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Who is afraid of I/O? - Exploring I/O Challenges and Opportunities at the Exascale

Speaker: Dr. Michela Taufer
University of Delaware

March 7, 2016 - 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: DCC 324
Hosted By: Dr. Bulent Yener (x6907)


Clear trends in the past and current petascale systems (i.e., Jaguar and Titan) and the new generation of systems that will transition us toward exascale (i.e., Aurora and Summit) outline how concurrency and peak performance are growing dramatically, however, I/O bandwidth remains stagnant. Next-generation systems are expected to deliver 7 to 10 times higher peak floating-point performance with only 1 to 2 times higher PFS bandwidth compared to the current generation.

Data intensive applications, especially those exhibiting bursty I/O, must take this aspect into consideration and be more selective about what data is written to disk and how the data is written. In addressing the needs of these applications, can we take advantage of a rapidly changing technology landscape, including containerized environments, burst buffers, and in-situ/in-transit analytics? Are these technologies ready to transition these applications to exascale? In general, existing software components managing these technologies are I/O-ignorant, resulting in systems running the data intensive applications that exhibit contentions, hot spots, and poor performance.

In this talk, we explore challenges when dealing with I/O-ignorant high performance computing systems and opportunities for integrating I/O awareness in these systems. Specifically, we present solutions that use I/O awareness (1) to make informed decisions on applications’ allocations in containerized environments, (2) to reduce contentions in scheduling policies managing under provisioned systems with burst buffers, and (3) to mitigate data movements in data-intensive simulations. Our proposed solutions go beyond high performance computing and develop opportunitiesfor interdisciplinary collaborations.


Michela Taufer is the David L. and Beverly J.C. Mills Chair of Computer and Information Sciences and an associate professor in the same department at the University of Delaware. She earned her master’s degrees in Computer Engineering from the University of Padova (Italy) and her doctoral degree in Computer Science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland). From 2003 to 2004 she was a La Jolla Interfaces in Science Training Program (LJIS) Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), where she worked on interdisciplinary projects in computer systems and computational chemistry. From 2005 to 2007, she was an Assistant Professor at the Computer Science Department of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). She joined the University of Delaware in 2007 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2012.

Taufer's research interests include scientific applications and their advanced programmability in heterogeneous computing (i.e., multi-core and many-core platforms, GPUs); performance analysis, modeling, and optimization of multi-scale applications on heterogeneous computing, cloud computing, and volunteer computing; numerical reproducibility and stability of large-scale simulations on multi-core platforms; big data analytics and MapReduce.

Last updated: March 3, 2016