Scheduling Auctions

All hosts within a lattice are mandated to participate in auctions. An auction is when some consumer of the lattice control interface (e.g. the wash CLI or another application) publishes a set of requirements to all hosts within the lattice.

Each host is then responsible for determining whether or not it meets those requirements. If it does meet those requirements, the host will respond to the auction. Auctions follow the scatter-gather pattern to probe and then collect information.

There are a number of reasons why you might want to hold an auction, but the number one reason is for scheduling. A scheduling auction is an auction where a target/destination host is chosen from among the auction winners, and then an actor or capability provider is then launched on this host.

Specifying Requirements

In the current version of the lattice protocol, the set of requirements are defined as a set of label name-value pairs. A host meets these requirements only if all of the name-value pairs are defined on the host.

In the future we may support a more robust way of specifying requirements and the label values on hosts, but today’s auctions are simple key-value pairs combined with AND logic.


If you want to deploy a capability provider to a host that is known to support the GPIO interface (it has hardware attached via GPIO), then you might add the label gpio with the value of true to each host in the lattice that has attached GPIO hardware. To then hold an auction to determine which hosts might be suitable for this capability provider, you would set the requirements of the auction to gpio=true and pick a destination host from among the winners.

If you want to ensure that a given actor is targeted at a host running in the us-east availability zone, you might label hosts in that zone by setting the az label value to us-east. You could then hold an auction requiring az=us-east, knowing that all “winning” hosts in this auction would be in this availability zone and thus be suitable vessels for the actor in question.

Auctions are deliberately flexible and work with opaque label-value pairs, giving you the flexiblity and power of arranging whatever lattice partitions you need for your auctions.