[Beowulf] VMC - Virtual Machine Console

Ashley Pittman apittman at concurrent-thinking.com
Wed Jan 16 09:35:57 EST 2008


On Wed, 2008-01-16 at 09:18 -0500, Douglas Eadline wrote:
> I get the desire for fault tolerance  etc. and I like the idea
> of migration. It is just that many HPC people have spent
> careers getting applications/middleware as close to the bare
> metal as possible. The whole VM concept seems orthogonal to
> this goal. I'm curious how people are approaching this
> problem.

There was a paper on this at SC, I don't know if you caught it...

http://sc07.supercomputing.org/schedule/event_detail.php?evid=11066

If I was to try and sum it up in one paragraph it would be:

"The advantages of virtulisation are obvious but for some reason the HPC
community have been slow to reap these benefits, we predict that this is
because of a perception that the performance of comms and VM operations
suffers when virtulised.  This is true however we have demonstrated that
with months of work this performance loss could be minimised such that
instead of slowing down performance a lot it would only slow down
performance a bit."

I think progress is being made on the comms front, both in terms of raw
numbers (bandwidth/latency) but also in reducing CPU usage but we are
still a long way from it being widely used.

Ashley,

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