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Interstitial computing: utilizing spare cycles on supercomputers

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2 Author(s)
Kleban, S.D. ; Sandia Nat. Labs., Albuquerque, NM, USA ; Clearwater, S.H.

This paper presents an analysis of utilizing unused cycles on supercomputers through the use of many small jobs. What we call "interstitial computing," is important to supercomputer centers for both productivity and political reasons. Interstitial computing makes use of the fact that small jobs are more or less fungible consumers of compute cycles that are more efficient for bin packing than the typical jobs on a supercomputer. An important feature of interstitial computing is that it not have a significant impact on the makespan of native jobs on the machine. Also, a facility can obtain higher utilizations that may only be otherwise possible with more complicated schemes or with very long wait times. The key contribution of this paper is that it provides theoretical and empirical guidelines for users and administrators for how currently unused supercomputer cycles may be exploited. We find that that interstitial computing is a more effective means for increasing machine utilization than increasing native job run times or size.

Published in:

Cluster Computing, 2003. Proceedings. 2003 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

1-4 Dec. 2003

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