28/Flux Resource Acquisition Protocol Version 1

This specification describes the Flux service that schedulers use to acquire exclusive access to resources and monitor their ongoing availability.

  • Name: github.com/flux-framework/rfc/spec_28.rst

  • Editor: Jim Garlick <garlick@llnl.gov>

  • State: raw


The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and “OPTIONAL” in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.


A Flux instance manages a set of resources. This resource set may be obtained from a configuration file, dynamically discovered, or assigned by the enclosing instance. Resources may be excluded from scheduling by configuration, made unavailable temporarily by administrative control, or fail unexpectedly. The resource acquisition protocol allows the scheduler to track the set of resources available for scheduling and monitor ongoing availability, without dealing directly with these details, which are managed by the flux-core resource module.

Version 1 of this protocol maps chunks of resources to integer execution targets, and reports availability at the target level. All resources are mapped to targets, and all the resources associated with a given target are either up or down as an atomic unit. Execution targets map directly to the rank idset under R_lite in the RFC 20 resource object execution section.

A streaming resource.acquire RPC is offered by the flux-core resource module to the scheduler. The responses to this RPC define the resource set available for scheduling, and mark targets up or down as availability changes.

Version 1 of this protocol supports a static resource set per Flux instance. Resource grow and shrink are to be handled by a future protocol revision.

Design Criteria

  • Provide resource discovery service to scheduler implementations.

  • Allow the scheduler to determine satisfiability of resource requests independent of resource availability.

  • Support monitoring of available execution targets.

  • Support administrative drain of execution targets.

  • Support administrative exclusion of execution targets.


The scheduler SHALL send a resource.acquire streaming RPC request at initialization to obtain resources to be used for scheduling and monitor changes in status.

Acquire Request

The resource.acquire request has no payload.

Initial Acquire Response

The initial resource.acquire response SHALL include the following keys:


(object) RFC 20 (R version 1) resource object that contains the full resource inventory, less execution targets excluded by configuration. The scheduler MAY use this set to determine the general satisfiability of job requests.


(string) RFC 22 idset of execution targets in resources that are initially available. The scheduler SHALL only allocate the resources associated with an execution target to jobs if the target is up.


   "resources": {
     "version": 1,
     "execution": {
       "R_lite": [
           "rank": "0-5",
           "children": {
             "core": "0-5",
             "gpu": "0"
       "starttime": 0,
       "expiration": 0,
       "nodelist": [
   "up": "0-2"

Additional Acquire Responses

Subsequent resource.acquire responses SHALL include one or more of the following OPTIONAL keys:


(string) RFC 22 idset of execution targets that should be marked available for scheduling. The idset only contains targets that are transitioning, not the full set of available targets.


(string) RFC 22 idset of execution targets that should be marked unavailable for scheduling. The idset only contains targets that are transitioning, not the full set of unavailable targets.


   "up": "3-6",
   "down": "2"

If down resources are assigned to a job, the scheduler SHALL NOT raise an exception on the job. The execution system takes the active role in handling failures in this case. Eventually the scheduler will receive a sched.free request for the offline resources.


down encompasses both crashed and drained execution targets. The scheduler handles both cases the same, so they are not differentiated in the protocol.

Error Response

If an error response is returned to resource.acquire, the scheduler should log the error and exit the reactor, as failure indicates either a catastrophic error, a failure to acquire any resources, or a failure to conform to this protocol.

Disconnect Request

If the scheduler is unloaded, a disconnect request is automatically sent to the flux-core resource module. This cancels the resource.acquire request and makes resources available for re-acquisition.

Running jobs are unaffected.


This behavior on disconnect is intended to support reloading the scheduler on a live system without impacting the running workload.

Since resources may remain allocated to jobs after a disconnect, it is presumed that re-acquisition of resources will be accompanied by a job-manager.hello request, as described in RFC 27, to rediscover these allocations.