Power/performance evaluation of Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) for High Performance Computing
Document typeConference report
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Rights accessRestricted access - publisher's policy
As of June 2012, 41 % of all systems in the TOP5OO use Gigabit Ethernet. Ethernet has been a strong contender in the HPC interconnect market for its competitive performance and low cost. However, until recently, little emphasis has been thrown upon bringing about energy efficient HPC interconnects. To illustrate, in a majority if not all Ethernet based systems, the transmitter and receiver operate at full power regardless of any data transmission between them, leading to power inefficiency. The recent standard IEEE 802.3az, Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE), approved in 2010, solves the above conundrum by introducing "Low-Power-Idle", dynamically turning off unused links to save interconnect power. In this paper, we present the first analysis of Energy Efficient Ethernet in the domain of HPC, examining its potential for power savings. Unlike previous proposals, we present a detailed analysis of the impact of additional latency overhead introduced by EEE, using multiple simulated systems running actual HPC application traces. We propose the use of "Power-Down Threshold", as a possible add-on to EEE to mitigate its on/off transition overhead. We find that EEE brings about link power savings of about 70% by switching off links, but at the cost of performance, leading to increased power consumption of the overall system by l5% (average). In contrast, using our proposed "Power-Down Threshold", we demonstrate reduced on/off transition overhead, from 25% to 2%, translating to overall system power savings of about 7.5%. Furthermore, in this work we point out relevant design decisions for future vendors intending to deploy EEE solutions for their HPC systems.
CitationKarthikeyan, S.; Carpenter, P.; Alex Ramirez. Power/performance evaluation of Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) for High Performance Computing. A: IEEE International Symposium on Performance Analysis of Systems and Software. "IEEE International Symposium on Performance Analysis of Systems and Software (ISPASS), 2013: 21-23 April 2011: Austin, TX, USA". Austin, TX: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2013, p. 205-214.
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