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Acaces ’12: Virtualization and High Performance Computing

I’ll be teaching a course titled Virtualization and High Performance Computing at the Eighth International Summer School on Advanced Computer Architecture and Compilation for High-Performance and Embedded Systems (ACACES) the week of July 9th in Fiuggi, Italy. Full details on the summer school are here.

 

Here is the abstract for the class:

 

“System-level virtualization is widely used in commercial enterprise environments — close to half of the workloads running in the world today run within virtual machines. And yet virtualization has not to date played any significant role in High Performance Computing despite the fact that virtualization technology can offer some unique advantages for HPC.   While the rise of cloud computing and its promise of computing on demand has increased the HPC community’s interest in virtualization (a key cloud enabler), there is considerable confusion about both the benefits and challenges of using virtualization for HPC.  In this course we will examine the essential characteristics of HPC workloads and then, using this as a lens, we will look in detail at system-level virtualization to understand both the benefits a modern virtual platform can offer for High Performance Computing as well as the challenges that must be overcome.  We will also examine which types of workloads virtualize well today from a performance perspective and which do not, and we will discuss the prospects for future performance improvements over the next few years.”