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Fast networks have made it possible to coordinate distributed heterogeneous CPU, memory and storage resources to provide a powerful platform for executing high-performance applications. However, the performance of these applications on such systems is highly dependent on the allocation and efficient coordination of application tasks. A key component for a performance-efficient allocation strategy is a predictive model which provides a realistic estimate of application performance under varying resource loads. In this paper, we present a model for predicting the effects of contention on application behavior in heterogeneous systems. In particular, our model calculates the slowdown imposed on communication and computation for non-dedicated two-machine heterogeneous platforms. We describe the model for the Sun/CM2 and Sun/Paragon coupled heterogeneous systems. We present experiments on production systems with emulated contention which show the predicted communication and computation costs to be within 15% on average of the actual costs.
Date of Conference: 6-9 Aug. 1996