gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

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gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Daniel Vetter
Hi all,

You might have read the short take in the X.org board meeting minutes
already, here's the long version.

The good news: gitlab.fd.o has become very popular with our
communities, and is used extensively. This especially includes all the
CI integration. Modern development process and tooling, yay!

The bad news: The cost in growth has also been tremendous, and it's
breaking our bank account. With reasonable estimates for continued
growth we're expecting hosting expenses totalling 75k USD this year,
and 90k USD next year. With the current sponsors we've set up we can't
sustain that. We estimate that hosting expenses for gitlab.fd.o
without any of the CI features enabled would total 30k USD, which is
within X.org's ability to support through various sponsorships, mostly
through XDC.

Note that X.org does no longer sponsor any CI runners themselves,
we've stopped that. The huge additional expenses are all just in
storing and serving build artifacts and images to outside CI runners
sponsored by various companies. A related topic is that with the
growth in fd.o it's becoming infeasible to maintain it all on
volunteer admin time. X.org is therefore also looking for admin
sponsorship, at least medium term.

Assuming that we want cash flow reserves for one year of gitlab.fd.o
(without CI support) and a trimmed XDC and assuming no sponsor payment
meanwhile, we'd have to cut CI services somewhere between May and June
this year. The board is of course working on acquiring sponsors, but
filling a shortfall of this magnitude is neither easy nor quick work,
and we therefore decided to give an early warning as soon as possible.
Any help in finding sponsors for fd.o is very much appreciated.

Thanks, Daniel
--
Daniel Vetter
Software Engineer, Intel Corporation
+41 (0) 79 365 57 48 - http://blog.ffwll.ch
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Re: gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Matt Turner
On Thu, Feb 27, 2020 at 1:27 PM Daniel Vetter <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Hi all,
>
> You might have read the short take in the X.org board meeting minutes
> already, here's the long version.
>
> The good news: gitlab.fd.o has become very popular with our
> communities, and is used extensively. This especially includes all the
> CI integration. Modern development process and tooling, yay!
>
> The bad news: The cost in growth has also been tremendous, and it's
> breaking our bank account. With reasonable estimates for continued
> growth we're expecting hosting expenses totalling 75k USD this year,
> and 90k USD next year. With the current sponsors we've set up we can't
> sustain that. We estimate that hosting expenses for gitlab.fd.o
> without any of the CI features enabled would total 30k USD, which is
> within X.org's ability to support through various sponsorships, mostly
> through XDC.
>
> Note that X.org does no longer sponsor any CI runners themselves,
> we've stopped that. The huge additional expenses are all just in
> storing and serving build artifacts and images to outside CI runners
> sponsored by various companies. A related topic is that with the
> growth in fd.o it's becoming infeasible to maintain it all on
> volunteer admin time. X.org is therefore also looking for admin
> sponsorship, at least medium term.
>
> Assuming that we want cash flow reserves for one year of gitlab.fd.o
> (without CI support) and a trimmed XDC and assuming no sponsor payment
> meanwhile, we'd have to cut CI services somewhere between May and June
> this year. The board is of course working on acquiring sponsors, but
> filling a shortfall of this magnitude is neither easy nor quick work,
> and we therefore decided to give an early warning as soon as possible.
> Any help in finding sponsors for fd.o is very much appreciated.

Some clarification I got from Daniel in a private conversation, since
I was confused about what the money was paying for exactly:

We're paying 75K USD for the bandwidth to transfer data from the
GitLab cloud instance. i.e., for viewing the https site, for
cloning/updating git repos, and for downloading CI artifacts/images to
the testing machines (AFAIU).

I was not aware that we were being charged for anything wrt GitLab
hosting yet (and neither was anyone on my team at Intel that I've
asked). This... kind of needs to be communicated.

A consistent concern put forth when we were discussing switching to
GitLab and building CI was... how do we pay for it. It felt like that
concern was always handwaved away. I heard many times that if we
needed more runners that we could just ask Google to spin up a few
more. If we needed testing machines they'd be donated. No one
mentioned that all the while we were paying for bandwidth... Perhaps
people building the CI would make different decisions about its
structure if they knew it was going to wipe out the bank account.

What percentage of the bandwidth is consumed by transferring CI
images, etc? Wouldn't 75K USD would be enough to buy all the testing
machines we need and host them within Google or wherever so we don't
need to pay for huge amounts of bandwidth?

I understand that self-hosting was attractive so that we didn't find
ourselves on the SourceForge-equivalent hosting platform of 2022, but
is that risk real enough to justify spending 75K+ per year? If we were
hosted on gitlab.com or github.com, we wouldn't be paying for
transferring CI images to CI test machines, etc, would we?

So what do we do now? Have we painted ourselves into a corner?
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Re: gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Luc Verhaegen
In reply to this post by Daniel Vetter
On Thu, Feb 27, 2020 at 10:27:04PM +0100, Daniel Vetter wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> You might have read the short take in the X.org board meeting minutes
> already, here's the long version.
>
> The good news: gitlab.fd.o has become very popular with our
> communities, and is used extensively. This especially includes all the
> CI integration. Modern development process and tooling, yay!
>
> The bad news: The cost in growth has also been tremendous, and it's
> breaking our bank account. With reasonable estimates for continued
> growth we're expecting hosting expenses totalling 75k USD this year,
> and 90k USD next year. With the current sponsors we've set up we can't
> sustain that. We estimate that hosting expenses for gitlab.fd.o
> without any of the CI features enabled would total 30k USD, which is
> within X.org's ability to support through various sponsorships, mostly
> through XDC.
>
> Note that X.org does no longer sponsor any CI runners themselves,
> we've stopped that. The huge additional expenses are all just in
> storing and serving build artifacts and images to outside CI runners
> sponsored by various companies. A related topic is that with the
> growth in fd.o it's becoming infeasible to maintain it all on
> volunteer admin time. X.org is therefore also looking for admin
> sponsorship, at least medium term.
>
> Assuming that we want cash flow reserves for one year of gitlab.fd.o
> (without CI support) and a trimmed XDC and assuming no sponsor payment
> meanwhile, we'd have to cut CI services somewhere between May and June
> this year. The board is of course working on acquiring sponsors, but
> filling a shortfall of this magnitude is neither easy nor quick work,
> and we therefore decided to give an early warning as soon as possible.
> Any help in finding sponsors for fd.o is very much appreciated.
>
> Thanks, Daniel

So this cost is all about fd.o?

I feel that this was not communicated to x.org members at all, when fd.o
"merging" was suggested. In as far as this was a merge.

Luc Verhaegen.
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Re: gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman)
In reply to this post by Daniel Vetter
On Thu, 27 Feb 2020 22:27:04 +0100 Daniel Vetter <[hidden email]> said:

Might I suggest that given the kind of expenses detailed here, literally buying
1 - 4 reasonably specced boxes and hosting them at OSUOSL would be incredibly
cheaper? (we (enlightenment.org) have been doing so for years on a single
box). We farm out CI to travis via gihub mirrors as it's not considered
an essential core service (unlike mailing lists, git, phabricator whch nwe
still run - we can live without CI for a while and find other ways).

The cost is the odd HDD replacement every few years and maybe every 10y or so a
new box. That's a massively lower cost than you are quoting below.

OSUOSL provide bandwidth, power, rack space etc. for free. They have been
fantastic IMHO and the whole "no fat bills" is awesome and you get a full
system to set up any way you like. You just bring the box. That should drop cost
through the floor. It will require some setup and admin though.

> Hi all,
>
> You might have read the short take in the X.org board meeting minutes
> already, here's the long version.
>
> The good news: gitlab.fd.o has become very popular with our
> communities, and is used extensively. This especially includes all the
> CI integration. Modern development process and tooling, yay!
>
> The bad news: The cost in growth has also been tremendous, and it's
> breaking our bank account. With reasonable estimates for continued
> growth we're expecting hosting expenses totalling 75k USD this year,
> and 90k USD next year. With the current sponsors we've set up we can't
> sustain that. We estimate that hosting expenses for gitlab.fd.o
> without any of the CI features enabled would total 30k USD, which is
> within X.org's ability to support through various sponsorships, mostly
> through XDC.
>
> Note that X.org does no longer sponsor any CI runners themselves,
> we've stopped that. The huge additional expenses are all just in
> storing and serving build artifacts and images to outside CI runners
> sponsored by various companies. A related topic is that with the
> growth in fd.o it's becoming infeasible to maintain it all on
> volunteer admin time. X.org is therefore also looking for admin
> sponsorship, at least medium term.
>
> Assuming that we want cash flow reserves for one year of gitlab.fd.o
> (without CI support) and a trimmed XDC and assuming no sponsor payment
> meanwhile, we'd have to cut CI services somewhere between May and June
> this year. The board is of course working on acquiring sponsors, but
> filling a shortfall of this magnitude is neither easy nor quick work,
> and we therefore decided to give an early warning as soon as possible.
> Any help in finding sponsors for fd.o is very much appreciated.
>
> Thanks, Daniel
> --
> Daniel Vetter
> Software Engineer, Intel Corporation
> +41 (0) 79 365 57 48 - http://blog.ffwll.ch
> _______________________________________________
> [hidden email]: X.Org development
> Archives: http://lists.x.org/archives/xorg-devel
> Info: https://lists.x.org/mailman/listinfo/xorg-devel
>


--
------------- Codito, ergo sum - "I code, therefore I am" --------------
Carsten Haitzler - [hidden email]

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Re: [Mesa-dev] gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Tom Stellard
In reply to this post by Daniel Vetter
On 02/27/2020 01:27 PM, Daniel Vetter wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> You might have read the short take in the X.org board meeting minutes
> already, here's the long version.
>
> The good news: gitlab.fd.o has become very popular with our
> communities, and is used extensively. This especially includes all the
> CI integration. Modern development process and tooling, yay!
>
> The bad news: The cost in growth has also been tremendous, and it's
> breaking our bank account. With reasonable estimates for continued
> growth we're expecting hosting expenses totalling 75k USD this year,
> and 90k USD next year. With the current sponsors we've set up we can't
> sustain that. We estimate that hosting expenses for gitlab.fd.o
> without any of the CI features enabled would total 30k USD, which is
> within X.org's ability to support through various sponsorships, mostly
> through XDC.
>

Have you looked into applying for free credits from amazon:

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/opensource/aws-promotional-credits-open-source-projects/

-Tom

> Note that X.org does no longer sponsor any CI runners themselves,
> we've stopped that. The huge additional expenses are all just in
> storing and serving build artifacts and images to outside CI runners
> sponsored by various companies. A related topic is that with the
> growth in fd.o it's becoming infeasible to maintain it all on
> volunteer admin time. X.org is therefore also looking for admin
> sponsorship, at least medium term.
>
> Assuming that we want cash flow reserves for one year of gitlab.fd.o
> (without CI support) and a trimmed XDC and assuming no sponsor payment
> meanwhile, we'd have to cut CI services somewhere between May and June
> this year. The board is of course working on acquiring sponsors, but
> filling a shortfall of this magnitude is neither easy nor quick work,
> and we therefore decided to give an early warning as soon as possible.
> Any help in finding sponsors for fd.o is very much appreciated.
>
> Thanks, Daniel
>

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Re: [Mesa-dev] gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Tom Stellard
On 02/27/2020 05:00 PM, Tom Stellard wrote:

> On 02/27/2020 01:27 PM, Daniel Vetter wrote:
>> Hi all,
>>
>> You might have read the short take in the X.org board meeting minutes
>> already, here's the long version.
>>
>> The good news: gitlab.fd.o has become very popular with our
>> communities, and is used extensively. This especially includes all the
>> CI integration. Modern development process and tooling, yay!
>>
>> The bad news: The cost in growth has also been tremendous, and it's
>> breaking our bank account. With reasonable estimates for continued
>> growth we're expecting hosting expenses totalling 75k USD this year,
>> and 90k USD next year. With the current sponsors we've set up we can't
>> sustain that. We estimate that hosting expenses for gitlab.fd.o
>> without any of the CI features enabled would total 30k USD, which is
>> within X.org's ability to support through various sponsorships, mostly
>> through XDC.
>>
>
> Have you looked into applying for free credits from amazon:
>
> https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/opensource/aws-promotional-credits-open-source-projects/
>

Also fastly provides free CDN services to some Open Source projects:

https://www.fastly.com/open-source?utm_medium=social&utm_source=t.co&utm_campaign=FY17Q4_WebPage_OpenSource

It might also be worth looking into if the main costs are
coming from data transfers.

-Tom

> -Tom
>
>> Note that X.org does no longer sponsor any CI runners themselves,
>> we've stopped that. The huge additional expenses are all just in
>> storing and serving build artifacts and images to outside CI runners
>> sponsored by various companies. A related topic is that with the
>> growth in fd.o it's becoming infeasible to maintain it all on
>> volunteer admin time. X.org is therefore also looking for admin
>> sponsorship, at least medium term.
>>
>> Assuming that we want cash flow reserves for one year of gitlab.fd.o
>> (without CI support) and a trimmed XDC and assuming no sponsor payment
>> meanwhile, we'd have to cut CI services somewhere between May and June
>> this year. The board is of course working on acquiring sponsors, but
>> filling a shortfall of this magnitude is neither easy nor quick work,
>> and we therefore decided to give an early warning as soon as possible.
>> Any help in finding sponsors for fd.o is very much appreciated.
>>
>> Thanks, Daniel
>>
>
> _______________________________________________
> mesa-dev mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.freedesktop.org/mailman/listinfo/mesa-dev
>

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Re: [Intel-gfx] gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Dave Airlie
In reply to this post by Daniel Vetter
On Fri, 28 Feb 2020 at 07:27, Daniel Vetter <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Hi all,
>
> You might have read the short take in the X.org board meeting minutes
> already, here's the long version.
>
> The good news: gitlab.fd.o has become very popular with our
> communities, and is used extensively. This especially includes all the
> CI integration. Modern development process and tooling, yay!
>
> The bad news: The cost in growth has also been tremendous, and it's
> breaking our bank account. With reasonable estimates for continued
> growth we're expecting hosting expenses totalling 75k USD this year,
> and 90k USD next year. With the current sponsors we've set up we can't
> sustain that. We estimate that hosting expenses for gitlab.fd.o
> without any of the CI features enabled would total 30k USD, which is
> within X.org's ability to support through various sponsorships, mostly
> through XDC.
>
> Note that X.org does no longer sponsor any CI runners themselves,
> we've stopped that. The huge additional expenses are all just in
> storing and serving build artifacts and images to outside CI runners
> sponsored by various companies. A related topic is that with the
> growth in fd.o it's becoming infeasible to maintain it all on
> volunteer admin time. X.org is therefore also looking for admin
> sponsorship, at least medium term.
>
> Assuming that we want cash flow reserves for one year of gitlab.fd.o
> (without CI support) and a trimmed XDC and assuming no sponsor payment
> meanwhile, we'd have to cut CI services somewhere between May and June
> this year. The board is of course working on acquiring sponsors, but
> filling a shortfall of this magnitude is neither easy nor quick work,
> and we therefore decided to give an early warning as soon as possible.
> Any help in finding sponsors for fd.o is very much appreciated.

a) Ouch.

b) we probably need to take a large step back here.

Look at this from a sponsor POV, why would I give X.org/fd.o
sponsorship money that they are just giving straight to google to pay
for hosting credits? Google are profiting in some minor way from these
hosting credits being bought by us, and I assume we aren't getting any
sort of discounts here. Having google sponsor the credits costs google
substantially less than having any other company give us money to do
it.

If our current CI architecture is going to burn this amount of money a
year and we hadn't worked this out in advance of deploying it then I
suggest the system should be taken offline until we work out what a
sustainable system would look like within the budget we have, whether
that be never transferring containers and build artifacts from the
google network, just having local runner/build combos etc.

Dave.
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Re: [Intel-gfx] gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Daniel Vetter
On Fri, Feb 28, 2020 at 4:38 AM Dave Airlie <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On Fri, 28 Feb 2020 at 07:27, Daniel Vetter <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > Hi all,
> >
> > You might have read the short take in the X.org board meeting minutes
> > already, here's the long version.
> >
> > The good news: gitlab.fd.o has become very popular with our
> > communities, and is used extensively. This especially includes all the
> > CI integration. Modern development process and tooling, yay!
> >
> > The bad news: The cost in growth has also been tremendous, and it's
> > breaking our bank account. With reasonable estimates for continued
> > growth we're expecting hosting expenses totalling 75k USD this year,
> > and 90k USD next year. With the current sponsors we've set up we can't
> > sustain that. We estimate that hosting expenses for gitlab.fd.o
> > without any of the CI features enabled would total 30k USD, which is
> > within X.org's ability to support through various sponsorships, mostly
> > through XDC.
> >
> > Note that X.org does no longer sponsor any CI runners themselves,
> > we've stopped that. The huge additional expenses are all just in
> > storing and serving build artifacts and images to outside CI runners
> > sponsored by various companies. A related topic is that with the
> > growth in fd.o it's becoming infeasible to maintain it all on
> > volunteer admin time. X.org is therefore also looking for admin
> > sponsorship, at least medium term.
> >
> > Assuming that we want cash flow reserves for one year of gitlab.fd.o
> > (without CI support) and a trimmed XDC and assuming no sponsor payment
> > meanwhile, we'd have to cut CI services somewhere between May and June
> > this year. The board is of course working on acquiring sponsors, but
> > filling a shortfall of this magnitude is neither easy nor quick work,
> > and we therefore decided to give an early warning as soon as possible.
> > Any help in finding sponsors for fd.o is very much appreciated.
>
> a) Ouch.
>
> b) we probably need to take a large step back here.
>
> Look at this from a sponsor POV, why would I give X.org/fd.o
> sponsorship money that they are just giving straight to google to pay
> for hosting credits? Google are profiting in some minor way from these
> hosting credits being bought by us, and I assume we aren't getting any
> sort of discounts here. Having google sponsor the credits costs google
> substantially less than having any other company give us money to do
> it.
>
> If our current CI architecture is going to burn this amount of money a
> year and we hadn't worked this out in advance of deploying it then I
> suggest the system should be taken offline until we work out what a
> sustainable system would look like within the budget we have, whether
> that be never transferring containers and build artifacts from the
> google network, just having local runner/build combos etc.

Google has sponsored 30k in hosting credits last year, these simply
ran out _much_ faster than anyone planned for. So this is by far not a
free thing for them. Plus there's also other companies sponsoring CI
runners and what not else in equally substantial amounts, plus the
biggest thing, sponsored admin time (more or less officially). So
there's a _lot_ of room for companies like Red Hat to sponsor without
throwing any money in google's revenue stream.

Or it doesn't happen, and then yeah the decision has already been made
to shutter the CI services. So this is also a question of whether we
(as a community and all the companies benefitting from the work done)
really want this, or maybe not quite.
-Daniel
--
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Software Engineer, Intel Corporation
+41 (0) 79 365 57 48 - http://blog.ffwll.ch
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Re: gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Daniel Stone
In reply to this post by Matt Turner
Hi Matt,

On Thu, 27 Feb 2020 at 23:45, Matt Turner <[hidden email]> wrote:
> We're paying 75K USD for the bandwidth to transfer data from the
> GitLab cloud instance. i.e., for viewing the https site, for
> cloning/updating git repos, and for downloading CI artifacts/images to
> the testing machines (AFAIU).

I believe that in January, we had $2082 of network cost (almost
entirely egress; ingress is basically free) and $1750 of cloud-storage
cost (almost all of which was download). That's based on 16TB of
cloud-storage (CI artifacts, container images, file uploads, Git LFS)
egress and 17.9TB of other egress (the web service itself, repo
activity). Projecting that out gives us roughly $45k of network
activity alone, so it looks like this figure is based on a projected
increase of ~50%.

The actual compute capacity is closer to $1150/month.

> I was not aware that we were being charged for anything wrt GitLab
> hosting yet (and neither was anyone on my team at Intel that I've
> asked). This... kind of needs to be communicated.
>
> A consistent concern put forth when we were discussing switching to
> GitLab and building CI was... how do we pay for it. It felt like that
> concern was always handwaved away. I heard many times that if we
> needed more runners that we could just ask Google to spin up a few
> more. If we needed testing machines they'd be donated. No one
> mentioned that all the while we were paying for bandwidth... Perhaps
> people building the CI would make different decisions about its
> structure if they knew it was going to wipe out the bank account.

The original answer is that GitLab themselves offered to sponsor
enough credit on Google Cloud to get us started. They used GCP
themselves so they could assist us (me) in getting bootstrapped, which
was invaluable. After that, Google's open-source program office
offered to sponsor us for $30k/year, which was I believe last April.
Since then the service usage has increased roughly by a factor of 10,
so our 12-month sponsorship is no longer enough to cover 12 months.

> What percentage of the bandwidth is consumed by transferring CI
> images, etc? Wouldn't 75K USD would be enough to buy all the testing
> machines we need and host them within Google or wherever so we don't
> need to pay for huge amounts of bandwidth?

Unless the Google Cloud Platform starts offering DragonBoards, it
wouldn't reduce our bandwidth usage as the corporate network is
treated separately for egress.

Cheers,
Daniel
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Re: [Intel-gfx] gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Daniel Stone
In reply to this post by Dave Airlie
On Fri, 28 Feb 2020 at 03:38, Dave Airlie <[hidden email]> wrote:
> b) we probably need to take a large step back here.
>
> Look at this from a sponsor POV, why would I give X.org/fd.o
> sponsorship money that they are just giving straight to google to pay
> for hosting credits? Google are profiting in some minor way from these
> hosting credits being bought by us, and I assume we aren't getting any
> sort of discounts here. Having google sponsor the credits costs google
> substantially less than having any other company give us money to do
> it.

The last I looked, Google GCP / Amazon AWS / Azure were all pretty
comparable in terms of what you get and what you pay for them.
Obviously providers like Packet and Digital Ocean who offer bare-metal
services are cheaper, but then you need to find someone who is going
to properly administer the various machines, install decent
monitoring, make sure that more storage is provisioned when we need
more storage (which is basically all the time), make sure that the
hardware is maintained in decent shape (pretty sure one of the fd.o
machines has had a drive in imminent-failure state for the last few
months), etc.

Given the size of our service, that's a much better plan (IMO) than
relying on someone who a) isn't an admin by trade, b) has a million
other things to do, and c) hasn't wanted to do it for the past several
years. But as long as that's the resources we have, then we're paying
the cloud tradeoff, where we pay more money in exchange for fewer
problems.

> If our current CI architecture is going to burn this amount of money a
> year and we hadn't worked this out in advance of deploying it then I
> suggest the system should be taken offline until we work out what a
> sustainable system would look like within the budget we have, whether
> that be never transferring containers and build artifacts from the
> google network, just having local runner/build combos etc.

Yes, we could federate everything back out so everyone runs their own
builds and executes those. Tinderbox did something really similar to
that IIRC; not sure if Buildbot does as well. Probably rules out
pre-merge testing, mind.

The reason we hadn't worked everything out in advance of deploying is
because Mesa has had 3993 MRs in the not long over a year since
moving, and a similar number in GStreamer, just taking the two biggest
users. At the start it was 'maybe let's use MRs if you want to but
make sure everything still goes through the list', and now it's
something different. Similarly the CI architecture hasn't been
'designed', so much as that people want to run dEQP and Piglit on
their hardware pre-merge in an open fashion that's actually accessible
to people, and have just done it.

Again, if you want everything to be centrally
designed/approved/monitored/controlled, that's a fine enough idea, and
I'd be happy to support whoever it was who was doing that for all of
fd.o.

Cheers,
Daniel
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Re: [Intel-gfx] gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Dave Airlie
On Fri, 28 Feb 2020 at 18:18, Daniel Stone <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On Fri, 28 Feb 2020 at 03:38, Dave Airlie <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > b) we probably need to take a large step back here.
> >
> > Look at this from a sponsor POV, why would I give X.org/fd.o
> > sponsorship money that they are just giving straight to google to pay
> > for hosting credits? Google are profiting in some minor way from these
> > hosting credits being bought by us, and I assume we aren't getting any
> > sort of discounts here. Having google sponsor the credits costs google
> > substantially less than having any other company give us money to do
> > it.
>
> The last I looked, Google GCP / Amazon AWS / Azure were all pretty
> comparable in terms of what you get and what you pay for them.
> Obviously providers like Packet and Digital Ocean who offer bare-metal
> services are cheaper, but then you need to find someone who is going
> to properly administer the various machines, install decent
> monitoring, make sure that more storage is provisioned when we need
> more storage (which is basically all the time), make sure that the
> hardware is maintained in decent shape (pretty sure one of the fd.o
> machines has had a drive in imminent-failure state for the last few
> months), etc.
>
> Given the size of our service, that's a much better plan (IMO) than
> relying on someone who a) isn't an admin by trade, b) has a million
> other things to do, and c) hasn't wanted to do it for the past several
> years. But as long as that's the resources we have, then we're paying
> the cloud tradeoff, where we pay more money in exchange for fewer
> problems.

Admin for gitlab and CI is a full time role anyways. The system is
definitely not self sustaining without time being put in by you and
anholt still. If we have $75k to burn on credits, and it was diverted
to just pay an admin to admin the real hw + gitlab/CI would that not
be a better use of the money? I didn't know if we can afford $75k for
an admin, but suddenly we can afford it for gitlab credits?

> Yes, we could federate everything back out so everyone runs their own
> builds and executes those. Tinderbox did something really similar to
> that IIRC; not sure if Buildbot does as well. Probably rules out
> pre-merge testing, mind.

Why? does gitlab not support the model? having builds done in parallel
on runners closer to the test runners seems like it should be a thing.
I guess artifact transfer would cost less then as a result.

> The reason we hadn't worked everything out in advance of deploying is
> because Mesa has had 3993 MRs in the not long over a year since
> moving, and a similar number in GStreamer, just taking the two biggest
> users. At the start it was 'maybe let's use MRs if you want to but
> make sure everything still goes through the list', and now it's
> something different. Similarly the CI architecture hasn't been
> 'designed', so much as that people want to run dEQP and Piglit on
> their hardware pre-merge in an open fashion that's actually accessible
> to people, and have just done it.
>
> Again, if you want everything to be centrally
> designed/approved/monitored/controlled, that's a fine enough idea, and
> I'd be happy to support whoever it was who was doing that for all of
> fd.o.

I don't think we have any choice but to have someone centrally
controlling it, You can't have a system in place that lets CI users
burn largs sums of money without authorisation, and that is what we
have now.

Dave.
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Re: [Intel-gfx] gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Daniel Stone
On Fri, 28 Feb 2020 at 08:48, Dave Airlie <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, 28 Feb 2020 at 18:18, Daniel Stone <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > The last I looked, Google GCP / Amazon AWS / Azure were all pretty
> > comparable in terms of what you get and what you pay for them.
> > Obviously providers like Packet and Digital Ocean who offer bare-metal
> > services are cheaper, but then you need to find someone who is going
> > to properly administer the various machines, install decent
> > monitoring, make sure that more storage is provisioned when we need
> > more storage (which is basically all the time), make sure that the
> > hardware is maintained in decent shape (pretty sure one of the fd.o
> > machines has had a drive in imminent-failure state for the last few
> > months), etc.
> >
> > Given the size of our service, that's a much better plan (IMO) than
> > relying on someone who a) isn't an admin by trade, b) has a million
> > other things to do, and c) hasn't wanted to do it for the past several
> > years. But as long as that's the resources we have, then we're paying
> > the cloud tradeoff, where we pay more money in exchange for fewer
> > problems.
>
> Admin for gitlab and CI is a full time role anyways. The system is
> definitely not self sustaining without time being put in by you and
> anholt still. If we have $75k to burn on credits, and it was diverted
> to just pay an admin to admin the real hw + gitlab/CI would that not
> be a better use of the money? I didn't know if we can afford $75k for
> an admin, but suddenly we can afford it for gitlab credits?

s/gitlab credits/GCP credits/

I took a quick look at HPE, which we previously used for bare metal,
and it looks like we'd be spending $25-50k (depending on how much
storage you want to provision, how much room you want to leave to
provision more storage later, how much you care about backups) to run
a similar level of service so that'd put a bit of a dint in your
year-one budget.

The bare-metal hosting providers also add up to more expensive than
you might think, again especially if you want either redundancy or
just backups.

> > Yes, we could federate everything back out so everyone runs their own
> > builds and executes those. Tinderbox did something really similar to
> > that IIRC; not sure if Buildbot does as well. Probably rules out
> > pre-merge testing, mind.
>
> Why? does gitlab not support the model? having builds done in parallel
> on runners closer to the test runners seems like it should be a thing.
> I guess artifact transfer would cost less then as a result.

It does support the model but if every single build executor is also
compiling Mesa from scratch locally, how long do you think that's
going to take?

> > Again, if you want everything to be centrally
> > designed/approved/monitored/controlled, that's a fine enough idea, and
> > I'd be happy to support whoever it was who was doing that for all of
> > fd.o.
>
> I don't think we have any choice but to have someone centrally
> controlling it, You can't have a system in place that lets CI users
> burn largs sums of money without authorisation, and that is what we
> have now.

OK, not sure who it is who's going to be approving every update to
every .gitlab-ci.yml in the repository, or maybe we just have zero
shared runners and anyone who wants to do builds can BYO.
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Re: [Mesa-dev] [Intel-gfx] gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Erik Faye-Lund
In reply to this post by Dave Airlie
On Fri, 2020-02-28 at 13:37 +1000, Dave Airlie wrote:

> On Fri, 28 Feb 2020 at 07:27, Daniel Vetter <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > Hi all,
> >
> > You might have read the short take in the X.org board meeting
> > minutes
> > already, here's the long version.
> >
> > The good news: gitlab.fd.o has become very popular with our
> > communities, and is used extensively. This especially includes all
> > the
> > CI integration. Modern development process and tooling, yay!
> >
> > The bad news: The cost in growth has also been tremendous, and it's
> > breaking our bank account. With reasonable estimates for continued
> > growth we're expecting hosting expenses totalling 75k USD this
> > year,
> > and 90k USD next year. With the current sponsors we've set up we
> > can't
> > sustain that. We estimate that hosting expenses for gitlab.fd.o
> > without any of the CI features enabled would total 30k USD, which
> > is
> > within X.org's ability to support through various sponsorships,
> > mostly
> > through XDC.
> >
> > Note that X.org does no longer sponsor any CI runners themselves,
> > we've stopped that. The huge additional expenses are all just in
> > storing and serving build artifacts and images to outside CI
> > runners
> > sponsored by various companies. A related topic is that with the
> > growth in fd.o it's becoming infeasible to maintain it all on
> > volunteer admin time. X.org is therefore also looking for admin
> > sponsorship, at least medium term.
> >
> > Assuming that we want cash flow reserves for one year of
> > gitlab.fd.o
> > (without CI support) and a trimmed XDC and assuming no sponsor
> > payment
> > meanwhile, we'd have to cut CI services somewhere between May and
> > June
> > this year. The board is of course working on acquiring sponsors,
> > but
> > filling a shortfall of this magnitude is neither easy nor quick
> > work,
> > and we therefore decided to give an early warning as soon as
> > possible.
> > Any help in finding sponsors for fd.o is very much appreciated.
>
> a) Ouch.
>
> b) we probably need to take a large step back here.
>

I kinda agree, but maybe the step doesn't have to be *too* large?

I wonder if we could solve this by restructuring the project a bit. I'm
talking purely from a Mesa point of view here, so it might not solve
the full problem, but:

1. It feels silly that we need to test changes to e.g the i965 driver
on dragonboards. We only have a big "do not run CI at all" escape-
hatch.

2. A lot of us are working for a company that can probably pay for
their own needs in terms of CI. Perhaps moving some costs "up front" to
the company that needs it can make the future of CI for those who can't
do this

3. I think we need a much more detailed break-down of the cost to make
educated changes. For instance, how expensive is Docker image
uploads/downloads (e.g intermediary artifacts) compared to build logs
and final test-results? What kind of artifacts?

One suggestion would be to do something more similar to what the kernel
does, and separate into different repos for different subsystems. This
could allow us to have separate testing-pipelines for these repos,
which would mean that for instance a change to RADV didn't trigger a
full Panfrost test-run.

This would probably require us to accept using a more branch-heavy
work-flow. I don't personally think that would be a bad thing.

But this is all kinda based on an assumption that running hardware-
testing is the expensive part. I think that's quite possibly the case,
but some more numbers would be helpful. I mean, it might turn out that
just throwing up a Docker cache inside the organizations that host
runners might be sufficient for all I know...

We could also do stuff like reducing the amount of tests we run on each
commit, and punt some testing to a per-weekend test-run or someting
like that. We don't *need* to know about every problem up front, just
the stuff that's about to be released, really. The other stuff is just
nice to have. If it's too expensive, I would say drop it.

I would really hope that we can consider approaches like this before we
throw out the baby with the bathwater...

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Re: [Mesa-dev] [Intel-gfx] gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Lionel Landwerlin-2
On 28/02/2020 11:28, Erik Faye-Lund wrote:

> On Fri, 2020-02-28 at 13:37 +1000, Dave Airlie wrote:
>> On Fri, 28 Feb 2020 at 07:27, Daniel Vetter <[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>>> Hi all,
>>>
>>> You might have read the short take in the X.org board meeting
>>> minutes
>>> already, here's the long version.
>>>
>>> The good news: gitlab.fd.o has become very popular with our
>>> communities, and is used extensively. This especially includes all
>>> the
>>> CI integration. Modern development process and tooling, yay!
>>>
>>> The bad news: The cost in growth has also been tremendous, and it's
>>> breaking our bank account. With reasonable estimates for continued
>>> growth we're expecting hosting expenses totalling 75k USD this
>>> year,
>>> and 90k USD next year. With the current sponsors we've set up we
>>> can't
>>> sustain that. We estimate that hosting expenses for gitlab.fd.o
>>> without any of the CI features enabled would total 30k USD, which
>>> is
>>> within X.org's ability to support through various sponsorships,
>>> mostly
>>> through XDC.
>>>
>>> Note that X.org does no longer sponsor any CI runners themselves,
>>> we've stopped that. The huge additional expenses are all just in
>>> storing and serving build artifacts and images to outside CI
>>> runners
>>> sponsored by various companies. A related topic is that with the
>>> growth in fd.o it's becoming infeasible to maintain it all on
>>> volunteer admin time. X.org is therefore also looking for admin
>>> sponsorship, at least medium term.
>>>
>>> Assuming that we want cash flow reserves for one year of
>>> gitlab.fd.o
>>> (without CI support) and a trimmed XDC and assuming no sponsor
>>> payment
>>> meanwhile, we'd have to cut CI services somewhere between May and
>>> June
>>> this year. The board is of course working on acquiring sponsors,
>>> but
>>> filling a shortfall of this magnitude is neither easy nor quick
>>> work,
>>> and we therefore decided to give an early warning as soon as
>>> possible.
>>> Any help in finding sponsors for fd.o is very much appreciated.
>> a) Ouch.
>>
>> b) we probably need to take a large step back here.
>>
> I kinda agree, but maybe the step doesn't have to be *too* large?
>
> I wonder if we could solve this by restructuring the project a bit. I'm
> talking purely from a Mesa point of view here, so it might not solve
> the full problem, but:
>
> 1. It feels silly that we need to test changes to e.g the i965 driver
> on dragonboards. We only have a big "do not run CI at all" escape-
> hatch.


Yeah, changes on vulkan drivers or backend compilers should be fairly
sandboxed.

We also have tools that only work for intel stuff, that should never
trigger anything on other people's HW.

Could something be worked out using the tags?


-Lionel

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Re: [Mesa-dev] [Intel-gfx] gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Daniel Vetter
In reply to this post by Erik Faye-Lund
On Fri, Feb 28, 2020 at 10:29 AM Erik Faye-Lund
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On Fri, 2020-02-28 at 13:37 +1000, Dave Airlie wrote:
> > On Fri, 28 Feb 2020 at 07:27, Daniel Vetter <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> > > Hi all,
> > >
> > > You might have read the short take in the X.org board meeting
> > > minutes
> > > already, here's the long version.
> > >
> > > The good news: gitlab.fd.o has become very popular with our
> > > communities, and is used extensively. This especially includes all
> > > the
> > > CI integration. Modern development process and tooling, yay!
> > >
> > > The bad news: The cost in growth has also been tremendous, and it's
> > > breaking our bank account. With reasonable estimates for continued
> > > growth we're expecting hosting expenses totalling 75k USD this
> > > year,
> > > and 90k USD next year. With the current sponsors we've set up we
> > > can't
> > > sustain that. We estimate that hosting expenses for gitlab.fd.o
> > > without any of the CI features enabled would total 30k USD, which
> > > is
> > > within X.org's ability to support through various sponsorships,
> > > mostly
> > > through XDC.
> > >
> > > Note that X.org does no longer sponsor any CI runners themselves,
> > > we've stopped that. The huge additional expenses are all just in
> > > storing and serving build artifacts and images to outside CI
> > > runners
> > > sponsored by various companies. A related topic is that with the
> > > growth in fd.o it's becoming infeasible to maintain it all on
> > > volunteer admin time. X.org is therefore also looking for admin
> > > sponsorship, at least medium term.
> > >
> > > Assuming that we want cash flow reserves for one year of
> > > gitlab.fd.o
> > > (without CI support) and a trimmed XDC and assuming no sponsor
> > > payment
> > > meanwhile, we'd have to cut CI services somewhere between May and
> > > June
> > > this year. The board is of course working on acquiring sponsors,
> > > but
> > > filling a shortfall of this magnitude is neither easy nor quick
> > > work,
> > > and we therefore decided to give an early warning as soon as
> > > possible.
> > > Any help in finding sponsors for fd.o is very much appreciated.
> >
> > a) Ouch.
> >
> > b) we probably need to take a large step back here.
> >
>
> I kinda agree, but maybe the step doesn't have to be *too* large?
>
> I wonder if we could solve this by restructuring the project a bit. I'm
> talking purely from a Mesa point of view here, so it might not solve
> the full problem, but:
>
> 1. It feels silly that we need to test changes to e.g the i965 driver
> on dragonboards. We only have a big "do not run CI at all" escape-
> hatch.
>
> 2. A lot of us are working for a company that can probably pay for
> their own needs in terms of CI. Perhaps moving some costs "up front" to
> the company that needs it can make the future of CI for those who can't
> do this
>
> 3. I think we need a much more detailed break-down of the cost to make
> educated changes. For instance, how expensive is Docker image
> uploads/downloads (e.g intermediary artifacts) compared to build logs
> and final test-results? What kind of artifacts?

We have logs somewhere, but no one yet got around to analyzing that.
Which will be quite a bit of work to do since the cloud storage is
totally disconnected from the gitlab front-end, making the connection
to which project or CI job caused something is going to require
scripting. Volunteers definitely very much welcome I think.

> One suggestion would be to do something more similar to what the kernel
> does, and separate into different repos for different subsystems. This
> could allow us to have separate testing-pipelines for these repos,
> which would mean that for instance a change to RADV didn't trigger a
> full Panfrost test-run.

Uh as someone who lives the kernel multi-tree model daily, there's a
_lot_ of pain involved. I think much better to look at filtering out
CI targets for when nothing relevant happened. But that gets somewhat
tricky, since "nothing relevant" is always only relative to some
baseline, so bit of scripting and all involved to make sure you don't
run stuff too often or (probably worse) not often enough.
-Daniel

> This would probably require us to accept using a more branch-heavy
> work-flow. I don't personally think that would be a bad thing.
>
> But this is all kinda based on an assumption that running hardware-
> testing is the expensive part. I think that's quite possibly the case,
> but some more numbers would be helpful. I mean, it might turn out that
> just throwing up a Docker cache inside the organizations that host
> runners might be sufficient for all I know...
>
> We could also do stuff like reducing the amount of tests we run on each
> commit, and punt some testing to a per-weekend test-run or someting
> like that. We don't *need* to know about every problem up front, just
> the stuff that's about to be released, really. The other stuff is just
> nice to have. If it's too expensive, I would say drop it.
>
> I would really hope that we can consider approaches like this before we
> throw out the baby with the bathwater...
>


--
Daniel Vetter
Software Engineer, Intel Corporation
+41 (0) 79 365 57 48 - http://blog.ffwll.ch
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Re: [Mesa-dev] [Intel-gfx] gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Erik Faye-Lund
In reply to this post by Lionel Landwerlin-2
On Fri, 2020-02-28 at 11:40 +0200, Lionel Landwerlin wrote:

> On 28/02/2020 11:28, Erik Faye-Lund wrote:
> > On Fri, 2020-02-28 at 13:37 +1000, Dave Airlie wrote:
> > > On Fri, 28 Feb 2020 at 07:27, Daniel Vetter <
> > > [hidden email]>
> > > wrote:
> > > > Hi all,
> > > >
> > > > You might have read the short take in the X.org board meeting
> > > > minutes
> > > > already, here's the long version.
> > > >
> > > > The good news: gitlab.fd.o has become very popular with our
> > > > communities, and is used extensively. This especially includes
> > > > all
> > > > the
> > > > CI integration. Modern development process and tooling, yay!
> > > >
> > > > The bad news: The cost in growth has also been tremendous, and
> > > > it's
> > > > breaking our bank account. With reasonable estimates for
> > > > continued
> > > > growth we're expecting hosting expenses totalling 75k USD this
> > > > year,
> > > > and 90k USD next year. With the current sponsors we've set up
> > > > we
> > > > can't
> > > > sustain that. We estimate that hosting expenses for gitlab.fd.o
> > > > without any of the CI features enabled would total 30k USD,
> > > > which
> > > > is
> > > > within X.org's ability to support through various sponsorships,
> > > > mostly
> > > > through XDC.
> > > >
> > > > Note that X.org does no longer sponsor any CI runners
> > > > themselves,
> > > > we've stopped that. The huge additional expenses are all just
> > > > in
> > > > storing and serving build artifacts and images to outside CI
> > > > runners
> > > > sponsored by various companies. A related topic is that with
> > > > the
> > > > growth in fd.o it's becoming infeasible to maintain it all on
> > > > volunteer admin time. X.org is therefore also looking for admin
> > > > sponsorship, at least medium term.
> > > >
> > > > Assuming that we want cash flow reserves for one year of
> > > > gitlab.fd.o
> > > > (without CI support) and a trimmed XDC and assuming no sponsor
> > > > payment
> > > > meanwhile, we'd have to cut CI services somewhere between May
> > > > and
> > > > June
> > > > this year. The board is of course working on acquiring
> > > > sponsors,
> > > > but
> > > > filling a shortfall of this magnitude is neither easy nor quick
> > > > work,
> > > > and we therefore decided to give an early warning as soon as
> > > > possible.
> > > > Any help in finding sponsors for fd.o is very much appreciated.
> > > a) Ouch.
> > >
> > > b) we probably need to take a large step back here.
> > >
> > I kinda agree, but maybe the step doesn't have to be *too* large?
> >
> > I wonder if we could solve this by restructuring the project a bit.
> > I'm
> > talking purely from a Mesa point of view here, so it might not
> > solve
> > the full problem, but:
> >
> > 1. It feels silly that we need to test changes to e.g the i965
> > driver
> > on dragonboards. We only have a big "do not run CI at all" escape-
> > hatch.
>
> Yeah, changes on vulkan drivers or backend compilers should be
> fairly
> sandboxed.
>
> We also have tools that only work for intel stuff, that should never
> trigger anything on other people's HW.
>
> Could something be worked out using the tags?
>

I think so! We have the pre-defined environment variable
CI_MERGE_REQUEST_LABELS, and we can do variable conditions:

https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/ci/yaml/#onlyvariablesexceptvariables

That sounds like a pretty neat middle-ground to me. I just hope that
new pipelines are triggered if new labels are added, because not
everyone is allowed to set labels, and sometimes people forget...

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Re: gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Jan Engelhardt
In reply to this post by Daniel Stone

On Friday 2020-02-28 08:59, Daniel Stone wrote:
>
>I believe that in January, we had $2082 of network cost (almost
>entirely egress; ingress is basically free) and $1750 of
>cloud-storage cost (almost all of which was download). That's based
>on 16TB of cloud-storage (CI artifacts, container images, file
>uploads, Git LFS) egress and 17.9TB of other egress (the web service
>itself, repo activity). Projecting that out [×12 for a year] gives
>us roughly $45k of network activity alone,

I had come to a similar conclusion a few years back: It is not very
economic to run ephemereal buildroots (and anything like it) between
two (or more) "significant locations" of which one end is located in
a Large Cloud datacenter like EC2/AWS/etc.

As for such usecases, me and my surrounding peers have used (other)
offerings where there is 50 TB free network/month, and yes that may
have entailed doing more adminning than elsewhere - but an admin
appreciates $2000 a lot more than a corporation, too.
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Re: [Mesa-dev] [Intel-gfx] gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Erik Faye-Lund
In reply to this post by Daniel Vetter
On Fri, 2020-02-28 at 10:47 +0100, Daniel Vetter wrote:

> On Fri, Feb 28, 2020 at 10:29 AM Erik Faye-Lund
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Fri, 2020-02-28 at 13:37 +1000, Dave Airlie wrote:
> > > On Fri, 28 Feb 2020 at 07:27, Daniel Vetter <
> > > [hidden email]>
> > > wrote:
> > > > Hi all,
> > > >
> > > > You might have read the short take in the X.org board meeting
> > > > minutes
> > > > already, here's the long version.
> > > >
> > > > The good news: gitlab.fd.o has become very popular with our
> > > > communities, and is used extensively. This especially includes
> > > > all
> > > > the
> > > > CI integration. Modern development process and tooling, yay!
> > > >
> > > > The bad news: The cost in growth has also been tremendous, and
> > > > it's
> > > > breaking our bank account. With reasonable estimates for
> > > > continued
> > > > growth we're expecting hosting expenses totalling 75k USD this
> > > > year,
> > > > and 90k USD next year. With the current sponsors we've set up
> > > > we
> > > > can't
> > > > sustain that. We estimate that hosting expenses for gitlab.fd.o
> > > > without any of the CI features enabled would total 30k USD,
> > > > which
> > > > is
> > > > within X.org's ability to support through various sponsorships,
> > > > mostly
> > > > through XDC.
> > > >
> > > > Note that X.org does no longer sponsor any CI runners
> > > > themselves,
> > > > we've stopped that. The huge additional expenses are all just
> > > > in
> > > > storing and serving build artifacts and images to outside CI
> > > > runners
> > > > sponsored by various companies. A related topic is that with
> > > > the
> > > > growth in fd.o it's becoming infeasible to maintain it all on
> > > > volunteer admin time. X.org is therefore also looking for admin
> > > > sponsorship, at least medium term.
> > > >
> > > > Assuming that we want cash flow reserves for one year of
> > > > gitlab.fd.o
> > > > (without CI support) and a trimmed XDC and assuming no sponsor
> > > > payment
> > > > meanwhile, we'd have to cut CI services somewhere between May
> > > > and
> > > > June
> > > > this year. The board is of course working on acquiring
> > > > sponsors,
> > > > but
> > > > filling a shortfall of this magnitude is neither easy nor quick
> > > > work,
> > > > and we therefore decided to give an early warning as soon as
> > > > possible.
> > > > Any help in finding sponsors for fd.o is very much appreciated.
> > >
> > > a) Ouch.
> > >
> > > b) we probably need to take a large step back here.
> > >
> >
> > I kinda agree, but maybe the step doesn't have to be *too* large?
> >
> > I wonder if we could solve this by restructuring the project a bit.
> > I'm
> > talking purely from a Mesa point of view here, so it might not
> > solve
> > the full problem, but:
> >
> > 1. It feels silly that we need to test changes to e.g the i965
> > driver
> > on dragonboards. We only have a big "do not run CI at all" escape-
> > hatch.
> >
> > 2. A lot of us are working for a company that can probably pay for
> > their own needs in terms of CI. Perhaps moving some costs "up
> > front" to
> > the company that needs it can make the future of CI for those who
> > can't
> > do this
> >
> > 3. I think we need a much more detailed break-down of the cost to
> > make
> > educated changes. For instance, how expensive is Docker image
> > uploads/downloads (e.g intermediary artifacts) compared to build
> > logs
> > and final test-results? What kind of artifacts?
>
> We have logs somewhere, but no one yet got around to analyzing that.
> Which will be quite a bit of work to do since the cloud storage is
> totally disconnected from the gitlab front-end, making the connection
> to which project or CI job caused something is going to require
> scripting. Volunteers definitely very much welcome I think.
>

Fair enough, but just keep in mind that the same thing as optimizing
software applies here; working blindly reduces the impact. So if we
want to fix the current situation, this is going to have to be a
priority, I think.

> > One suggestion would be to do something more similar to what the
> > kernel
> > does, and separate into different repos for different subsystems.
> > This
> > could allow us to have separate testing-pipelines for these repos,
> > which would mean that for instance a change to RADV didn't trigger
> > a
> > full Panfrost test-run.
>
> Uh as someone who lives the kernel multi-tree model daily, there's a
> _lot_ of pain involved.

Could you please elaborate a bit? We're not the kernel, so I'm not sure
all of the kernel-pains apply to us. But we probably have other pains
as well ;-)

But yeah, it might be better to take smaller steps first, and see if
that helps.

> I think much better to look at filtering out
> CI targets for when nothing relevant happened. But that gets somewhat
> tricky, since "nothing relevant" is always only relative to some
> baseline, so bit of scripting and all involved to make sure you don't
> run stuff too often or (probably worse) not often enough.
> -Daniel
>

Yes, not running things often enough is the biggest problem, but I
think an important thing to come to terms with is that we don't need to
know about *every single issue* before things hit master, we need to
know about:

- Build failures (prevents others from getting their stuff done)
- Fundamental brokenness (again, prevents others)

There's probably some cases I missed, but you get my point.

We do need to know things are good to go periodically, as well as on
release-branches, though. But we can set up different rules for
different branches in GitLab CI.

So for instance, we could run some basic sanity check on one of each
(major) target for each commit rather than a full set of dEQP variants
etc. Then we could run all tests once a commit has been merged. This
would already cut down a lot of runs for a lot of targets.

Combine this with label-based triggering like Lionel suggested, and we
might have something that's not too big of a change but still might
save significan cost.

> > This would probably require us to accept using a more branch-heavy
> > work-flow. I don't personally think that would be a bad thing.
> >
> > But this is all kinda based on an assumption that running hardware-
> > testing is the expensive part. I think that's quite possibly the
> > case,
> > but some more numbers would be helpful. I mean, it might turn out
> > that
> > just throwing up a Docker cache inside the organizations that host
> > runners might be sufficient for all I know...
> >
> > We could also do stuff like reducing the amount of tests we run on
> > each
> > commit, and punt some testing to a per-weekend test-run or someting
> > like that. We don't *need* to know about every problem up front,
> > just
> > the stuff that's about to be released, really. The other stuff is
> > just
> > nice to have. If it's too expensive, I would say drop it.
> >
> > I would really hope that we can consider approaches like this
> > before we
> > throw out the baby with the bathwater...
> >
>
>

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Re: [Mesa-dev] [Intel-gfx] gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Lucas Stach
In reply to this post by Daniel Vetter
On Fr, 2020-02-28 at 10:47 +0100, Daniel Vetter wrote:

> On Fri, Feb 28, 2020 at 10:29 AM Erik Faye-Lund
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Fri, 2020-02-28 at 13:37 +1000, Dave Airlie wrote:
> > > On Fri, 28 Feb 2020 at 07:27, Daniel Vetter <[hidden email]>
> > > wrote:
> > > > Hi all,
> > > >
> > > > You might have read the short take in the X.org board meeting
> > > > minutes
> > > > already, here's the long version.
> > > >
> > > > The good news: gitlab.fd.o has become very popular with our
> > > > communities, and is used extensively. This especially includes all
> > > > the
> > > > CI integration. Modern development process and tooling, yay!
> > > >
> > > > The bad news: The cost in growth has also been tremendous, and it's
> > > > breaking our bank account. With reasonable estimates for continued
> > > > growth we're expecting hosting expenses totalling 75k USD this
> > > > year,
> > > > and 90k USD next year. With the current sponsors we've set up we
> > > > can't
> > > > sustain that. We estimate that hosting expenses for gitlab.fd.o
> > > > without any of the CI features enabled would total 30k USD, which
> > > > is
> > > > within X.org's ability to support through various sponsorships,
> > > > mostly
> > > > through XDC.
> > > >
> > > > Note that X.org does no longer sponsor any CI runners themselves,
> > > > we've stopped that. The huge additional expenses are all just in
> > > > storing and serving build artifacts and images to outside CI
> > > > runners
> > > > sponsored by various companies. A related topic is that with the
> > > > growth in fd.o it's becoming infeasible to maintain it all on
> > > > volunteer admin time. X.org is therefore also looking for admin
> > > > sponsorship, at least medium term.
> > > >
> > > > Assuming that we want cash flow reserves for one year of
> > > > gitlab.fd.o
> > > > (without CI support) and a trimmed XDC and assuming no sponsor
> > > > payment
> > > > meanwhile, we'd have to cut CI services somewhere between May and
> > > > June
> > > > this year. The board is of course working on acquiring sponsors,
> > > > but
> > > > filling a shortfall of this magnitude is neither easy nor quick
> > > > work,
> > > > and we therefore decided to give an early warning as soon as
> > > > possible.
> > > > Any help in finding sponsors for fd.o is very much appreciated.
> > >
> > > a) Ouch.
> > >
> > > b) we probably need to take a large step back here.
> > >
> >
> > I kinda agree, but maybe the step doesn't have to be *too* large?
> >
> > I wonder if we could solve this by restructuring the project a bit. I'm
> > talking purely from a Mesa point of view here, so it might not solve
> > the full problem, but:
> >
> > 1. It feels silly that we need to test changes to e.g the i965 driver
> > on dragonboards. We only have a big "do not run CI at all" escape-
> > hatch.
> >
> > 2. A lot of us are working for a company that can probably pay for
> > their own needs in terms of CI. Perhaps moving some costs "up front" to
> > the company that needs it can make the future of CI for those who can't
> > do this
> >
> > 3. I think we need a much more detailed break-down of the cost to make
> > educated changes. For instance, how expensive is Docker image
> > uploads/downloads (e.g intermediary artifacts) compared to build logs
> > and final test-results? What kind of artifacts?
>
> We have logs somewhere, but no one yet got around to analyzing that.
> Which will be quite a bit of work to do since the cloud storage is
> totally disconnected from the gitlab front-end, making the connection
> to which project or CI job caused something is going to require
> scripting. Volunteers definitely very much welcome I think.

It's very surprising to me that this kind of cost monitoring is treated
as an afterthought, especially since one of the main jobs of the X.Org
board is to keep spending under control and transparent.

Also from all the conversations it's still unclear to me if the google
hosting costs are already over the sponsored credits (so is burning a
hole into X.org bank account right now) or if this is only going to
happen at a later point in time.

Even with CI disabled it seems that the board estimates a cost of 30k
annually for the plain gitlab hosting. Is this covered by the credits
sponsored by google? If not, why wasn't there a board voting on this
spending? All other spending seem to require pre-approval by the board.
Why wasn't gitlab hosting cost discussed much earlier in the public
board meetings, especially if it's going to be such an big chunk of the
overall spending of the X.Org foundation?

Regards,
Lucas

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Re: [Mesa-dev] [Intel-gfx] gitlab.fd.o financial situation and impact on services

Daniel Stone
In reply to this post by Erik Faye-Lund
On Fri, 28 Feb 2020 at 10:06, Erik Faye-Lund
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, 2020-02-28 at 11:40 +0200, Lionel Landwerlin wrote:
> > Yeah, changes on vulkan drivers or backend compilers should be
> > fairly
> > sandboxed.
> >
> > We also have tools that only work for intel stuff, that should never
> > trigger anything on other people's HW.
> >
> > Could something be worked out using the tags?
>
> I think so! We have the pre-defined environment variable
> CI_MERGE_REQUEST_LABELS, and we can do variable conditions:
>
> https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/ci/yaml/#onlyvariablesexceptvariables
>
> That sounds like a pretty neat middle-ground to me. I just hope that
> new pipelines are triggered if new labels are added, because not
> everyone is allowed to set labels, and sometimes people forget...

There's also this which is somewhat more robust:
https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/mesa/mesa/merge_requests/2569

Cheers,
Daniel
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