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Hybrid Full/Incremental Checkpoint/Restart for MPI Jobs in HPC Environments

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Executive Summary

As the number of cores in high-performance computing environments keeps increasing, faults are becoming common place. Checkpointing addresses such faults but captures full process images even though only a subset of the process image changes between checkpoints. The authors have designed a high-performance hybrid disk-based full/incremental checkpointing technique for MPI tasks to capture only data changed since the last checkpoint. The implementation integrates new BLCR and LAM/MPI features that complement traditional full checkpoints. This results in significantly reduced checkpoint sizes and overheads with only moderate increases in restart overhead. After accounting for cost and savings, benefits due to incremental checkpoints significantly outweigh the loss on restart operations.

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