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Simultaneous advances in processor and network technologies have made clusters of workstations attractive vehicles for high-performance computing. Emerging applications targeted for clusters are inherently interactive and collaborative in nature. These applications demand end-to-end quality of service (QoS) in addition to performance. Achieving predictable performance and ability to exploit resource adaptivity are also common requirements of these next generation applications. Providing QoS mechanisms for clusters to satisfy the demands of next generation applications is a challenging task. We propose a QoS framework that provides bandwidth guarantees for communication within a cluster. The framework consists of a novel network interface card (NIC)-based rate control mechanism and a coordinated admission control/scheduling mechanism. An interface is developed so that applications using the common message passing interface (MPI) standard can specify bandwidth requirements of their flows to the underlying network. The framework is developed and evaluated on a Myrinet cluster testbed for a range of scientific and visualization applications. The experimental evaluations demonstrate the various advantages such as predictability and resource adaptability associated with the framework. The proposed framework is quite unique and is the first of its kind in the literature to support next generation interactive and collaborative applications on clusters.
Date of Conference: 2002