What Device Plug-ins Do

Device Plug-ins are in Technology Preview and not for production workloads. Technology Preview features are not supported with Red Hat production service level agreements (SLAs), might not be functionally complete, and Red Hat does not recommend to use them for production. These features provide early access to upcoming product features, enabling customers to test functionality and provide feedback during the development process.

For more information on Red Hat Technology Preview features support scope, see https://access.redhat.com/support/offerings/techpreview/.

Device plug-ins allow you to use a particular device type (GPU, InfiniBand, or other similar computing resources that require vendor-specific initialization and setup) in your OpenShift Container Platform pod without needing to write custom code. The device plug-in provides a consistent and portable solution to consume hardware devices across clusters. The device plug-in provides support for these devices through an extension mechanism, which makes these devices available to containers, provides health checks of these devices, and securely shares them.

A device plug-in is a gRPC service running on the nodes (external to atomic-openshift-node.service) that is responsible for managing specific hardware resources. Any device plug-in must support following remote procedure calls (RPCs):

service DevicePlugin {
      // ListAndWatch returns a stream of List of Devices
      // Whenever a Device state change or a Device disappears, ListAndWatch
      // returns the new list
      rpc ListAndWatch(Empty) returns (stream ListAndWatchResponse) {}

      // Allocate is called during container creation so that the Device
      // Plugin can run device specific operations and instruct Kubelet
      // of the steps to make the Device available in the container
      rpc Allocate(AllocateRequest) returns (AllocateResponse) {}
}

Example Device Plug-ins

For easy device plug-in reference implementation, there is a stub device plug-in in the Device Manager code: vendor/k8s.io/kubernetes/pkg/kubelet/cm/deviceplugin/device_plugin_stub.go.

Methods for Deploying a Device Plug-in

  • Daemonsets are the recommended approach for device plug-in deployments.

  • Upon start, the device plug-in will try to create a UNIX domain socket at /var/lib/kubelet/device-plugin/ on the node to serve RPCs from Device Manager.

  • Since device plug-ins need to manage hardware resources, access to the host file system, as well as socket creation, they must be run in a privileged security context.

  • More specific details regarding deployment steps can be found with each device plug-in implementation.