How Dask-MPI Works

Dask-MPI works by using the mpi4py package and using MPI to selectively run different code on different MPI ranks. Hence, like any other application of the mpi4py package, it requires creating the appropriate MPI environment through the running of the mpirun or mpiexec commands.

mpirun -np 8 dask-mpi --no-nannies --scheduler-file ~/scheduler.json


mpirun -np 8 python

Using the Dask-MPI CLI

By convention, Dask-MPI always launches the Scheduler on MPI rank 0. When using the CLI (dask-mpi), Dask-MPI launches the Workers (or Nannies and Workers) on the remaining MPI ranks (MPI ranks 1 and above). On each MPI rank, a tornado event loop is started after the Scheduler and Workers are created. These event loops continue until a kill signal is sent to one of the MPI processes, and then the entire Dask cluster (all MPI ranks) is shut down.

When using the --no-scheduler option of the Dask-MPI CLI, more workers can be added to an existing Dask cluster. Since these two runs will be in separate mpirun or mpiexec executions, they will only be tied to each other through the scheduler. If a worker in the new cluster crashes and takes down the entire MPI environment, it will not have anything to do with the first (original) Dask cluster. Similarly, if the first cluster is taken down, the new workers will wait for the Scheduler to reactivate so they can re-connect.

Using the Dask-MPI API

Again, Dask-MPI always launches the Scheduler on MPI rank 0. When using the initialize() method, Dask-MPI runs the Client script on MPI rank 1 and launches the Workers on the remaining MPI ranks (MPI ranks 2 and above). The Dask Scheduler and Workers start their tornado event loops once they are created on their given MPI ranks, and these event loops run until the Client process (MPI rank 1) sends the termination signal to the Scheduler. Once the Scheduler receives the termination signal, it will shut down the Workers, too.