Section: New Results

Scalable I/O for HPC

Damaris and HPC visualization

Participants : Matthieu Dorier, Gabriel Antoniu.

In the context of the Joint Inria/UIUC/ANL Laboratory for Petascale computing (JLCP), have proposed the Damaris approach to enable efficient I/O, data analysis and visualization at ver large scale from SMP machines. The I/O bottlenecks already present on current petascale systems as well as the amount of data written by HPC applications force to consider new approaches to get insights from running simulations. Trying to bypass the storage or drastically reducing the amount of data generated will be of outmost importance for exascale. In-situ visualization has therefor been proposed to run analysis and visualization tasks closer to the simulation, as it runs.

The first results obtained with Damaris in achieving scalable, jitter-free I/O, were published this year [18] . In order to achieve efficient in-situ visualization at extreme scale, we investigated the limitations of existing in-situ visualization software and proposed to fill the gaps of these software by providing in-situ visualization support to Damaris. The use of Damaris on top of existing visualization packages allows us to:

  • Reduce code instrumentation to a minimum in existing simulations,

  • Gather the capabilities of several visualization tools to offer adaptability under a unified data management interface,

  • Use dedicated cores to hide the run time impact of in-situ visualization and

  • Efficiently use memory through a shared-memory-based communication model.

Experiments are now being conducted on BlueWaters (Cray XK6 at NCSA), Intrepid (BlueGene/P at ANL) and Grid5000 with representative visualization scenarios for the CM1  [31] atmospheric simulation and the Nek5000  [34] CFD solver.

Results will be submitted to a conference in early 2013. We plan to further investigate the role that Damaris can take in performing efficient and self-adaptive data analysis in HPC simulations.

Advanced I/O and Storage

Participants : Matthieu Dorier, Alexandru Costan, Gabriel Antoniu.

The recent extension of the JLPC to Argonne National Lab (ANL) has opened new research directions in the field of advanced I/O and storage for HPC, in collaboration with Robert Ross's team at ANL's Mathematics and Computer Science Division (MCS). A founding from the FACCTS program (France And Chicago CollaboraTing in Science) allowed multiple visits (see Section  8.4 ) of students and researchers from both sides to initiate this new collaboration and explore potential research directions.

One outcome of these visits has been the adaptation of Damaris to work on BlueGene/P and BlueGene/Q machines installed at ANL. Several exchanges led to the design of new I/O scheduling algorithms leveraging Damaris for efficient asynchronous I/O and storage. These algorithms are currently being evaluated, and expected to be published in early 2013.

During these exchanges we also investigated new storage architectures for Exascale systems leveraging BLOB-based large-scale storage able to cope with complex data models. We will explore how we can combine the benefits of the approaches to Big Data storage currently developed by the partners: the BlobSeer approach (KerData), which provides support for multi- versioning and efficient fine-grain access to huge data under heavy concurrency and the Triton approach (ANL), which introduces new object storage semantics. The final goal of the resulting architecture will be to propose efficient solutions to data-related bottlenecks in Exascale HPC systems.