How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love In Situ Analytics: Leveraging Latent Synchronization in MPI Collective Algorithms

S Levy and KB Ferreira and P Widener and PG Bridges and OH Mondragon, PROCEEDINGS OF THE 23RD EUROPEAN MPI USERS' GROUP MEETING (EUROMPI 2016), 140-153 (2016).

DOI: 10.1145/2966884.2966920

Scientific workloads running on current extreme-scale systems routinely generate tremendous volumes of data for post-processing. This data movement has become a serious issue due to its energy cost and the fact that I/O bandwidths have not kept pace with data generation rates. In situ analytics is an increasingly popular alternative in which post- simulation processing is embedded into an application, running as part of the same MPI job. This can reduce data movement costs but introduces a new potential source of interference for the application. Using a validated simulation-based approach, we investigate how best to mitigate the interference from time-shared in situ tasks for a number of key extreme-scale workloads. This paper makes a number of contributions. First, we show that the independent scheduling of in situ analytics tasks can significantly degradation application performance, with slowdowns exceeding 1000%. Second, we demonstrate that the degree of synchronization found in many modern collective algorithms is sufficient to significantly reduce the overheads of this interference to less than 10% in most cases. Finally, we show that many applications already frequently invoke collective operations that use these synchronizing MPI algorithms. Therefore, the syncronization introduced by these MPI collective algorithms can be leveraged to efficiently schedule analytics tasks with minimal changes to existing applications. This paper provides critical analysis and guidance for MPI users and developers on the importance of scheduling in situ analytics tasks. It shows the degree of synchronization needed to mitigate the performance impacts of these time-shared coupled codes and demonstrates how that synchronization can be realized in an extreme-scale environment using modern collective algorithms.

Return to Publications page