you don’t have one already. More details here

  2. Create new subnet with public gateway and IP range and total count. More details here

  3. Create new access contol list. More details here

  4. Create security group for your resource group. More details here

  5. Create a SSH key in IBM VPC SSH keys UI

Choose an operating system image for VSI

Any Virtual Service Instance (VSI) need to define the instance’s operating system and version. Lithops support both standard operting system choices provided by the VPC or using pre-defined custom images that already contains all dependencies required by Lithops.

  • Option 1: By default, Lithops uses an Ubuntu 20.04 image. In this case, no further action is required and you can continue to the next step. Lithops will install all required dependencies in the VSI by itself. Notice this can consume about 3 min to complete all installations.

  • Option 2: Alternatively, you can use a pre-built custom image that will greatly improve VSI creation time for Lithops jobs. To benefit from this approach, navigate to runtime/ibm_vpc, and follow the instructions.

Lithops and the VSI auto create mode

In this mode, Lithops will automatically create new worker VM instances in runtime, scale Lithops job against generated VMs, and automatically delete VMs when the job is completed.

Lithops configuration for the auto create mode

Edit your lithops config and add the relevant keys:

lithops:
    backend: ibm_vpc

ibm:
    iam_api_key: <iam-api-key>

standalone:
    exec_mode: create

ibm_vpc:
    endpoint: <REGION_ENDPOINT>
    vpc_id: <VPC_ID>
    resource_group_id: <RESOURCE_GROUP_ID>
    security_group_id: <SECURITY_GROUP_ID>
    subnet_id: <SUBNET_ID>
    key_id: <PUBLIC_KEY_ID>

The fastest way to find all the required keys for ibm_vpc section as follows:

  1. Login to IBM Cloud and open up your dashboard.

  2. Navigate to your IBM VPC create instance.

  3. On the left, fill all the parameters required for your new VM instance creation: name, resource group, location, ssh key, vpc. Choose either Ubuntu 20.04 VSI standard image or choose your custom image from the previous step

  4. On the right, click Get sample API call.

  5. Copy to clipboard the code from the REST request: Creating a virtual server instance dialog and paste to your favorite editor.

  6. Close the Create instance window without creating it.

  7. In the code, find security_groups section and paste its id value to the .lithops_config ibm_vpc section security_group_id key.

  8. Find subnet section and paste its id value to the .lithops_config ibm_vpc section subnet_id key.

  9. Find keys section and paste its id value to the .lithops_config ibm_vpc section key_id key.

  10. Find resource_group section and paste its id value to the .lithops_config ibm_vpc section resource_group_id key.

  11. Find vpc section and paste its id value to the .lithops_config ibm_vpc section vpc_id key.

Verify auto create mode with Lithops

To verify auto create mode is working, use the following example

iterdata = [1, 2, 3, 4]

def my_map_function(x):
    return x + 7

if __name__ == '__main__':
    fexec = lithops.FunctionExecutor()
    fexec.map(my_map_function, iterdata)
    print(fexec.get_result())

This will create 4 different VM instance and execute my_map_function in the each of created VM. Upon completion, Lithops will delete the VMs.

Important information

  1. The first time you use Lithops with specific runtime, Lithops will try generate and obtain runtime metadata. For this purpose Lithops will create a VM, extract specific metadata and delete VM. All further executions against same runtime will skip this step as runtime metadata will be cached both locally and in IBM COS.

  2. In certain cases where ssh access details are wrong, Lithops might fail to ssh into created VM from the previous step. In this case, fix the ssh access credentials, navigate into dashboard of IBM VPC and manually delete the VM and floating IP associated with it.

  3. The first time you deplopy Lithops job in the auto create mode it is advised to navigate to dashboard of IBM VPC and verify that VM is being created and deleted.

  4. If running Lithops over Gen2 fails with error message that decode() in pyJWT need algorithms then please make sure pyJWT is version 1.7.1 installed. If needed execute pip install -U PyJWT==1.7.1

Summary of the configuration keys for the create mode

Group

Key

Default

Mandatory

Additional info

ibm_vpc

endpoint

yes

Endpoint of your subnet region

ibm_vpc

vpc_id

yes

VPC id

ibm_vpc

resource_group_id

yes

Resource group id

ibm_vpc

security_group_id

yes

Security group id

ibm_vpc

subnet_id

yes

Subnet id

ibm_vpc

key_id

yes

Ssh public key id

ibm_vpc

ssh_username

root

no

Username to access the VPC

ibm_vpc

ssh_password

no

Password for accessing the worker VMs. If not provided, it is created randomly

ibm_vpc

ssh_key_filename

no

Path to the ssh key file provided to access the VPC. It will use the default path if not provided

ibm_vpc

image_id

no

Virtual machine image id

ibm_vpc

boot_volume_profile

general-purpose

no

Virtual machine boot volume profile

ibm_vpc

boot_volume_capacity

100

no

Virtual machine boot volume capacity in GB

ibm_vpc

profile_name

cx2-2x4

no

Profile name for the worker VMs

ibm_vpc

master_profile_name

cx2-2x4

no

Profile name for the master VM

ibm_vpc

delete_on_dismantle

True

no

Delete the worekr VMs when they are stopped

ibm_vpc

max_workers

100

no

Max number of workers per FunctionExecutor()

ibm_vpc

worker_processes

2

no

Number of Lithops processes within a given worker. This can be used to parallelize function activations within a worker. It is recommendable to set this value to the same number of CPUs of a worker VM.

ibm_vpc

singlesocket

False

no

Try to allocate workers with single socket CPU. If eventually running on multiple socket, a warning message printed to user. Is True standalone workers_policy must be set to strict to trace workers states

Lithops and the VSI consume mode

In this mode, Lithops can start and stop an existing VM, and deploy an entire job to that VM. The partition logic in this scenario is different from the auto create mode, since entire job executed in the same VM.

Lithops configuration for the consume mode

Edit your lithops config and add the relevant keys:

lithops:
   backend: ibm_vpc

ibm:
   iam_api_key: <iam-api-key>

ibm_vpc:
   endpoint   : <REGION_ENDPOINT>
   instance_id : <INSTANCE ID OF THE VM>
   ip_address  : <FLOATING IP ADDRESS OF THE VM>

If you need to create new VM, then follow the steps to create and update Lithops configuration:

  1. Create an Ubuntu 20.04 virtual server instance (VSI) in IBM VPC virtual server instances UI with CPUs and RAM needed for your application.

  2. Reserve and associate a floating IP address in IBM VPC floating IPs UI to be used for the virtual server instance.

  3. Get the floating IP address of your virtual server instance which can be found here.

  4. Get the endpoint of your subnet region, endpoint URLs list can be found here.

  5. Get the virtual server instance ID by selecting on your instance in IBM VPC virtual server instances UI and then extracting from the instance’s details.

Summary of the configuration keys for the consume mode

Group

Key

Default

Mandatory

Additional info

ibm_vpc

endpoint

yes

Endpoint of your subnet region

ibm_vpc

instance_id

yes

virtual server instance ID

ibm_vpc

ip_address

yes

Floatting IP address atached to your Vm instance

ibm_vpc

ssh_key_filename

no

Path to the ssh key file provided to create the VM. It will use the default path if not provided

ibm_vpc

worker_processes

2

no

Number of Lithops processes within a given worker. This can be used to parallelize function activations within a worker. It is recommendable to set this value to the same number of CPUs of the VM.

Viewing the execution logs

You can view the function executions logs in your local machine using the lithops client:

$ lithops logs poll

The master and worker VMs contains the Lithops service logs in /tmp/lithops/service.log

You can login to the master VM and get a live ssh connection with:

lithops attach -b ibm_vpc