How to enable accounting for jobs submitted with BOINC

  • It should be straightforward to create APEL accounting records from BOINC accounting information (maybe just summaries?) and send them off to APEL.
  • It would probably involve an agent asking BOINC for accounting info and then creating the APEL records every so often.
  • The APEL EGI documentation does describe how it works.
  • It is also possible to adapt APEL package to add a new parser parsing BOINC job logs on worker nodes.
    • An APEL client specific for BOINC job accounting can be setup, if necessary
    • Since BOINC job logs are on the worker nodes, the parser needs to be run on each worker node

An adaptation of APEL parser to handle BOINC job logs

An example BOINC job log line

To begin with, here is a log line from the BOINC job log file on a worker node;

1581252044 ue 5362.095746 ct 19643.120000 fe 43200000000000 nm VKdLDmsflKwnsSi4apGgGQJmABFKDmABFKDm1VzYDmABFKDm0ySwQm_0 et 5922.558134 es 0
which was written by the following boinc code
    fprintf(f, "%.0f ue %f ct %f fe %.0f nm %s et %f es %d\n",, estimated_runtime_uncorrected(), final_cpu_time,
        wup->rsc_fpops_est, name, final_elapsed_time,

The information that we can use from the above log are the fields 0, 4, 8,and 10 which will be set as endTime, cpuTime, jobName and elapsedTime, respectively.

Records to be filled by the parser

There are two types of parses in APEL. One is to parse job logs and fill EventRecord, the other is to parse accounting logs (blah logs) and fill BlahdRecord. apelparser does insert or replace collected records to corresponding DB tables. Here are contents of the records to be filled by the parsers.

EventRecord BlahdRecord
Site Site
MachineName CE
Infrastructure GlobalUserName
JobName LrmsId
LocalUserID GlobalJobId
LocalUserGroup VO
CpuDuration VOGroup
WallDuration VORole
StartTime FQAN
StopTime TimeStamp
MemoryReal ValidFrom
MemoryVirtual ValidUntil
Processors Processed

The fields in bold italic fonts are mandatory according to APEL/MessageFormat.

Since BOINC job log contains very limited information just enough to fill the mandatory fields, many other non-mandory but essential fields must be filled with some kinds of conventions.

Mandatory fields for site accounting

The following mandatory fields essential for site accounting can be filled with values from BOINC job logs.

Field Value
Site site name
StartTime endTime - elapsedTime
StopTime endTime
CpuDuration cpuTime
WallDuration cpuTime

Some fields also can be set easily with values from job logs, and other fields can be filled with arbitrary values as described in following sections.

A note about WallDuration, Processors and NodeCount

According to "Definitiopn of the Compute Accounting Record", WallDuration is the elapsed time regardless of number of cores, processors, etc. But due to the nature of the BOINC jobs, which run with high nice value, it's not easy to calculate proper estimation of how much system was dedicated to BOINC jobs; certainly, cpuTime * nCores would be an overestimation. An easy way is to use cpuTime as WallDuration and set Processors to 1 or None.

The job runs on a single node, NodeCount can be set to 1 too.

Field Value
WallDuration cpuTime
Processors 1
NodeCount 1

Other essential non-mandatory fields that can be filled with data from job logs

The following fields can be filled with the values on the right column.

Field Value
LocalUserId local user name for boinc jobs (eg, boinc)
TimeStamp endTime
ValidFrom valid_from(endTime)
ValidUntil valid_until(endTime)
Processed Parser.UNPROCESSED

A set of conventions for the other fields

The remaining feilds except for JobName can't be determined by boic job logs itself. Thus they must be set with arbitrary values. Here is a set of conventions used in this adaptation.

1. JobName, LrmsId and GlobalJobId

A boinc job name (jobName) is already a global id so it can be used as GlobalJobId as it is. It can also be used as LocalJobId (which is JobName) but it would be useful to add woker node information to LocalJobId. But JobName is VARCHAR(60) while jobName is 56 chars so it needs to reduce it to combine worker node with it to build LocalJobId.

A simple method is to concatenate worker node name and truncated jobName. If necessary, endTime can be added too to ensure uniqueness of LocalJobId. For example,

  LocalJobId = JobName = shortHostName + '.' + endTime + '.' + jobName[:N]

Note that LrmsId and JobName must be the same for the same job so the same naming convention must be applied to LrmsId.

2. MachineName and CE

EventRecord.MachineName and BlahdRecord.CE become MachineName and SubmitHost in job messages to be sent to APEL server, respectively. MachineName seems not being used anywhere so it can be named arbitrarily.

SumitHost is used in grouping jobs to normalize their cpu and wall times with given spec values. Even though it's possible to use one of existing submit host names for CE, it would be better to define a new submit host name for BOINC jobs. Its spec type and spec value can be configured in client.cfg file.

A simple solution is to use the name of the APEL client node publishing BOINC accounting messages to APEL server. For example,

3. Infrastructure

According to APEL/MessageFormat wiki, it is <accounting client>-<CE type>-<batch system type>. CE and batch system types for BOINC jobs are not well-defined so we may assign arbitrary type names, for example,


Configuration of the above fields

Values of the above fields can be configured in config files; boinc-acc.cfg, parser.cfg and client.cfg.

  • <boinc-acc.cfg>
        # name to be used in <client.cfg>
        #   [spec_updater]
        #   manual_specX=<ce>,<spec_type>,<spec_value>
        ce = 
        # submitter of the jobs
        #  note : setting 'dn' to 'null' or 'none' as described in <APEL/MessageFormat>
        #         raises the following error:
        #dn=null  -->  Error loading records: (1048, "Column 'name' cannot be null")
        dn = <host_dn>
        fqan = /atlas/Role=NULL/Capability=NULL
        local_user_id = boinc
        #local_user_group =

  • <parser.cfg>
        site_name = <site>
        lrms_server = <boinc_ce_name>
        dir = /var/log/apel/accounting
        filename_prefix = boinc_blahp.log
        type = BOINC
        dir = /var/log/apel/accounting
        filename_prefix = boinc_jobs_logs.txt

  • <client.cfg>
        site_name = <site>
        manual_spec1 = <boinc_ce_name>,<spec_type>,<spec_level>

To make it simple, <boinc-acc.cfg/blah/ce> is used for both <parser.cfg/site_info/lrms_server> and <client.cfg/spec_updater/manual_spec1>.

Feilds left undefined

The following non-mandatory fields are left undefined in this adaptation

  • EventRecord
    • LocalUserGroup
    • MamoryReal
    • MemoryVirtual

  • BlahdRecord
    • GlobalUserName

An implementation of the above adaptation

An implementation of the above adaptation can be found at here.

Example configuration files, boinc-acc.cfg, parser-boinc.cfg and client-boinf.cfg, can be found under conf dir.

Once all the parsed log results are loaded to DB on the APEL client, apelclient will combine them to create job records and send relevant accounting messages to the APEL server. It is recommended to send summary messages instead of individual job messages.

Example messages generated by apelclient with the above configuration

An individual job message

  APEL-individual-job-message: v0.3
  Queue: None
  LocalJobId: wns0010.077NDmViIGwnsSi4apGg
  LocalUserId: boinc
  GlobalUserName: <host_dn>
  FQAN: /atlas/Role=NULL/Capability=NULL
  VO: atlas
  VOGroup: /atlas
  VORole: Role=NULL
  WallDuration: 23341
  CpuDuration: 23341
  Processors: 1
  NodeCount: 1
  StartTime: 1580216440
  EndTime: 1580224397
  InfrastructureDescription: APEL-BOINC-BOINC
  InfrastructureType: grid
  MemoryReal: None
  MemoryVirtual: None
  ServiceLevelType: HEPSPEC
  ServiceLevel: 21.69

A summary message

  APEL-summary-job-message: v0.2
  Month: 1
  Year: 2020
  GlobalUserName: <host_dn>
  VO: atlas
  VOGroup: /atlas
  VORole: Role=NULL
  InfrastructureType: grid
  ServiceLevelType: HEPSPEC
  ServiceLevel: 21.690
  NodeCount: 1
  Processors: 1
  EarliestEndTime: 1578565351
  LatestEndTime: 1580508691
  WallDuration: 4021949
  CpuDuration: 4021949
  NumberOfJobs: 176

Note that the above record is only for a single worker node that a new parser was tested.

Standalone application

It is possible to write a standalone version independent of APEL package.

-- JuliaAndreeva - 2018-07-05

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Topic revision: r5 - 2020-03-31 - YunHaShin
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