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Title: Final Scientific/Technical Report for "Enabling Exascale Hardware and Software Design through Scalable System Virtualization"

This report describes the activities, findings, and products of the Northwestern University component of the "Enabling Exascale Hardware and Software Design through Scalable System Virtualization" project. The purpose of this project has been to extend the state of the art of systems software for high-end computing (HEC) platforms, and to use systems software to better enable the evaluation of potential future HEC platforms, for example exascale platforms. Such platforms, and their systems software, have the goal of providing scientific computation at new scales, thus enabling new research in the physical sciences and engineering. Over time, the innovations in systems software for such platforms also become applicable to more widely used computing clusters, data centers, and clouds. This was a five-institution project, centered on the Palacios virtual machine monitor (VMM) systems software, a project begun at Northwestern, and originally developed in a previous collaboration between Northwestern University and the University of New Mexico. In this project, Northwestern (including via our subcontract to the University of Pittsburgh) contributed to the continued development of Palacios, along with other team members. We took the leadership role in (1) continued extension of support for emerging Intel and AMD hardware, (2) integration and performance enhancement ofmore » overlay networking, (3) connectivity with architectural simulation, (4) binary translation, and (5) support for modern Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) hosts and guests. We also took a supporting role in support for specialized hardware for I/O virtualization, profiling, configurability, and integration with configuration tools. The efforts we led (1-5) were largely successful and executed as expected, with code and papers resulting from them. The project demonstrated the feasibility of a virtualization layer for HEC computing, similar to such layers for cloud or datacenter computing. For effort (3), although a prototype connecting Palacios with the GEM5 architectural simulator was demonstrated, our conclusion was that such a platform was less useful for design space exploration than anticipated due to inherent complexity of the connection between the instruction set architecture level and the microarchitectural level. For effort (4), we found that a code injection approach proved to be more fruitful. The results of our efforts are publicly available in the open source Palacios codebase and published papers, all of which are available from the project web site, Palacios is currently one of the two codebases (the other being Sandia’s Kitten lightweight kernel) that underlies the node operating system for the DOE Hobbes Project, one of two projects tasked with building a systems software prototype for the national exascale computing effort.« less
  1. Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) (SC-21)
Country of Publication:
United States
97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING high-end computing, high-performance computing, virtualization, exascale, operating systems, networking