October 2, 2023-Industry
Here at Vast, we offer both on-demand and interruptible rental options. For most users, the on-demand option provides stable access to the GPU rented for the duration of the rental period. However for advanced users who want to save money and can have their job interrupted, interruptibles are an interesting option.
On-demand instances have a fixed price set by the host. The advantage of renting on demand is that you have high priority and gain exclusive control over the GPU(s) for the lifetime of the instance. This duration of time is up to the client, but a maximum duration determined by the host appears on the offer card when searching the marketplace.
Once the designated time limit expires, the instance is automatically stopped. You can then copy data off of the stopped instance to a new instance or to your local machine. It is best to assume that your instance will be lost once its lifetime expires, but the host does have the option to renew the contract, adding more lifetime to your instance. Reasons not to do so may include taking the machine offline for scheduled maintenance or upgrades.
If you need an instance to run for many days or weeks at a time, such as for larger artificial intelligence or machine learning tasks, ensure that the maximum duration exceeds the estimated job completion time. Another best practice is to select a host with a high reliability score.
Our interruptible instances use a direct bidding system to determine priority on a continual basis. This sets Vast.ai apart from others in the field. For instance, although AWS spot instances and GCE interruptible instances can similarly be interrupted by on-demand instances, they do not use a direct bidding system and some will terminate interruptible instances after 24 hours.
With Vast.ai, clients set a bid price for their instance, and the current highest bid determines the instance that runs; any others are paused. Higher bids are obviously favored to maximize revenue for hosts, but this system can nonetheless reduce clients’ costs by fifty percent or even more in certain use cases.
For any given interruptible instance, a higher bid means higher priority on the machine. Lower-priority instances are paused until their bid is raised enough to regain the highest priority or until a higher bid finishes up and is no longer running. On-demand instances will always take precedence over interruptible instances, as well.
As you get started with your GPU rental, the following are a few crucial points to keep in mind:
The bidding method cannot be changed after an instance is rented.
An interruptible instance can be abruptly paused at any time if another user places a higher bid or if an on-demand rental is created for the same resources. This stops all processes that are running, so it is recommended to save your work to disk and consider saving your outputs to cloud storage at regular intervals as well. You can still transfer data off a stopped instance.
It’s best to limit the use of interruptible instances to fault-tolerant workloads capable of handling pauses in runtime. Some examples include batch jobs, code builds, load tests, background processing, data analysis, and optional tasks.
Lastly, we do offer another rental type where you can deposit credits to get reserved instance discounts anytime you like. This involves converting an on-demand rental into a prepaid reserved rental at a discount, ideal for users who have predictable longer-term computing needs and want to get the most out of their budget.
For more information about the above rental options and answers to any further questions you may have, we welcome you to reach out anytime via the chat box below or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to helping you find the GPU rental solution that best fits your unique needs!