[POSTPONED] New software image for Triton Object Storage (Manta) compute jobs

Sean G. -

Update #2 (added 18-Oct-2016) 

Deployment of the new default Triton Object Storage (formerly Manta) image version described below has been postponed until early 2017. However, new jobs can still choose to run in zones based on the 64-bit LTS version of the 16.1.0 base image (as stated in the FAQs below).
As soon as we have it, we will announce the rescheduled deployment date for the new default image. If you happen to have any questions or concerns in the meantime, please feel free to contact Joyent Support
Update #1 (added 19-Sept-2016) 
The new Manta image version described below is now scheduled to become the default for new jobs on 17-October-2016 (instead of 19-September). The text of the announcement below has been updated accordingly.
Reminder: At your convenience, please try this new image version prior to 17-October. Should you find that you need further assistance after reading the information and instructions below, please contact Joyent Support.


Joyent is excited to announce a new version of the software image used for Manta compute jobs. The new image is based on the 64-bit LTS version of the 16.1.0 base image, which includes upgraded versions of the packages already available in Manta.

The new image will become the default for new jobs, starting 17-October-2016. While we are confident that this new image will be a compatible upgrade for most customers, it is possible that some applications could break due to the upgrade. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you test existing jobs on the new image *prior* to October 17th:

  • You can try the new image using the --image flag to mjob or mlogin. It is currently only available by opting in on a per-job basis (see FAQs below for details).
  • Additionally, after we change the default to the new image, we will retain some capacity for the old image. 


What is an image, and what is actually changing?

Manta compute jobs run inside containers known as compute zones. Each zone is created from a software image that defines which software packages will be available and installed in that zone.

Previously, new Manta jobs were executed in zones based on the SmartOS 13.3 base image. Starting today, new jobs can instead choose to run in zones based on the 16.1.0 base image. The new image includes more choices in software, and offers newer versions for many of the existing packages.

It is important to note that the image defines which pkgsrc packages are installed in the zone. However, you can always run your own software in a zone based on any image, as long as you provide all of your own dependencies and/or rely only on libraries that do not alter incompatibilities over time.

How does this affect me?

Since the 13.3-based 32-bit image is still the current default, there is no immediate change for users unless you opt in to use the new image. However, starting on October 17, all jobs will run in the 16.1-based 64-bit image by default. For that reason, it is strongly recommended that you test your jobs on the 16.1-based image as soon as possible, to avoid any potential issues when the new image is deployed.

How can I try the new image now?

You can try the new image today by adding --image=16.1 to your mjob command. You have to do this for each phase. 

For example:

$ mjob create \
    --image=16.1 -m "grep request_id" \
    --image=16.1 -r "sort | uniq -c"


You can also experiment with the image using mlogin as follows:

$ mlogin --image=16.1

What if I need to use the old image after October 17?

We understand that some users may need to keep using the old 13.3-based image after we switch the default to the 16.1 version. We will retain the old image in a small subset of zones, but capacity will be significantly reduced. The old image will be completely removed in the near future, and we will provide further notice when that has been scheduled. 

To explicitly choose the old image, the instructions shown above for the new image apply, except that you will want to substitute the (following) old image version for the new one:

mjob create --image=13.3


Again, if you need further help moving to the new image (after reading the information above), please contact Joyent Support.

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