Set up and Manage a Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) Cluster#

Determined can be installed on a cluster that is hosted on a managed Kubernetes service such as GKE. This document describes how to set up a GKE cluster with GPU-enabled nodes. The recommended setup includes deploying a cluster with a single non-GPU node that will host the Determined master and database, and an autoscaling group of GPU nodes. After creating a suitable GKE cluster, you can then proceed with the standard instructions for installing Determined on Kubernetes.

Determined requires GPU-enabled nodes and the Kubernetes cluster to be running version >= 1.19 and <= 1.21, though later versions may work.


Before setting up a GKE cluster, the user should have Google Cloud SDK and kubectl installed on their local machine.

Set up the Cluster#

# Set a unique name for your cluster.
GKE_CLUSTER_NAME=<any unique name, e.g. "determined-cluster">

# Set a unique name for your node pool.
GKE_GPU_NODE_POOL_NAME=<any unique name, e.g., "determined-node-pool">

# Set a unique name for the GCS bucket that will store your checkpoints.
# When installing Determined, set checkpointStorage.bucket to the value defined here.
GCS_BUCKET_NAME=<any unique name, e.g., "determined-checkpoint-bucket">

# Set the GPU type for your node pool. Other options include p100, p4, and v100.

# Set the number of GPUs per node.

# Launch the GKE cluster that will contain a single non-GPU node.
gcloud container clusters create ${GKE_CLUSTER_NAME} \
    --region us-west1 \
    --node-locations us-west1-b\
    --num-nodes=1 \

# Create a node pool. This will not launch any nodes immediately but will
# scale up and down as needed. If you change the GPU type or the number of
# GPUs per node, you may need to change the machine-type.
gcloud container node-pools create ${GKE_GPU_NODE_POOL_NAME} \
  --cluster ${GKE_CLUSTER_NAME} \
  --accelerator type=${GPU_TYPE},count=${GPUS_PER_NODE} \
  --zone us-west1 \
  --num-nodes=0 \
  --enable-autoscaling \
  --min-nodes=0 \
  --max-nodes=4 \
  --machine-type=n1-standard-32 \

# Deploy a DaemonSet that enables the GPUs.
kubectl apply -f

# Create a GCS bucket to store checkpoints.
gsutil mb gs://${GCS_BUCKET_NAME}

Manage a GKE Cluster#

For general instructions on adding taints and tolerations to nodes, see the Taints and Tolerations section in our Guide to Kubernetes. There, you can find an explanation of taints and tolerations, as well as instructions for using kubectl to add them to existing clusters.

It is important to note that if you use the gcloud CLI to create nodes with taints, you must also add tolerations using kubectl; otherwise, Kubernetes will be unable to schedule pods on the tainted node.

To create a nodepool or a cluster with a taint in GKE, use the --node-taints flag to specify the type, tag, and effect.

gcloud container clusters create ${GKE_CLUSTER_NAME} \
   --node-taints ${TAINT_TYPE}=${TAINT_TAG}:${TAINT_EFFECT}

The following command is an example of using the gcloud CLI to make a cluster that with a taint with type dedicated equal to experimental with the PreferNoSchedule effect.

gcloud container clusters create ${GKE_CLUSTER_NAME} \
   --node-taints dedicated=experimental:PreferNoSchedule
gcloud container node-pools create ${GKE_NODE_POOL_NAME} \
   --cluster ${GKE_CLUSTER_NAME} \
   --node-taints ${TAINT_TYPE}=${TAINT_TAG}:${TAINT_EFFECT}

The following CLI command is an example of using the gcloud CLI to make a node with a taint with type special equal to gpu with the NoExecute effect.

gcloud container node-pools create ${GKE_NODE_POOL_NAME} \
   --cluster ${GKE_CLUSTER_NAME} \
   --node-taints special=gpu:NoExecute

Next Steps#