reibitto / sbt-test-shards   0.1.0

Apache License 2.0 GitHub

An sbt plugin for splitting tests across multiple shards to speed up tests.

Scala versions: 2.12
sbt plugins: 1.0

sbt test shards

An sbt plugin for splitting tests across multiple shards to speed up tests.

What is it?

Some projects have tests that take an incredibly long time. In such cases, CI turnaround time can be frustratingly long. For example, say your tests take 45 minutes to complete in CI. What you can instead do is split and run those tests across multiple nodes to speed up the entire process. So what was once 45 minutes could turn into 15 minutes if you distribute them across 3 nodes. sbt-test-shards aims to make setting up this workflow a bit easier for you.



Add the following to project/plugins.sbt:

addSbtPlugin("com.github.reibitto" % "sbt-test-shards" % "0.1.0")


Out of the box, the only thing that you must do is set the testShard and testShardCount settings to the appropriate values. testShardCount identifies the number of shards/nodes your tests will be split into. Let's say 3 for this example. testShard on the other hand identifies which shard is running the tests. So if we follow the example of 3 nodes, testShard should be set to either 0, 1, or 2 (indexing is zero-based).

By default, testShard and testShardCount will look for the JVM properties called test.shard and test.shard.count respectively. If none are found, it'll fallback to the TEST_SHARD and TEST_SHARD_COUNT environment variables. Otherwise they will default to testShard=0 and testShardCount=1 (which is essentially the same as not doing any sharding at all).

If you want to use your own values, you can configure the sbt settings yourself:

testShard := yourShardId
testShardCount := 5

Sharding algorithms

By default, the tests will be sharded by the test suite name (ShardingAlgorithm.SuiteName). This is convenient because it's automatic and requires no additional setup. This works well if you have a lot of tests and/or you don't have any major outliers, such as 1 suite taking an incredibly long time relative to all the others. If you have such outliers, the execution time for the shards won't be perfectly balanced. So rather than nodes 0, 1, and 2 each taking 15 minutes to complete, it may look like node0 = 12 mins, node1 = 14 mins, node2 = 19 mins. This isn't optimal because you're waiting an extra 4 minutes for CI to complete because node2 is carrying more weight than the others.

To avoid the above case, you can use a different sharding algorithm called ShardingAlgorithm.Balance. This takes in a list of test suite names and their execution times (rough estimates or averages are fine for this). An example:

shardingAlgorithm := ShardingAlgorithm.Balance(
  tests = List(
    TestSuiteInfo("example.FooSpec", Some(Duration.ofSeconds(9))),
    TestSuiteInfo("example.BarSpec", Some(Duration.ofSeconds(3))),
    TestSuiteInfo("example.BazSpec", Some(Duration.ofSeconds(4))),
    // ...
  bucketCount = testShardCount.value,
  fallbackShardingAlgorithm = ShardingAlgorithm.SuiteName

As you can see, filling this out manually would be tedious. Ideally you'd want to derive this data structure from a test report. If that's not an option, you could also get away with only including your slowest test suites in this list and leave the rest to the fallback sharding algorithm.

Eventually this plugin will be able to consume test reports itself so that you won't have to worry about it at all.

Additional configuration

If you're debugging and want to see logs in CI of which suites are set to run and which are skipped, you can use testShardDebug := true

CI Configuration

GitHub Actions

You'll want to set up a matrix for your job. The matrix portion will look something like:

  shard: [0, 1, 2]

then in the env section where you run the sbt test command, you'll want to set the following:

  TEST_SHARD: ${{ matrix.shard }}

Of course you could instead pass in the test.shard and test.shard.count properties in the sbt command if you so prefer (as mentioned earlier).