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Title: A performance comparison of current HPC systems: Blue Gene/Q, Cray XE6 and InfiniBand systems

We present here a performance analysis of three of current architectures that have become commonplace in the High Performance Computing world. Blue Gene/Q is the third generation of systems from IBM that use modestly performing cores but at large-scale in order to achieve high performance. The XE6 is the latest in a long line of Cray systems that use a 3-D topology but the first to use its Gemini interconnection network. InfiniBand provides the flexibility of using compute nodes from many vendors that can be connected in many possible topologies. The performance characteristics of each vary vastly, and the way in which nodes are allocated in each type of system can significantly impact on achieved performance. In this work we compare these three systems using a combination of micro-benchmarks and a set of production applications. In addition we also examine the differences in performance variability observed on each system and quantify the lost performance using a combination of both empirical measurements and performance models. Our results show that significant performance can be lost in normal production operation of the Cray XE6 and InfiniBand Clusters in comparison to Blue Gene/Q.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
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Journal Name: Future Generation Computer Systems, 30:291-304
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
High performance computing; Performance evaluation; Performance modeling; Application analysis