Deploy a batch system using Kueue

This tutorial shows you how to deploy a batch system using Kueue to perform Job queueing on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). Complete this tutorial to learn how to set up GKE and Kueue to run Jobs in a first-in-first-out (FIFO) model.


Jobs are applications that run to completion, such as machine learning, rendering, simulation, analytics, CI/CD, and similar workloads.

Kueue is a Cloud Native Job scheduler that works with the default Kubernetes scheduler, the Job controller, and the cluster autoscaler to provide an end-to-end batch system. Kueue implements Job queueing, deciding when Jobs should wait and when they should start, based on quotas and a hierarchy for sharing resources fairly among teams.

Kueue has the following characteristics:

  • It is optimized for cloud architectures, where resources are heterogeneous, interchangeable, and scalable.
  • It provides a set of APIs to manage elastic quotas and manage Job queueing.
  • It does not re-implement existing functionality such as autoscaling, pod scheduling, or Job lifecycle management.
  • Kueue has built-in support for the Kubernetesbatch/v1.Job API.
  • It can integrate with other job APIs.

Kueue refers to jobs defined with any API as Workloads, to avoid the confusion with the specific Kubernetes Job API.


This tutorial is for cluster operators and other users that want to implement a batch system on Kubernetes. In this tutorial, you set up a shared cluster for two tenant teams. Each team has their own namespace where they create Jobs and share the same global resources that are controlled with the corresponding quotas.

This tutorial covers the following steps:

  1. Create a GKE cluster
  2. Create the ResourceFlavor
  3. Create the ClusterQueue
  4. Create the LocalQueue
  5. Create Jobs and observe the admitted workloads


This tutorial uses the following billable components of Google Cloud:

Use the Pricing Calculator to generate a cost estimate based on your projected usage.

When you finish this tutorial, avoid continued billing by deleting the resources you created. For more information, see Clean up.

Before you begin

Set up your project

  1. Sign in to your Google Cloud account. If you're new to Google Cloud, create an account to evaluate how our products perform in real-world scenarios. New customers also get $300 in free credits to run, test, and deploy workloads.
  2. In the Google Cloud console, on the project selector page, click Create project to begin creating a new Google Cloud project.

    Go to project selector

  3. Make sure that billing is enabled for your Google Cloud project.

  4. Enable the GKE API.

    Enable the API

  5. In the Google Cloud console, on the project selector page, click Create project to begin creating a new Google Cloud project.

    Go to project selector

  6. Make sure that billing is enabled for your Google Cloud project.

  7. Enable the GKE API.

    Enable the API

Set defaults for the Google Cloud CLI

  1. In the Google Cloud console, start a Cloud Shell instance:
    Open Cloud Shell

  2. Download the source code for this sample app:

    git clone
    cd kubernetes-engine-samples/batch/kueue-intro
  3. Set the default environment variables:

    gcloud config set project PROJECT_ID
    gcloud config set compute/region COMPUTE_REGION

    Replace the following values:

Create a GKE cluster

  1. Create a GKE Autopilot cluster named kueue-autopilot:

    gcloud container clusters create-auto kueue-autopilot \
      --release-channel "rapid" --region COMPUTE_REGION

    Autopilot clusters are fully managed, and have built-in autoscaling. Learn more about GKE Autopilot.

    Kueue also supports Standard GKE with Node Auto-provisioning and regular autoscaled node pools.

    The outcome is similar to the following once the cluster is created:

      NAME: kueue-autopilot
      LOCATION: us-central1
      MASTER_VERSION: 1.26.2-gke.1000
      MACHINE_TYPE: e2-medium
      NODE_VERSION: 1.26.2-gke.1000
      NUM_NODES: 3

    Where the STATUS is RUNNING for the kueue-autopilot.

  2. Get authentication credentials for the cluster:

    gcloud container clusters get-credentials kueue-autopilot
  3. Install Kueue on the cluster:

    kubectl apply --server-side -f \$VERSION/manifests.yaml

    Replace VERSION with the latest version of Kueue. For more information about Kueue versions, see Kueue releases.

  4. Wait until the Kueue Pods are ready:

    watch kubectl -n kueue-system get pods

    The output should be similar to the following before you can continue:

    NAME                                        READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    kueue-controller-manager-66d8bb946b-wr2l2   2/2     Running   0          3m36s
  5. Create two new namespaces called team-a and team-b:

    kubectl create namespace team-a
    kubectl create namespace team-b

Create the ResourceFlavor

A ResourceFlavor is an object that represents the variations in the nodes available in your cluster by associating them with node labels and taints. For example, you can use ResourceFlavors to represent VMs with different provisioning guarantees (for example, spot versus on-demand), architectures (for example, x86 versus ARM CPUs), brands and models (for example, Nvidia A100 versus T4 GPUs).

In this tutorial, the kueue-autopilot cluster has homogeneous resources. As a result, create a single ResourceFlavor for CPU, memory, ephemeral-storage, and GPUs, with no labels or taints.

kind: ResourceFlavor
  name: default-flavor # This ResourceFlavor will be used for all the resources
Deploy the ResourceFlavor:

kubectl apply -f flavors.yaml

Create the ClusterQueue

A ClusterQueue is a cluster-scoped object that manages a pool of resources such as CPU, memory, GPU. It manages the ResourceFlavors, and limits the usage and dictates the order in which workloads are admitted.

kind: ClusterQueue
  name: cluster-queue
  namespaceSelector: {} # Available to all namespaces
  queueingStrategy: BestEffortFIFO # Default queueing strategy
  - coveredResources: ["cpu", "memory", "", "ephemeral-storage"]
    - name: "default-flavor"
      - name: "cpu"
        nominalQuota: 10
      - name: "memory"
        nominalQuota: 10Gi
      - name: ""
        nominalQuota: 10
      - name: "ephemeral-storage"
        nominalQuota: 10Gi

Deploy the ClusterQueue:

kubectl apply -f cluster-queue.yaml

The order of consumption is determined by .spec.queueingStrategy, where there are two configurations:

  • BestEffortFIFO

    • The default queueing strategy configuration.
    • The workload admission follows the first in first out (FIFO) rule, but if there is not enough quota to admit the workload at the head of the queue, the next one in line is tried.
  • StrictFIFO

    • Guarantees FIFO semantics.
    • Workload at the head of the queue can block queueing until the workload can be admitted.

In cluster-queue.yaml, you create a new ClusterQueue called cluster-queue. This ClusterQueue manages four resources, cpu, memory, and ephemeral-storage with the flavor created in flavors.yaml. The quota is consumed by the requests in the workload Pod specs.

Each flavor includes usage limits represented as .spec.resourceGroups[].flavors[].resources[].nominalQuota. In this case, the ClusterQueue admits workloads if and only if:

  • The sum of the CPU requests is less than or equal to 10
  • The sum of the memory requests is less than or equal to 10Gi
  • The sum of GPU requests is less than or equal to 10
  • The sum of the storage used is less than or equal to 10Gi

Create the LocalQueue

A LocalQueue is a namespaced object that accepts workloads from users in the namespace. LocalQueues from different namespaces can point to the same ClusterQueue where they can share the resources' quota. In this case, LocalQueue from namespace team-a and team-b points to the same ClusterQueue cluster-queue under .spec.clusterQueue.

kind: LocalQueue
  namespace: team-a # LocalQueue under team-a namespace
  name: lq-team-a
  clusterQueue: cluster-queue # Point to the ClusterQueue
kind: LocalQueue
  namespace: team-b # LocalQueue under team-b namespace
  name: lq-team-b
  clusterQueue: cluster-queue # Point to the ClusterQueue

Each team sends their workloads to the LocalQueue in their own namespace. Which are then allocated resources by the ClusterQueue.

Deploy the LocalQueues:

kubectl apply -f local-queue.yaml

Create Jobs and observe the admitted workloads

apiVersion: batch/v1
kind: Job
  namespace: team-a # Job under team-a namespace
  generateName: sample-job-team-a-
  annotations: lq-team-a # Point to the LocalQueue
  ttlSecondsAfterFinished: 60 # Job will be deleted after 60 seconds
  parallelism: 3 # This Job will have 3 replicas running at the same time
  completions: 3 # This Job requires 3 completions
  suspend: true # Set to true to allow Kueue to control the Job when it starts
      nodeSelector: "nvidia-tesla-t4" # Specify the GPU hardware
      - name: dummy-job
        args: ["10s"] # Sleep for 10 seconds
            cpu: "500m"
            memory: "512Mi"
            ephemeral-storage: "512Mi"
            cpu: "500m"
            memory: "512Mi"
            ephemeral-storage: "512Mi"
      restartPolicy: Never

Jobs are created under the namespace team-a. This Job points to the LocalQueue lq-team-a. To request GPU resources, nodeSelector is set to nvidia-tesla-t4.

The Job is composed of three Pods that sleep for 10 seconds in parallel. Jobs are cleaned up after 60 seconds according to ttlSecondsAfterFinished.

This Job requires 1500 milliCPU, 1536 Mi of memory, 1536 Mi of ephemeral storage, and three GPUs since there are three Pods.

Jobs are also created under the file job-team-b.yaml where its namespace belongs to team-b, with requests to represent different teams with different needs.

To learn more, see deploying GPU workloads in Autopilot.

  1. In a new terminal, observe the status of the ClusterQueue that refreshes every two seconds:

    watch -n 2 kubectl get clusterqueue cluster-queue -o wide
  2. In a new terminal, observe the status of the nodes:

    watch -n 2 kubectl get nodes -o wide
  3. In a new terminal, create Jobs to LocalQueue from namespace team-a and team-b every 10 seconds:

    ./ job-team-a.yaml job-team-b.yaml 10
  4. Observe the Jobs being queued up, admitted in the ClusterQueue, and nodes being brought up with GKE Autopilot.

  5. Obtain a Job from namespace team-a:

    kubectl -n team-a get jobs

    The outcome is similar to the following:

    NAME                      COMPLETIONS   DURATION   AGE
    sample-job-team-b-t6jnr   3/3           21s        3m27s
    sample-job-team-a-tm7kc   0/3                      2m27s
    sample-job-team-a-vjtnw   3/3           30s        3m50s
    sample-job-team-b-vn6rp   0/3                      40s
    sample-job-team-a-z86h2   0/3                      2m15s
    sample-job-team-b-zfwj8   0/3                      28s
    sample-job-team-a-zjkbj   0/3                      4s
    sample-job-team-a-zzvjg   3/3           83s        4m50s
  6. Copy a Job name from the previous step and observe the admission status and events for a Job through the Workloads API:

    kubectl -n team-a describe workload JOB_NAME
  7. When the pending Jobs start increasing from the ClusterQueue, end the script by pressing CTRL + C on the running script.

  8. Once all Jobs are completed, notice the nodes being scaled down.

Clean up

To avoid incurring charges to your Google Cloud account for the resources used in this tutorial, either delete the project that contains the resources, or keep the project and delete the individual resources.

Delete the project

  1. In the Google Cloud console, go to the Manage resources page.

    Go to Manage resources

  2. In the project list, select the project that you want to delete, and then click Delete.
  3. In the dialog, type the project ID, and then click Shut down to delete the project.

Delete the individual resource

  1. Delete the Kueue quota system:

    kubectl delete -n team-a localqueue lq-team-a
    kubectl delete -n team-b localqueue lq-team-b
    kubectl delete clusterqueue cluster-queue
    kubectl delete resourceflavor default-flavor
  2. Delete the Kueue manifest:

    kubectl delete -f \$VERSION/manifests.yaml
  3. Delete the cluster:

    gcloud container clusters delete kueue-autopilot --region=COMPUTE_REGION

What's next