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SGE debuts topology-aware scheduling

January 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm PST

I just ran across a great blog entry about SGE debuting topology-aware scheduling.  Dan Templeton does a great job of describing the need for processor topology-aware job scheduling within a server.  Many MPI jobs fit exactly within his description of applications that have “serious resource needs” — they typically require lots of CPU and/or network (or other I/O).  Hence, scheduling an MPI job intelligently across not only the network, but also across the network and resources inside the server, is pretty darn important.  It’s all about location, location, location!

Particularly as core counts in individual server are going up. 

Particularly as networks get more complicated inside individual servers. 

Particularly if heterogeneous computing inside a single server becomes popular.

Particularly as resources are now pretty much guaranteed to be non-uniform within an individual server.

These are exactly the reasons that, even though I’m a network middleware developer, I spend time with server-specific projects like hwloc — you really have to take a holistic approach in order to maximize performance.

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Happy 1 year anniversary, RCE-Cast!

January 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm PST

 

We were recording an RCE-Cast with the PETSc guys when we realized that we had just about hit our 1 year anniversary; the first recording was posted on January 17, 2009.  Wow!  I had no idea that we had been doing this so long — Brock and I are both very pleasantly surprised that we’ve managed to keep it going this long.

If you’re unaware of RCE-Cast, it’s a podcast about “Research Computing and Engineering” that Brock Palen and I record every two weeks.  We talk to a variety of software and hardware projects, and/or any other topic that seems to be related to HPC- or RCE-like things. 

Here’s an experiment for our next interview with the Condor folks: “tweet @brockpalen questions for #condor http://tinyurl.com/hqzhm next guest on #RCE“.

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MPI-3 User survey: thank you!

January 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm PST

We had an astonishing 837 responses to the MPI User Survey.  Many thanks to all of you who filled out the survey!

The MPI Forum minions are busy analyzing the data — there’s a lot!  We’ll have more definitive results later, but for now, see below the jump for a few quickie facts from the results.

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Network hardware offload

December 23, 2009 at 12:00 pm PST

Sorry for the lack of activity here this month, folks.  As usual, December is the month to recover from SC and catch up on everything else you were supposed to be doing.  So I’ll try to make up for it with a small-but-tasty Christmas morsel.  Then I’ll disappear for a long winter’s nap; you likely won’t see me until January (shh! don’t tell my wife that I’m working today!).

The topic of my musing today is one that has come up multiple times in conversation over the past two weeks.  Although I’m certainly not the only guy to talk about this on the interwebs, today’s topic is server-side hardware offload of network communications.

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Random Tidbits

December 8, 2009 at 12:00 pm PST

Here’s some random quick notes:

  • Brock posted the MPI-3 podcast on rce-cast.com yesterday.  Have a listen if you’d like to hear some of the new/upcoming efforts in MPI-3.
  • I saw a post on the MVAPICH list the other day that some random user picked up hwloc and submitted a patch to integrate it into MVAPICH.  Huzzah!
  • I hear quite a bit about MPI being run on the Intel prototype 40-core chip.  This is an interesting subject, but quite a bit remains to be seen about the programming models of BigCore chips.  The Intel press releases state that there is hardware support for message passing on the silicon, but what exactly does that mean?  Do we have direct access to that from user space?  …that and many other questions will be discussed over time.

Who’s going to SC10 in New Orleans next year?

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