Scalable system software for high performance large-scale applications
ColaboratorValero Cortés, Mateo; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Departament d'Arquitectura de Computadors
Document typeDoctoral thesis
PublisherUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Rights accessOpen Access
In the last decades, high-performance large-scale systems have been a fundamental tool for scientific discovery and engineering advances. The sustained growth of supercomputing performance and the concurrent reduction in cost have made this technology available for a large number of scientists and engineers working on many different problems. The design of next-generation supercomputers will include traditional HPC requirements as well as the new requirements to handle data-intensive computations. Data intensive applications will hence play an important role in a variety of fields, and are the current focus of several research trends in HPC. Due to the challenges of scalability and power efficiency, next-generation of supercomputers needs a redesign of the whole software stack. Being at the bottom of the software stack, system software is expected to change drastically to support the upcoming hardware and to meet new application requirements. This PhD thesis addresses the scalability of system software. The thesis start at the Operating System level: first studying general-purpose OS (ex. Linux) and then studying lightweight kernels (ex. CNK). Then, we focus on the runtime system: we implement a runtime system for distributed memory systems that includes many of the system services required by next-generation applications. Finally we focus on hardware features that can be exploited at user-level to improve applications performance, and potentially included into our advanced runtime system. The thesis contributions are the following: Operating System Scalability: We provide an accurate study of the scalability problems of modern Operating Systems for HPC. We design and implement a methodology whereby detailed quantitative information may be obtained for each OS noise event. We validate our approach by comparing it to other well-known standard techniques to analyze OS noise, such FTQ (Fixed Time Quantum). Evaluation of the address translation management for a lightweight kernel: we provide a performance evaluation of different TLB management approaches ¿ dynamic memory mapping, static memory mapping with replaceable TLB entries, and static memory mapping with fixed TLB entries (no TLB misses) on a IBM BlueGene/P system. Runtime System Scalability: We show that a runtime system can efficiently incorporate system services and improve scalability for a specific class of applications. We design and implement a full-featured runtime system and programming model to execute irregular appli- cations on a commodity cluster. The runtime library is called Global Memory and Threading library (GMT) and integrates a locality-aware Partitioned Global Address Space communication model with a fork/join program structure. It supports massive lightweight multi-threading, overlapping of communication and computation and small messages aggregation to tolerate network latencies. We compare GMT to other PGAS models, hand-optimized MPI code and custom architectures (Cray XMT) on a set of large scale irregular applications: breadth first search, random walk and concurrent hash map access. Our runtime system shows performance orders of magnitude higher than other solutions on commodity clusters and competitive with custom architectures. User-level Scalability Exploiting Hardware Features: We show the high complexity of low-level hardware optimizations for single applications, as a motivation to incorporate this logic into an adaptive runtime system. We evaluate the effects of controllable hardware-thread priority mechanism that controls the rate at which each hardware-thread decodes instruction on IBM POWER5 and POWER6 processors. Finally, we show how to effectively exploits cache locality and network-on-chip on the Tilera many-core architecture to improve intra-core scalability.
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