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Posts Tagged ‘ performance ’

joshsimons

Virtualized High Performance Computing in 2014

December 12, 2013
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Virtualized High Performance Computing in 2014

As we complete another circuit around the sun, it’s time again to make some predictions about what we’ll see over the course of our next orbit. Since my work in the Office of the CTO focuses on High Performance (Technical) Computing, I’ll focus there. But before looking ahead, let’s take a minute to look back and see how I did with my predictions last year . 2013 Predictions Scorecard Last year, my predictions related to public cloud, private cloud, RDMA in the cloud, virtual machine evolution, and HPC acquisitions. My biggest “miss” was also my most specific prediction — that Amazon would announce RDMA support in 2013 in order to better support latency-sensitive MPI applications. They did not,...

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joshsimons

Virtualized High Performance Computing (HPC) at VMworld 2013

August 19, 2013
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It’s been a busy few months on the HPC front here at VMware. I’ve been spending increasing amounts of time answering questions from our field people and talking with customers about the benefits of using virtualization and cloud technologies for HPC workloads. The two hottest application areas are clearly Life Sciences and Electronic Design Automation (EDA), with Financial Services as a third area where serious interest is starting to ramp. Customers in these sectors are actively evaluating or deploying HPC solutions based on VMware technology. Some of this work will be presented at VMworld 2013 August 25-29 in San Francisco. Here are the talks that will be of special interest to organizations whose job mixes include the technical, scientific or engineering...

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joshsimons

Hadoop Performance on vSphere 5.1

April 19, 2013
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Hadoop Performance on vSphere 5.1

We’ve just published a third Hadoop performance paper, written by VMware performance expert Jeff Buell, which looks in detail at the relative performance of a bare-metal 32-node Hadoop cluster compared to a range of virtual clusters with up to 128 VMs. The executive summary is that while we saw a 13% performance degradation in a head-to-head comparison of a 32-node physical cluster against a 32-VM virtual cluster (one VM per host) running on the same hardware and running the same tests, virtualized performance can be increased significantly — to the point where virtualized Hadoop actually runs a bit faster than physical — by increasing the number of VMs per host. We’ve seen this effect before with Hadoop...

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joshsimons

Paravirtual RDMA for Low Latency and Flexibility

December 27, 2012
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The Office of the CTO has been exploring how to best enable application access to RDMA for those applications requiring the ultimate in high bandwidth, low-latency communication, which includes many HPC MPI applications as well as many scale-out databases and BigData approaches. Passthrough mode is the most straightforward way to enable guest-level RDMA. With passthrough (which we call VM DirectPath I/O), a physical PCI device can be made directly visible to the guest operating system running within the virtual machine. We published a research note showing that this approach delivers very good InfiniBand latencies (under 2us) and excellent bandwidths over a wide range of message sizes. There is a downside, however: Punching through the virtual machine abstraction in this way disables several...

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joshsimons

2013 Predictions: When Worlds Collide

December 18, 2012
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2013 Predictions: When Worlds Collide

It’s time again to dust off the crystal ball, cast the yarrow sticks, read the tea leaves, and share some thoughts about where the IT world is heading over the next twelve months and beyond. Because my focus at VMware is on High Performance Computing (HPC), I’ll confine my prognostications primarily to the growing area of overlap between mainstream Enterprise Computing and HPC — places where each world can benefit from the other in important ways. Before I start, let’s get one no-brainer prediction out of the way: 2012 will be remembered for Nicira , and not Nibiru . Yes, software-defined networking ( SDN ) will trump planetary collisions and the...

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joshsimons

Centralizing HPC Compute Resources using Private Cloud

December 5, 2012
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I met recently with a group of academic CIOs and IT Directors in Denver to talk about how virtualization and private cloud technologies can help lower the barriers to adopting a centralized approach to delivering HPC resources in an academic environment. Of course, the barriers and concerns — losing control of resources, fear of not getting ones “fair share” in a shared facility, being forced into a standardized and sub-optimal software environment, etc.  – are relevant outside of academia as well. Because the topic is of broad interest, I’ve published the slides in SlideRocket and added an audio track that explains why virtualization should not be viewed simply as a tax one pays to move into a cloud environment, but rather as an approach...

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joshsimons

HPC Performance in the Cloud: Status and Future Prospects

October 1, 2012
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HPC Performance in the Cloud: Status and Future Prospects

I spoke last week at ISC Cloud 2012 in Mannheim, Germany about the performance of HPC applications in the cloud, citing results from several studies. I have summarized the talk below and my PDF slide deck is available here . For full details of ISC Cloud 2012, I recommend the coverage at  HPC in the Cloud . I gave my talk to share some specific data about HPC performance in virtual environments, but I first described what new capabilities can be gained by virtualizing an HPC environment. I felt this was necessary because in HPC discussions it is often the case that...

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joshsimons

High Performance Computing with vSphere 5.1

August 29, 2012
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High Performance Computing with vSphere 5.1

We just announced a pile of new vSphere features at VMworld 2012 in San Francisco this week so I thought I’d take a few moments to describe several of those capabilities that will be of particular interest to High Performance Computing customers.

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joshsimons

Virtualization, Italian Style

July 11, 2012
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I’m in Fiuggi, Italy this week teaching a four-lecture course on Virtualization and High Peformance Computing as part of the Eighth International Summer School on Advanced Computer Architecture for High Performance and Embedded Systems ( ACACES 2012 ). I have about 70 students in the class, primarily from European countries.

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joshsimons

The Case for IT Convergence

July 6, 2012
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I gave a talk recently at the HPC Advisory  Council Workshop at the International Supercomputing Conference ( ISC ’12) in Hamburg. The main purpose of the presentation, which was titled Ultra-low Latency in the Cloud: How low can we go?,  was to share our InfiniBand performance results with the HPC community to begin to address the question of whether cloud computing can be useful for more demanding types of applications than the throughput-oriented technical workloads that are known to run well in a virtualized cloud environment. (The short answer is we believe it can.) Before I presented our performance results, I spent the first part of the talk explaining what I see as an...

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