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P. Beckman, K. Iskra, K. Yoshii, S. Coghlan and A. Nataraj, "Benchmarking the effects of operating system interference on extreme-scale parallel machines", Appears in Cluster Computing 2008 (pg 3-16) published by Springer Netherlands 1386-7857 (Print) 1573-7543 (Online) Volume 11, Number 1 / March, 2008

Keywords: Microbenchmark, Noise, Petascale, Synchronicity

We investigate operating system noise, which we identify as one of the main reasons for a lack of synchronicity in parallel applications. Using a micro-benchmark, we measure the noise on several contemporary platforms and find that, even with a general-purpose operating system, noise can be limited if certain precautions are taken. We then inject artificially generated noise into a massively parallel system and measure its influence on the performance of collective operations. Our experiments indicate that on extreme-scale platforms, the performance is correlated with the largest interruption to the application, even if the probability of such an interruption on a single process is extremely small. We demonstrate that synchronizing the noise can significantly reduce its negative influence.


Created: Wed Oct 15 11:42:36 2008

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