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Analyzing and Modeling the Performance in Xen-Based Virtual Cluster Environment

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5 Author(s)
Kejiang Ye ; Coll. of Comput. Sci., Zhejiang Univ., Hangzhou, China ; Xiaohong Jiang ; Siding Chen ; Dawei Huang
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Virtualization technology is currently widely used due to its benefits on high resource utilization, flexible manageability and powerful system security. However, its use for high performance computing (HPC) is still not popular due to the unclearness of the virtualization overheads. It's worthy to evaluate the virtualization cost and to find the performance bottleneck when running HPC applications in virtual cluster. We first evaluate the basic performance overheads due to virtualization. Then we create a 16-node virtual cluster and perform a performance evaluation for both para-virtualization and full virtualization. After that, we evaluate the MPI (Message Passing Interface) scalability to investigate the impact of MPI and network communication between virtual machines. In addition to the macro assessment, we use the Oprofile/Xenoprof to investigate the architecture characterization like CPU cycle, L2 cache misses, DTLB misses and ITLB misses which is an auxiliary explanation to the performance bottleneck. Experimental results indicate that performance overheads of virtualization are acceptable for HPC, para-virtualization is very suitable for HPC due to the high virtualization efficiency and efficient inter-domain communication. Finally, we use the non-linear regression modeling technology to present a performance model for network latency and bandwidth to predict the performance in virtual cluster environment.

Published in:

High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC), 2010 12th IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

1-3 Sept. 2010