DANCES with Big Data: Progress Update from XSEDE Meeting

By John Russell

July 22, 2016

Moving large datasets around HPC networks such as those of XSEDE is often challenging. While Internet2, the most commonly used backbone, is fast at 100GBS, local traffic to campuses often slows to 10GBS. At this week’s XSEDE meeting the DANCES (Developing Applications with Networking Capabilities via End-to-End SDN) project leaders reported first successful testing of hardware components needed as well as results of vendor bakeoff for switches.

The NSF-funded DANCES[i] project is intended to investigate and develop the ability to add network bandwidth scheduling via software- defined networking (SDN) programmability to selected cyberinfrastructure services and applications intended to develop a software/hardware infrastructure that speeds and smoothes high-speed traffic. The recent test involved transfer of “Big Data” between two XSEDE sites, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) and the National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS) at the University of Tennessee.

Victor Hazlewood
Victor Hazlewood

“If you think about [high-performance computing] users and their end-to-end workflow, they need to do it by breaking their projects into pieces,” says Victor Hazlewood of NICS, principal author of the peer-reviewed article accompanying the presentation. “One of these pieces inevitably involves moving data into and out of where researchers do their computation.”

Today’s research wide-area networks (WAN) are more a free-for-all than their compute and storage counterparts, which are scheduled and managed, according to Hazlewood. By design, the protocol software that regulates the network data flow treats all data packets as equal. When the networks are not crowded it’s like an empty freeway. When they are crowded, though, the situation becomes much like a convoy of buses getting broken apart by other traffic. For large datasets traveling across the WAN, that can mean slow movement or even failures to move the data completely in a reasonable amount of time.

DANCES DIAGRAM

Project leaders presented a DANCES progress update and their paper[ii] at the XSEDE. In addition to reviewing the technology investigated, the paper details the evaluation of several vendors for use in the project. Corsa Technology, a Canadian technology start-up, was selected. “We were … interested in devices that supported bandwidth reservation,” said coauthor Kathy Benninger of PSC. “Part of that has to do with adoption of the newest OpenFlow versions by switch vendors.”

OpenFlow 1.3, the latest commonly deployed version of the standard network communications interface, has features that support such bandwidth management. But the problem, Benninger explains, is that “compliance” with a given version of OpenFlow doesn’t require a particular network switch to support every facet of that version’s specification. The researchers had to test a number of switch products, eventually choosing the Corsa DP6410 as most fully compatible with the DANCES requirements, successfully testing the combination in a number of data-transfer scenarios between PSC and NICS. Next, the group plans to test the full set of end-to-end system functions that will be needed to support real data transfers by XSEDE users.

Here’s an excerpt from the paper describing target device and application characteristics:

“The SDN capabilities would be provided by a network device that implements OpenFlow 1.3 including per-flow meters and per-port queuing required by DANCES. The bandwidth control and scheduling capability will be used to mitigate congestion – induced throughput problems on end site networks. The prototype environment setup has been done in two phases. The first phase was done by setting up and testing in a virtual environment and the second phase was done by creating a WAN test environment.

“The cyberinfrastructure applications chosen for investigation and potential performance enhancement by DANCES include (1) SCP and GridFTP data transfers and (2) wide area distributed file system data transfers initiated by, and integrated with, job scheduling and resource management. In addition, SLASH2, the wide area distributed file system targeted for DANCES integration, natively supports scheduled remote file replication. Coupling the SLASH2native file transfer scheduling with the network bandwidth scheduling capability of DANCES increases the efficiency of both network and file system resources.

“The project set out to deploy a prototype environment to extend the TORQUE/Moab scheduling and management currently in use at several XSEDE supercomputing sites to support networking as a schedulable resource. The wide area distributed file systems selected for bandwidth scheduling integration were the XSEDE-wide File System built on IBM’s General Parallel File System (GPFS) and SLASH2 developed at Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. Since the award of DANCES, XSEDE has decided to no longer support the XSEDE-wide file system based on GPFS and, therefore, DANCES modified its goals to test and prototype using GridFTP, SLASH2 and now SCP as the replacement for GPFS.”

Shown below is an early test DANCES WAN configuration:

DANCES-WAN-env

The authors note that Software Defined Networking has become broadly used terminology, including open and vendor proprietary protocols for network device control communication. Early in the project, OpenFlow was selected as the switch control protocol because it was the most widely deployed and supported, as well as being an open standard. DANCES team identified the version 1.3.0 specification as the minimum target for switch selection in order to provide for complex quality of service frameworks (e.g. rate limiting) that could be provided by implementation of the specification’s per-flow meters in section and per-port queues in section. The per-switch port buffer space was also an important consideration.

Product specifications from Arista, Brocade, Cisco, Dell, Noviflow, and Pica8 were assessed and determined not to “sufficiently meet all the selection criteria while remaining within the project budget.” Five OpenFlow switches were selected for field test, including an early-release Netronome Network Flow Processing Platform (NFPP-1U), a Juniper EX9204, a Juniper MX80-48T, an HP5920 (now HPE), and a Corsa DP6410, which was eventually selected for the project deployment.

Hazlewood expects that the SDN technology employed by DANCES may be adopted by major coordinated HPC networks such as XSEDE within the next five years, with more mainstream use in five to 10 years.

References

[i] Developing Applications with Networking Capabilities via End-to-End SDN (DANCES) project is a collaboration between The  University  of  Tennessee’s  National  Institute  for  Computational   Sciences (UT-NICS), Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), and Internet2 to investigate and develop the ability to add network bandwidth scheduling via software- defined networking (SDN) programmability to selected cyberinfrastructure services and applications. DANCES, funded by the   National   Science   Foundation’s   Campus Cyberinfrastructure – Network Infrastructure and Engineering (CC-NIE) program award numbers 1341005, 1340953, and 1340981, has field tested five vendor network devices in order to determine which implements the DANCES requirements of the OpenFlow 1.3 standard to provide the network reservation and rate-limiting capability desired to implement the goals of DANCES.

[ii] Developing Applications with Networking Capabilities via End-to-End SDN

(DANCES), by Victor Hazlewood, Kathy Benninger, Greg Peterson, Jason Charcalla, Benny Sparks, Jesse Hanley, Andrew Adams, Bryan Learn, Robert Budden, Derek Simmel, Joseph Lappa, Jared Yanovich; http://www.psc.edu/images/news/XSEDE16-DANCES-final.pdf

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Intel Debuts Pohoiki Beach, Its 8M Neuron Neuromorphic Development System

July 17, 2019

Neuromorphic computing has received less fanfare of late than quantum computing whose mystery has captured public attention and which seems to have generated more efforts (academic, government, and commercial) but whose Read more…

By John Russell

Goonhilly Unveils New Immersion-Cooled Platform, Doubles Down on Sustainability Mission

July 16, 2019

Goonhilly Earth Station has opened its new datacenter – an enhancement to its existing tier 3 facility – in Cornwall, England, touting an ambitious commitment to holistic sustainability as well as launching a managed Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

New CMU AI Poker Bot – Pluribus – Humbles the Pros Again

July 15, 2019

Remember Libratus, the Carnegie Mellon University developed AI poker bot that’s been humbling poker professionals at Texas hold’em for a couple of years. Well, say hello to Pluribus, an upgraded bot, which has now be Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Bring the Combined Power of HPC and AI to Your Business Transformation

A growing number of commercial businesses are implementing HPC solutions to derive actionable business insights, to run higher performance applications and to gain a competitive advantage. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Smarter Technology Revs Up Red Bull Racing

In 21st century business, companies that effectively leverage their information resources – thrive. As it turns out, the same is true in Formula One racing. Read more…

ISC19 Cluster Competition: Application Results, Finally!

July 15, 2019

Our exhaustive coverage of the ISC19 Student Cluster Competition continues as we discuss the application scores below. While the scores were typically high, some of the apps, like SWIFT and OpenFOAM, really pushed the st Read more…

By Dan Olds

Intel Debuts Pohoiki Beach, Its 8M Neuron Neuromorphic Development System

July 17, 2019

Neuromorphic computing has received less fanfare of late than quantum computing whose mystery has captured public attention and which seems to have generated mo Read more…

By John Russell

Goonhilly Unveils New Immersion-Cooled Platform, Doubles Down on Sustainability Mission

July 16, 2019

Goonhilly Earth Station has opened its new datacenter – an enhancement to its existing tier 3 facility – in Cornwall, England, touting an ambitious commitme Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

New CMU AI Poker Bot – Pluribus – Humbles the Pros Again

July 15, 2019

Remember Libratus, the Carnegie Mellon University developed AI poker bot that’s been humbling poker professionals at Texas hold’em for a couple of years. We Read more…

By John Russell

ISC19 Cluster Competition: Application Results, Finally!

July 15, 2019

Our exhaustive coverage of the ISC19 Student Cluster Competition continues as we discuss the application scores below. While the scores were typically high, som Read more…

By Dan Olds

Nvidia Expands DGX-Ready AI Program to 19 Countries

July 11, 2019

Nvidia’s DGX-Ready Data Center Program, announced in January and designed to provide colo and public cloud-like options to access the company’s GPU-powered Read more…

By Doug Black

Argonne Team Makes Record Globus File Transfer

July 10, 2019

A team of scientists at Argonne National Laboratory has broken a data transfer record by moving a staggering 2.9 petabytes of data for a research project.  The data – from three large cosmological simulations – was generated and stored on the Summit supercomputer at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Nvidia, Google Tie in Second MLPerf Training ‘At-Scale’ Round

July 10, 2019

Results for the second round of the AI benchmarking suite known as MLPerf were published today with Google Cloud and Nvidia each picking up three wins in the at Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Applied Materials Embedding New Memory Technologies in Chips

July 9, 2019

Applied Materials, the $17 billion Santa Clara-based materials engineering company for the semiconductor industry, today announced manufacturing systems enablin Read more…

By Doug Black

High Performance (Potato) Chips

May 5, 2006

In this article, we focus on how Procter & Gamble is using high performance computing to create some common, everyday supermarket products. Tom Lange, a 27-year veteran of the company, tells us how P&G models products, processes and production systems for the betterment of consumer package goods. Read more…

By Michael Feldman

Cray, AMD to Extend DOE’s Exascale Frontier

May 7, 2019

Cray and AMD are coming back to Oak Ridge National Laboratory to partner on the world’s largest and most expensive supercomputer. The Department of Energy’s Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Graphene Surprises Again, This Time for Quantum Computing

May 8, 2019

Graphene is fascinating stuff with promise for use in a seeming endless number of applications. This month researchers from the University of Vienna and Institu Read more…

By John Russell

AMD Verifies Its Largest 7nm Chip Design in Ten Hours

June 5, 2019

AMD announced last week that its engineers had successfully executed the first physical verification of its largest 7nm chip design – in just ten hours. The AMD Radeon Instinct Vega20 – which boasts 13.2 billion transistors – was tested using a TSMC-certified Calibre nmDRC software platform from Mentor. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

TSMC and Samsung Moving to 5nm; Whither Moore’s Law?

June 12, 2019

With reports that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TMSC) and Samsung are moving quickly to 5nm manufacturing, it’s a good time to again ponder whither goes the venerable Moore’s law. Shrinking feature size has of course been the primary hallmark of achieving Moore’s law... Read more…

By John Russell

Deep Learning Competitors Stalk Nvidia

May 14, 2019

There is no shortage of processing architectures emerging to accelerate deep learning workloads, with two more options emerging this week to challenge GPU leader Nvidia. First, Intel researchers claimed a new deep learning record for image classification on the ResNet-50 convolutional neural network. Separately, Israeli AI chip startup Hailo.ai... Read more…

By George Leopold

Nvidia Embraces Arm, Declares Intent to Accelerate All CPU Architectures

June 17, 2019

As the Top500 list was being announced at ISC in Frankfurt today with an upgraded petascale Arm supercomputer in the top third of the list, Nvidia announced its Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Top500 Purely Petaflops; US Maintains Performance Lead

June 17, 2019

With the kick-off of the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Frankfurt this morning, the 53rd Top500 list made its debut, and this one's for petafl Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

ISC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
GOOGLE
GOOGLE
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL

Intel Launches Cascade Lake Xeons with Up to 56 Cores

April 2, 2019

At Intel's Data-Centric Innovation Day in San Francisco (April 2), the company unveiled its second-generation Xeon Scalable (Cascade Lake) family and debuted it Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Cray – and the Cray Brand – to Be Positioned at Tip of HPE’s HPC Spear

May 22, 2019

More so than with most acquisitions of this kind, HPE’s purchase of Cray for $1.3 billion, announced last week, seems to have elements of that overused, often Read more…

By Doug Black and Tiffany Trader

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Hardware That Powered the Black Hole Image

June 24, 2019

Two months ago, the first-ever image of a black hole took the internet by storm. A team of scientists took years to produce and verify the striking image – an Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Announcing four new HPC capabilities in Google Cloud Platform

April 15, 2019

When you’re running compute-bound or memory-bound applications for high performance computing or large, data-dependent machine learning training workloads on Read more…

By Wyatt Gorman, HPC Specialist, Google Cloud; Brad Calder, VP of Engineering, Google Cloud; Bart Sano, VP of Platforms, Google Cloud

It’s Official: Aurora on Track to Be First US Exascale Computer in 2021

March 18, 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy along with Intel and Cray confirmed today that an Intel/Cray supercomputer, "Aurora," capable of sustained performance of one exaf Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Why Nvidia Bought Mellanox: ‘Future Datacenters Will Be…Like High Performance Computers’

March 14, 2019

“Future datacenters of all kinds will be built like high performance computers,” said Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang during a phone briefing on Monday after Nvidia revealed scooping up the high performance networking company Mellanox for $6.9 billion. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Chinese Company Sugon Placed on US ‘Entity List’ After Strong Showing at International Supercomputing Conference

June 26, 2019

After more than a decade of advancing its supercomputing prowess, operating the world’s most powerful supercomputer from June 2013 to June 2018, China is keep Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

In Wake of Nvidia-Mellanox: Xilinx to Acquire Solarflare

April 25, 2019

With echoes of Nvidia’s recent acquisition of Mellanox, FPGA maker Xilinx has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Solarflare Communications, provider Read more…

By Doug Black

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This