SC is the International Conference for
High Performance Computing, Networking,
Storage and Analysis

SCHEDULE: NOV 12-18, 2011

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Evaluating the Viability of Process Replication Reliability for Exascale Systems

SESSION: Reliability


TIME: 1:30PM - 2:00PM

AUTHOR(S):Kurt, B. Ferreira, Rolf Riesen, Patrick Bridges, Dorian Arnold, Jon Stearley, James H. Laros, Ron A. Oldfield, Kevin Pedretti, Ron Brightwell


As high-end computing machines continue to grow in size, issues such as fault tolerance and reliability limit application scalability. Current techniques to ensure progress across faults, like checkpoint-restart, are increasingly problematic at these scales due to excessive overheads predicted to more than double an applications time to solution. Replicated computing techniques, particularly state machine replication, long used in distributed and mission critical systems, has been suggested as an alternative to checkpoint-restart. In this paper, we evaluate the viability of using state machine replication as the primary fault tolerance mechanism for upcoming exascale systems. We use a combination of modeling, empirical analysis, and simulation to study the costs and benefits of this approach in comparison to checkpoint/restart on a wide range of system parameters. These results, which cover different failure distributions, hardware mean time to failures, and I/O bandwidths, show that state machine replication is a potentially useful technique for meeting the fault tolerance demands of HPC applications on future exascale platforms.

Chair/Author Details:

Kurt, B. Ferreira - Sandia National Laboratories

Rolf Riesen - IBM Ireland

Patrick Bridges - University of New Mexico

Dorian Arnold - University of New Mexico

Jon Stearley - Sandia National Laboratories

James H. Laros - Sandia National Laboratories

Ron A. Oldfield - Sandia National Laboratories

Kevin Pedretti - Sandia National Laboratories

Ron Brightwell - Sandia National Laboratories

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The full paper can be found in the ACM Digital Library

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