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NOWSort: A Scalable, CommodityWorkstation Sort Remzi H. Arpaci

Summary: NOW­Sort: A Scalable, Commodity­Workstation Sort
Remzi H. Arpaci
Andrea C. Dusseau
Final Project Report
CS­286: Implementation of Database Systems
Computer Science Division
University of California, Berkeley
We have implemented and measured the performance of various sorting implementations on a Network of
Workstations (NOW). In our preliminary study, we find that NOWs are competitive to the large­scale SMPs that are
usually dominant in the sorting arena. Fast communication based on active messages is key in making the parallel
versions of sorting scale, as is the distribution of disks across the cluster. We have also evaluated operating system
support for managing memory and interacting with the file system, finding that most of the necessary support is in
1 Introduction
Networks of workstations (NOWs) are emerging as a cost­effective alternative environment to massively parallel
processors (MPPs) and shared memory servers for executing a variety of workloads, from throughput­driven sequential
jobs to communication­intensive parallel applications. Our intention is to show that the NOW environment is natural
and cost­effective for memory and I/O intensive parallel applications as well. The problem we will focus on in this
paper is sorting, which has a extensive research history in the theoretical community [2, 3, 9, 11, 12, 16], among


Source: Arpaci-Dusseau, Remzi - Department of Computer Sciences, Department of Computer Sciences, University of Wisconsin at Madison


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences