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Virtual Supercomputing Cam Macdonell Dept of Computing Science Virtual Supercomputing Cam Macdonell Dept of Computing Science

What is Computing Science? • “So…you…like…write programs or something? ” • Can you fix What is Computing Science? • “So…you…like…write programs or something? ” • Can you fix my printer?

Scientific Computing • Scientific applications are on the leading edge of computing – Lots Scientific Computing • Scientific applications are on the leading edge of computing – Lots of resources – Complex interactions – Huge amounts of data

Fastest Supercomputer • Fastest Supercomputer – IBM Blue. Gene/L @ LLNL • Previously fastest Fastest Supercomputer • Fastest Supercomputer – IBM Blue. Gene/L @ LLNL • Previously fastest – NEC Earth Simulator • Are computers good at solving problems in natural science?

Computing in Canada • Canada lacks world class computing facilities • We have to Computing in Canada • Canada lacks world class computing facilities • We have to be able to aggregate resources from numerous institutions • The CISS experiments explored aggregating computing resources – 4000 CPUs, 19 ADs

Aggregating is difficult • Different administration domains • Running GROMACS – Requires fftw – Aggregating is difficult • Different administration domains • Running GROMACS – Requires fftw – Doesn’t like new compilers – Files must be in certain locations • And this is just for one application!

There is hope! • Virtualization! There is hope! • Virtualization!

Virtualization • Is it appropriate for Scientific Computing? – Performance has improved – Pricing Virtualization • Is it appropriate for Scientific Computing? – Performance has improved – Pricing has improved (it’s become free)

Virtual Images • Positives – Completely portable • Less administration – Control entire environment Virtual Images • Positives – Completely portable • Less administration – Control entire environment within Virtual Image • We can run any application in them • We can bundle data control software within them

Virtual Images • Negatives – Large size • GBs for virtual disks – Performance Virtual Images • Negatives – Large size • GBs for virtual disks – Performance Loss • Virtualization is slower than running on hardware

VMware on Busby • Gromacs test run on Busby 1 VMware on Busby • Gromacs test run on Busby 1

Future Directions • • Resolve performance anomaly More accurate timings of phases Run other Future Directions • • Resolve performance anomaly More accurate timings of phases Run other applications Get all 4 nodes running concurrently