Implementation details

These implementation details are great to consult when working on the product as they describe in detail how features work.

Orchest Controller

Let’s quickly go through how the Orchest Controller “reacts” on the state of the Kubernetes cluster.

In controller.go a number of Informers are set up. These Informers (not written by us) store the applicable (depending on how you configure the informat) content from the k8s api in memory (functioning as cache). This in-memory store is kept in sync with the state of the cluster using a watch command. To minimize the load on the k8s api an informerFactory is used (again not implemented by us).

Next, we add event handlers on the informers to watch for particular events, e.g. the creation of a Pod. Whenever an event handler is triggered the respective event handler enqueues the task. This is where the orchest-controller comes in. The Orchest Controller consumes tasks from the respective queues and handles it accordingly. An important note to make is that the Orchest Controller will always make a deepcopy of objects as to not change the objects in the informer’s cache.

Note, that there is one go routine per queue as to not concurrently work on tasks from the same queue.

Telemetry Events

The Orchest shared library provides a module (lib/python/orchest-internals/_orchest/internals/ which allows to send events to our telemetry backend. The caller of this module, needs, essentially, to provide an already anonymized payload (a dictionary) to the send_event function along with the event type to send, e.g. project:created.

If you are tasked with adding new telemetry events, you should:

  • find when the event takes place and when to send the telemetry event

  • decide the type/name of the event, see the analytics module for examples. The event type must be defined in that module to be sent.

  • decide what data to include in the payload.

  • send the event.

  • if you have access to it, check out our internal analytics backend to make sure the event arrived as expected.

If you are looking for a list of telemetry events that are sent out, see the Event enumeration in the shared analytics module.

Telemetry events from the orchest-webserver

This is the simplest case, where you will usually end up calling send_event in the same endpoint that produces the event. Overall, sending a telemetry event translates to a piece of logic similar to this:

from _orchest.internals import analytics

        event_properties={"active": active},

Telemetry events from the front-end client

The client sends telemetry events by using the orchest-webserver as a relay, essentially, the orchest-webserver exposes the /analytics endpoint (services/orchest-webserver/app/app/views/ which allows the client to send events as long as the event type exists in the shared analytics module. The payload should look like the following:

  "event": "my event type",  # e.g. "project:created".
  # Must not contain any sensitive data, i.e. already anonymized.
  "properties": {
    "hello": "world"

Telemetry events from the orchest-api

The orchest-api will automatically take care of sending the telemetry event to the analytics backend, asynchronously and with retries, once the event is registered in the orchest-api event system. A complex way of saying that:

  • the orchest-api has its own event system.

  • each orchest-api event is also defined as an event in the analytics module and sent out to the analytics backend.

  • as a “user” of this system, you will have to implement the event (i.e. the content of the payload), and register the event when it happens, the equivalent of calling register_event(my_event) in the right places.

See Orchest-api Events for a more in depth explanation.

orchest-api events

The orchest-api keeps track of a number of events happening in Orchest, in fact, a dedicated models module related to events exists, models implemented by the orchest-api can be found at services/orchest-api/app/app/models/ .

Events are used by the orchest-api for two reasons: to send them as telemetry events to the analytics backend, and to use them for user facing notifications. Orchest implements a simple subscription system where subscribers can subscribe to a number of events. A possible subscriber is a “webhook”, which users can use to get notified of particular events. An analytics subscriber subscribed automatically to all events exists, which will automatically send out telemetry events when orchest-api events are recorded.

When you record an orchest-api event, subscribers that are subscribed to that event type will trigger the creation of a delivery record, which is stored in the database and acts as a transactional outbox. The celery-worker will periodically check for undelivered deliveries and send them out. Different deliverees (webhooks, analytics, etc.) have different delivery implementations.

orchest-api events are implemented through a hierarchy of models backed by a single table through single table inheritance. Each one of those models must implement its own methods to be converted to a notification or telemetry payload. Given the nested nature of entities in Orchest, for example project:job:pipeline_run, what actually happens is that an event representing a specific layer of this hierarchy will call the parent class to generate a payload, then add it’s own data to the payload, incrementally. See the events models for example.

Steps to implement a new orchest-api event:

  • create the database model by extending an existing Event class. Implement to_notification_payload, which will return the payload that is exposed to users through notifications, and to_telemetry_payload, which will return the payload that is sent to the analytics backend. This last payload must be completely anonymized.

  • create a schema migration file if the model introduces new columns, i.e. bash scripts/ orchest-api migrate.

  • in that same file, or in a new one, add new event types as required by adding records to the event_types table. The EventType model refers to such migrations, that you can use as examples.

  • add the required register_<event_type>_event functions in the services/orchest-api/app/app/core/ module, these functions will be used to record the event in the orchest-api.

  • use the functions you defined to register the event happening in the right places.

  • add the event type to the Event enumeration of the shared analytics module.

  • you can now test said event as a user facing notification and, if you have access to the analytics backend, you can make sure that the telemetry event is delivered (and anonymized!).

SDK data passing

The orchest.transfer.get_inputs() method calls orchest.transfer.resolve() which, in order to resolve what output data the user most likely wants to get, needs a timestamp of the most recent output for every transfer type. E.g. if some step outputs to disk at 1pm and later outputs to memory at 2pm, then it is very likely that output data should be retrieved from memory. Therefore, we adhere to a certain “protocol” for transfers through disk and memory as can be read below.

Disk transfer

To be able to resolve the timestamp of the most recent write, we keep a file called HEAD for every step. It has the following content: timestamp, serialization, where timestamp is specified in isoformat with timespec in seconds.

Memory transfer

When data is put inside the store it is given metadata stating either its serialization or (in case of an empty message for eviction) the source and target of the output that is stored.

All metadata has to be in bytes, where we use the following encoding:

  • 1;serialization where serialization is one of ["arrow", "arrowpickle"].

  • 2;source,target where source and target are both UUIDs of the respective steps.

Internally used environment variables

When it comes to pipeline execution, each pipeline step is executed in its own environment. More particularly in its own container. Depending on how the code inside a pipeline step is executed a number of ENV variables are set by Orchest. The different ways to execute code as part of a pipeline step are:

  • Running the cell of a Jupyter Notebook in JupyterLab,

  • Running an interactive run through the pipeline editor,

  • Running a non-interactive run as part of a job.

In all of the above mentioned cases the following ENV variables set: ORCHEST_PROJECT_UUID, ORCHEST_PIPELINE_UUID and ORCHEST_PIPELINE_PATH. Then there is ORCHEST_STEP_UUID, which is used for data passing, this ENV variable is always present in (non-)interactive runs and in the Jupyter Notebooks after the first data passing using the Orchest SDK reference. Additionally, you can use the following code snippet to get the UUID of the step if it is not yet set inside the environment:

import json
import orchest

# Put in the relative path to the pipeline file.
with open("pipeline.orchest", "r") as f:
    desc = json.load(f)

p = orchest.pipeline.Pipeline.from_json(desc)
step_uuid = orchest.utils.get_step_uuid(p)

Lastly, there are ORCHEST_MEMORY_EVICTION and ORCHEST_PROJECT_DIR. The former is never present when running notebooks interactively and otherwise always present, this means eviction of objects from memory can never be triggered when running notebooks interactively. The latter is used to make the entire project directory available through the JupyterLab UI and is thus only set for interactive Jupyter kernels.