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The Cyclone plug-in offers two ways to run operations on the NEC SX-Aurora Vector Engine. You can use either Spark SQL or the new VeRDD API. The Spark SQL API is implemented as a plug-in into the Catalyst SQL engine in Spark and therefore typically does not require any changes to applications to be used. Simply specifying the plug-in when running spark-submit is sufficient. The VeRDD API is currently more limited but offers great performance at the cost of requiring code to depend on the Spark Cyclone plug-in and convert RDDs to VeRDDs.

Enabling the plug-in with Spark SQL.

The minimum configuration required to start a job that uses Cyclone after completing all the setup steps in the previous sections is:

 $SPARK_HOME/bin/spark-submit --master yarn \
--num-executors=8 --executor-cores=1 --executor-memory=4G \
--jars /opt/cyclone/spark-cyclone-sql-plugin.jar \
--conf spark.executor.extraClassPath=/opt/cyclone/spark-cyclone-sql-plugin.jar \
--conf \
--conf spark.executorEnv.VE_OMP_NUM_THREADS=1 \
--conf \

--master yarn

Spark Cyclone uses a combination of AVEO and Frovedis for offloading computations onto the Vector Engine. As Frovedis is implemented with MPI its algorithms require one process per Vector Engine core. Therefore it is necessary to use YARN (or Kubernetes) to launch 8 processes per Vector Engine card.

--num-executors=8 --executor-cores=1

The num-executors option should be set to 8 x the total number of Vector Engine cards on the machine. These cores will handle communication with the VE for offloading. The AVEO API also requires that a single thread operates on its data structures, so it is also necessary to specify --executor-cores=1 to prevent extra threads from being used.

--jars and extraClassPath

The --jars option specifies extra jars to be put into the driver class path. To use the plugin it is necessary for the driver to have this jar loaded, and the NCC compiler to be installed on the driver system. The driver does not utilize the Vector Engine and so it does not need to run on a system with Vector Engines installed.

Executors also use Spark Cyclone APIs to offload computations so they also require that the Spark Cyclone jar is on the class path.


To enable the plugin it is necessary to add to the spark.plugins conf variable in addition to any other plugins you might want to use.

--conf spark.executorEnv.VE_OMP_NUM_THREADS=1

As currently Frovedis uses single threaded algorithms, it is necessary to also limit the number of OpenMP threads used by the AVEO library to 1 (as we are using 8 separate processes.)


Spark Cyclone works be converting the Spark SQL queries to C++ code, compiling them and executing them with on the Vector Engine with AVEO. Compilation of the C++ kernels can take a significant amount of time. (Currently up to about 35 seconds.) By specifying a Spark Cyclone will save the source code and compiled .so files in this directory and reuse the compiled version if it's compatible which saves 35 seconds on the second query execution.

Other options

By default the plugin will use all available Vector Engines on the system. To share Vector Engines among many jobs it's necessary to specify the following configurations to leverage YARN for resource management.

--conf \
--conf \