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Virtual Supercomputing Cam Macdonell Dept of Computing Science
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 of resources – Complex interactions – Huge amounts of data
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 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 – Doesn’t like new compilers – Files must be in certain locations • And this is just for one application!
There is hope! • Virtualization!
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 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 Loss • Virtualization is slower than running on hardware
VMware on Busby • Gromacs test run on Busby 1
Future Directions • • Resolve performance anomaly More accurate timings of phases Run other applications Get all 4 nodes running concurrently