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Open MPI: behind the scenes

Open MPI logoWorking on an MPI implementation isn’t always sexy.  There’s a lot of grubby, grubby work that needs to happen on a continual basis to produce a production-quality MPI implementation that can be used for real-world HPC applications.

Sure, we always need to work on optimizing short message latency.

Sure, we need to keep driving MPI’s internal resource utilization down so that apps get more use of hardware.

But there’s also lots of “uninteresting” — yet still critically important — stuff that happens behind the scenes. Read More »

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MPI 3.1: coming soon to an implementation near you

MPI 3 logoThe next MPI Forum meeting will be in Portland, OR, USA, in early March.

One of the major topics on the agenda will be voting on the MPI 3.1 standard.

You might be wondering what’s new in MPI-3.1.

I’m glad you asked. Read More »

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Tree-based launch in Open MPI (part 2)

In my prior blog entry, I described the basics of Open MPI’s tree-based launching system over ssh (yes, there are still some valid / good reasons for using ssh over a native job scheduler / resource manager’s parallel launch mechanisms…).

That entry got a little long, so I split the rest of the discussion into a separate blog entry.

The prior entry ended after describing that Open MPI uses a binomial tree-based launcher.

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Tree-based launch in Open MPI

I’ve mentioned it before: the run-time systems of MPI implementations are frequently unsung heroes.

A lot of blood, sweat, tears, and innovation goes into parallel run time systems, particularly those that can scale to very large systems.  But they’re  not discussed often, mainly because they’re not as sexy and ultra-low latency numbers, or other popular MPI benchmarks.

Here’s one cool thing that we added to the runtime in Open MPI a few years ago, and have continued to improve on over the years (including pretty pictures!).

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Holiday wishes

As usual, in the post-Supercomputing / post-US-Thanksgiving-holiday lull, the work that we have all put off since we started ignoring it to prepare for Supercomputing catches up to us.  Inevitably, it means that my writing here at the blog falls behind in December.  Sorry, folks!

To make up for that, here’s a little ditty I wrote to tide us all over until we all return after the new year.

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