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Lawrence Berkeley Labs talk: (Open) MPI, Parallel Computing, Life, the Universe, and Everything

November 8, 2013 at 11:57 am PST

Many thanks to the crew at LBL for hosting my talks yesterday.  There were many insightful questions and comments throughout both talks.

Here’s the slides from my first talk, entitled “(Open) MPI, Parallel Computing, Life, the Universe, and Everything.”  This is a general MPI/Open MPI talk, where I discussed the current state of Open MPI, and then talked in detail about two of Open MPI’s newest features: the MPI-3 “MPI_T” tools interface, and Open MPI’s flexible process affinity system.

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My new favorite Open MPI mpirun feature: tab completion

November 1, 2013 at 5:00 am PST

Today’s guest author is Nathan Hjelm, a Scientist 2 at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

We recently added scripts to support tab completion of mpirun flags and run-time MCA configuration variables to the Open MPI trunk development. The scripts support both bash and zsh and have a number of useful features (depending on the shell).

Can’t remember how to spell that MCA parameter name? Just hit <TAB>.
Can’t remember which transports are available? Just hit <TAB>.
Can’t remember the name of that mpirun CLI option? Just hit <TAB>.

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Speaking at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab next week

October 30, 2013 at 9:45 am PST

Are you in the Northern California Bay Area and want to hear about Open MPI and/or Cisco’s usNIC technology next week?

If so, you’re in luck!

I’ll be speaking at Lawrence Berkeley Lab (LBL) next Thursday, November 7, 2013, at 2:30pm.  Click through to see the location and directions and whatnot (LBL requests that you RSVP if you plan to attend).

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Hardware and software queuing

October 18, 2013 at 3:24 pm PST

I’ve talked before about how getting high performance in MPI is all about offloading to dedicated hardware.  You want to get software out of the way as soon as possible and let the underlying hardware progress the message passing at max speed.

But the funny thing about networking hardware: it tends to have limited resources.  You might have incredibly awesome NICs in your HPC cluster, but they only have a finite (small) amount of resources such as RAM, queues, queue depth, descriptors (for queue entries), etc.

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MPI newbie: Building MPI applications

October 12, 2013 at 7:30 am PST

In a previous post, I gave some (very) general requirements for how to setup / install an MPI installation.

This is post #2 in the series: now that you’ve got a shiny new computational cluster, and you’ve got one or more MPI implementations installed, I’ll talk about how to build, compile, and link applications that use MPI.

To be clear: MPI implementations are middleware — they do not do anything remarkable by themselves.  MPI implementations are generally only useful when you have an application that uses the MPI middleware to do something interesting.

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