Spot ML
Typical workflow

Step 0: Setup AWS credentials (one time)

SpotML uses your AWS credentials to manage the runs for you. You can verify that you have the credentials setup if you see the contents of ~/.aws/credentials to be something like below.
aws_access_key_id = your_aws_access_key_id
aws_secret_access_key = your_aws_secret_access_key
Secondly, the above access key IAM user needs to have the permissions to create all the aws resources.
If you are new to AWS, configure your aws cli by going through this setup guide.

Step 1: Install spotml cli (one time)

pip install spotml --upgrade

Step 2: Configure spotml.yaml

  1. 1.
    First, copy-paste below file in your code root folder.
name: mnist
- exclude:
- .git/*
- .idea/*
- '*/__pycache__/*'
projectDir: /workspace/project
image: tensorflow/tensorflow:latest-py3
- name: workspace
mountPath: /workspace
PYTHONPATH: /workspace/project
# tensorboard
- containerPort: 6006
hostPort: 6006
# jupyter
- containerPort: 8888
hostPort: 8888
- name: aws-1
provider: aws
region: us-east-1
instanceType: t2.large
spotStrategy: on-demand
ports: [6006, 6007, 8888]
rootVolumeSize: 125
- name: workspace
size: 50
train: |
tensorboard: |
tensorboard --port 6006 --logdir results/
jupyter: |
CUDA_VISIBLE_DEVICES="" jupyter notebook --allow-root --ip
2. Change the instanceType to the aws instance you want to run the code on.
instanceType: t2.large
spotStrategy: on-demand

Step 3: Create a Docker file (optional)

In the above spotml.yaml notice that we've used a docker image directly.
image: tensorflow/tensorflow:latest-py3
But if you want to configure a custom docker container, you can write your own Dockerfile. See example setup here.

Step 4: Start an instance

spotml start
This will automatically do the following for you:
  • Syncs your source code folder to S3
  • Launch your instance (on-demand or spot instance)
  • Create a persistent EBS volume and attach it to the above instance.
  • Setup your docker environment inside the AWS instance
  • Pulls the code/data from S3 to the EBS volume attached to the instance
The resources created in your AWS account(EBS Volume, EC2 instance, S3 Bucket, Security Groups, etc.) will all have the prefix spotml.
You should see an output like below once the instance is launched.

Step 5: SSH into the instance

spotml sh
You should see a screen like below. Notice that your source code is already synced into the instance.
You can now run your training command here to kick start a manual training.

Step 6: Schedule a managed run (optional)

If you have a long running training jobs that you only want to run on spot instances, it's a pain to manage them manually.
  1. 1.
    Configure your script section in spotml.yaml file to the command you want
train: |
2. Change the spotStrategy to on-demand
spotStrategy: on-demand
3. Then type below command to let SpotML automatically manage the run.
spotml run train
If the instance is not already running, spotML tries to spawn a new spot instance and runs the above script once the instance is ready.
Note that if a spot instance is not available, spotML backend service keeps trying every 15 mins, until it can spawn the instance. So you can turn off your laptop and do other things, while SpotML tries to schedule the run.
If you intend to cancel the scheduled run, type
spotml manage stop

Step 7: Check run status (optional)

You can check the status of the instance, and the run with the below command.
spotml status
To also check any logs generated when starting the instance type:
spotml status --logs
Once you see the run status as RUNNING from the status command you can ssh into the actual run session by typing
spotml sh run
This opens the tmux session where spotML ran the train command.
You can also just ssh into a separate normal ssh session by typing spotml sh as before for an interactive session.