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MPI newbie: What is “operating system bypass”?

The term “operating system bypass” (or “OS bypass”) is typically tossed around in MPI and HPC conversations; it’s generally something that is considered a “must have” in order to get good performance with many MPI applications.

But what is it?  And if it’s good for performance, why don’t all applications use OS bypass?

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Networks for MPI

It seems like we’ve gotten a rash of “how do I setup my new cluster for MPI?” questions on the Open MPI mailing list recently.

I take this as a Very Good Thing, actually — it means more and more people are tinkering with and discovering the power of parallel computing, HPC, and MPI.

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MPI newbie: Building MPI applications

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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MPI newbie: Requirements and installation of an MPI

I often get questions from those who are just starting with MPI; they want to know common things such as:

  • How to install / setup an MPI implementation
  • How to compile their MPI applications
  • How to run their MPI applications
  • How to learn more about MPI

This will be the first blog entry of several that attempts to guide MPI newbies down the parallelization path.

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