Performance Impact of Checkpoint-Restart on Applications

Machine Specifications

Node Count CPU Model CPU Core Info Memory IB Card IB Switch OS OFED Notes
128 Intel E5630 2x4 @ 2.53Ghz 12GB Mellanox QDR Mellanox QDR IB Switch RHEL 6.5 MOFED 2.2 A Lustre parallel file system with 4 Object Storage Servers running over native InfiniBand is deployed to write application checkpoints generated by the checkpointing library BLCR v0.8.5.

The left side of the bar graph below shows the total runtime of High-Performance Linpack (HPL) application that was run with 512 MPI ranks, with varying number of checkpoint snapshots. For the input size used (N = 64000), the aggregate size of a single checkpoint is ~40GB.

The performance impact of the Checkpoint-Restart mechanism provided with MVAPICH2 is illustrated in the graph below. The ENZO Cosmology simulation is used as a representative application for this purpose. The Radiation Transport sample workload provided with the application was executed using 512 MPI ranks. For the input parameters used, the aggregate size of a single checkpoint is ~13GB. The impact of the default Checkpoint-Restart mechanism in MVAPICH2, and the SCR-assisted multi-level checkpointing mechanism are shown in the graph below.

The SCR library implements three redundancy schemes which trade of performance, storage space, and reliability. The graph below compares the checkpointing-writing time of these different schemes against the default model of writing to a parallel file system. The aggregate checkpoint size for each of these runs that use 512 MPI ranks was ~50GB.