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Parallel processing on networks of workstations: a fault-tolerant, high performance approach

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3 Author(s)
Dasgupta, P. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ, USA ; Kedem, Zvi M. ; Rabin, M.O.

One of the most sought after software innovation of this decade is the construction of systems using off-the-shelf-workstations that actually deliver and even surpass, the power and reliability of supercomputers. Using completely novel techniques: eager scheduling, evasive memory layouts and dispersed data management it is possible to build an execution environment for parallel programs on workstation networks. These techniques were originally developed in a theoretical framework for an abstract machine which models a shared memory asynchronous multiprocessor. The network of workstations platform presents an inherently asynchronous environment for the execution of our parallel program. This gives rise to substantial problems of correctness of the computation and of proper automatic load balancing of the work amongst the processors, so that a slow processor will not hold up the total computation. A limiting case of asynchrony is when a processor becomes infinitely slow, i.e. fails. Our methodology copes with all these problems, as well as with memory failures. An interesting feature of this system is that it is neither a fault-tolerant system extended for parallel processing nor is it parallel processing system extended for fault tolerance. The same novel mechanisms ensure both properties

Published in:

Distributed Computing Systems, 1995., Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

30 May-2 Jun 1995