Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: New Results

MPI Application and Storage System Simulation

Participants : Frédéric Suter, Laurent Pouilloux.

Scalable Off-line Simulation of MPI Applications

Analyzing and understanding the performance behavior of parallel applications on parallel computing platforms is a long-standing concern in the High Performance Computing community. When the targeted platforms are not available, simulation is a reasonable approach to obtain objective performance indicators and explore various hypothetical scenarios. In the context of applications implemented with the Message Passing Interface, two simulation methods have been proposed, on-line simulation and off-line simulation, both with their own drawbacks and advantages.

We proposed in [9] an off-line simulation framework, i.e., one that simulates the execution of an application based on event traces obtained from an actual execution. The main novelty of this work, when compared to previously proposed off-line simulators, is that traces that drive the simulation can be acquired on large, distributed, heterogeneous, and non-dedicated platforms. As a result the scalability of trace acquisition is increased, which is achieved by enforcing that traces contain no time-related information. Moreover, our framework is based on an state-of-the-art scalable, fast, and validated simulation kernel.

Such off-line analysis faces scalability issues for acquiring, storing, or replaying large event traces. Then, in [10] , we combined our framework with another, specialized in the production of compact traces, to capitalize on their respective strengths while alleviating several of their limitations. We showed that the combined framework affords levels of scalability that are beyond that achievable by either one of the two individual frameworks.

Simulation of Storage Elements

Storage is a essential component of distributed computing infrastructures, i.e., clusters, grids, clouds, data centers, or supercomputers, to cope with the tremendous increase in scientific data production and the ever-growing need for data analysis and preservation. Understanding the performance of a storage subsystem or dimensioning it properly is an important concern for which simulation can help by allowing for fast, fully repeatable, and configurable experiments for arbitrary hypothetical scenarios. However, most simulation frameworks tailored for the study of distributed systems offer no or little abstractions or models of storage resources.

In [34] , we detailed the extension of SimGrid with storage simulation capacities. We first defined the required abstractions and propose a new API to handle storage components and their contents in SimGrid-based simulators. Then we characterized the performance of the fundamental storage component that are disks and derive models of these resources. Finally we listed several concrete use cases of storage simulations in clusters, grids, clouds, and data centers for which the proposed extension would be beneficial.