[ofiwg] DS/DA Runtime Model Discussion
grun at cray.com
Fri Feb 12 17:08:42 PST 2016
In general, I agree with your basic assertion...one of the expected values of the OFI project is 'application transportability', meaning that a given consumer of the services offered via the API should be easily ported from one provider to another (assuming that both providers offer equivalent functionality).
That being said, one of the expectations of the OFI project is that a given provider vendor may target his provider at a particular market and thus may optimize his implementation for that market resulting in a higher quality/higher performing provider, but potentially at higher cost. None of which negates your basic point.
One point I do want to raise is the expression 'middleware'. The convention we've adopted in OFI is to refer to everything above the API as a consumer of network services, and everything below the API as comprising the network stack. Thus MPI, which is referred to as communications middleware, is a consumer of network services.
I am looking (in vain, I'm afraid) for my canonical LNET stack diagram, but if memory serves I think of the LND layer, which is written to a particular network API (e.g. o2iblnd), as a consumer and thus roughly equivalent to MPI as middleware. But I would not think of the provider as being middleware.
All that aside, to help me better visualize your point, can you give an example of a specific way that an LNET consumer (LND?) would behave that might differ between providers in order to maximize performance?
From: Oucharek, Doug S [mailto:doug.s.oucharek at intel.com]
Sent: Friday, February 12, 2016 11:25 AM
To: Smith, Stan <stan.smith at intel.com>
Cc: Paul Grun <grun at cray.com>; ofiwg at lists.openfabrics.org
Subject: Re: DS/DA Runtime Model Discussion
You can see where I am coming from. As an application writer using this middleware, if I write my code one way and am able to get good performance from fabric A (provider A), I am expecting to get a consistent performance profile when I start to support fabric B (provider B). If I have to put a bunch of “if this provider, do this, if that provider, do something different” conditions in my application to get consistent performance out of the fabric, I consider that a fail of the middleware. The middleware should minimize the changes the applications do to adopt new fabrics and that needs to include, as much as possible, what is required for best performance.
I appreciate that the application may need to provide hints, message profiles, etc. to make the job easier. But good middleware should be a negotiator between the application and the provider so I don’t have to learn all the gritty details of how the provider works just to use it reasonably well.
> On Feb 12, 2016, at 10:52 AM, Smith, Stan <stan.smith at intel.com> wrote:
> [Doug writes]
> So, if Lustre creates only one endpoint (QP) to another node and fires a high rate of concurrent messages (high thread count) over that endpoint, will libfabrics/kFabrics intelligently use CPU cores, IRQ balancing, NUMA, etc? Or will it be the responsibility of the application writers to find a way to manipulate the use of endpoints to get the best performance?
> OK - I grok where you are coming from...
> Thread & core allocation/scheduling/binding w.r.t. endpoints are all aspects outside the current scope of libfabric/kFabric today.
> From a libfabric/kFabric provider POV what would 'intelligently use CPU cores, IRQ balancing, NUMA' actually imply?
> The transport layer (aka libfabric/kFabric provider) existing at a layer below the client, could have a difficult time guessing at the expected thread/core behavior a higher level client layer would expect.
> That said, perhaps the client could provide hints as to the desired/expected behavior which the provider could choose to implement if possible.
> Getting this design discussion on the OFIWIG things-to-think-about list would be a good 1st step.
>> On Feb 12, 2016, at 8:52 AM, Smith, Stan <stan.smith at intel.com> wrote:
>> Hi Doug,
>> I may have misled you in believing that clients of libfabric and/or KFabric are responsible for transport locking issues, they are 'not'.
>> Libfabric/kFabric providers 'are' responsible for access serialization to hardware.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: ofiwg-bounces at lists.openfabrics.org [mailto:ofiwg-bounces at lists.openfabrics.org] On Behalf Of Oucharek, Doug S
>> Sent: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 3:37 PM
>> To: Paul Grun <grun at cray.com>
>> Cc: ofiwg at lists.openfabrics.org
>> Subject: [ofiwg] DS/DA Runtime Model Discussion
>> This email is a followup to my comment in a previous DS/DA call about the runtime model being an important part of the DS/DA definition.
>> MPI seems to be the dominate user of fabrics in HPC. As such, they have a huge impact on the design of the runtime model being followed by fabric developers and corresponding middleware (what I consider OFED/verbs, libfabrics, and DS/DA). Currently, they seems to be pushing for bare metal access from the providers leaving the work of serialization/locking to the middleware or the applications themselves.
>> If DS/DA follows libfabrics in its development, I am concerned that the bare metal mindset will dominate here as well and that will leave “application anarchy” with regards to how serialization/locking is being done. Mitigating the strategy of fabric users is something I would expect from the providers (the one common access point regardless of middleware). The MPI push was to get this common point to back off and leave serialization/locking to the upper layers but we now do not have a common point to coordinate competing access to the fabric.
>> Should it not be a part of the middleware (libfabrics and DS/DA) to at the very least, put demands upon the providers so a common strategy for serialization/locking can be enforced for a specific fabric so the apps, like Lustre, don’t have to make significant code changes to get reasonable performance out of the fabric? If we have to make significant changes for each new fabric released, the value of the middleware (be it OFED, libfabrics, or DS/DA) is severely diminished and we might as well just access the fabric drivers directly.
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