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Dynamic Fractional Resource Scheduling versus Batch Scheduling

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3 Author(s)
Stillwell, M. ; INRIA, Univ. of Lyon, Lyon, France ; Vivien, F. ; Casanova, H.

We propose a novel job scheduling approach for homogeneous cluster computing platforms. Its key feature is the use of virtual machine technology to share fractional node resources in a precise and controlled manner. Other VM-based scheduling approaches have focused primarily on technical issues or extensions to existing batch scheduling systems, while we take a more aggressive approach and seek to find heuristics that maximize an objective metric correlated with job performance. We derive absolute performance bounds and develop algorithms for the online nonclairvoyant version of our scheduling problem. We further evaluate these algorithms in simulation against both synthetic and real-world HPC workloads and compare our algorithms to standard batch scheduling approaches. We find that our approach improves over batch scheduling by orders of magnitude in terms of job stretch, while leading to comparable or better resource utilization. Our results demonstrate that virtualization technology coupled with lightweight online scheduling strategies can afford dramatic improvements in performance for executing HPC workloads.

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Parallel and Distributed Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 3 )