Performance Characterization of Hypervisor- and Container-based Virtualization for HPC on SR-IOV Enabled InfiniBand Clusters
J Zhang and XY Lu and DK Panda, 2016 IEEE 30TH INTERNATIONAL PARALLEL AND DISTRIBUTED PROCESSING SYMPOSIUM WORKSHOPS (IPDPSW), 1777-1784 (2016).
Hypervisor (e.g. KVM) based virtualization has been used as a fundamental technology in cloud computing. However, it has the inherent performance overhead in the virtualized environments, more specifically, the virtualized I/O devices. To alleviate such overhead, PCI passthrough can be utilized to have exclusive access to I/O device. However, this way prevents the I/O device from sharing with multiple VMs. Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) technology has been introduced for high- performance interconnects such as InfiniBand to address such sharing issue while having ideal performance. On the other hand, with the advances in container-based virtualization (e.g. Docker), it is also possible to reduce the virtualization overhead by deploying containers instead of VMs so that the near-native performance can be obtained. In order to build high-performance HPC cloud, it is important to fully understand the performance characteristics of different virtualization solutions and virtualized I/O technologies on InfiniBand clusters. In this paper, we conduct a comprehensive evaluation using IB verbs, MPI benchmarks and applications. We characterize the performance of hypervisor- and container-based virtualization with PCI passthrough and SR-IOV for HPC on InfiniBand clusters. Our evaluation results indicate that VM with PCI passthrough (VM-PT) outperforms VM with SR-IOV (VM-SR- IOV), while SR-IOV enables efficient resource sharing. Overall, the container-based solution can deliver better performance than the hypervisor-based solution. Compared with the native performance, container with PCI passthrough (Container-PT) only incurs up to 9% overhead on HPC applications.
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