Recommendations for Virtualization Technologies in High Performance Computing
Source: University of Notre Dame
The benefits of virtualization are typically considered to be server consolidation (leading to the reduction of power and cooling costs), increased availability, isolation, ease of operating system deployment and simplified disaster recovery. High Performance Computing (HPC) environments pose one main challenge for virtualization: the need to maximize throughput with minimal loss of CPU and I/O efficiency. However, virtualization is usually evaluated in terms of enterprise workloads and assumes that servers are underutilized and can be consolidated. In this paper, the authors evaluate the performance of several virtual machine technologies in the context of HPC. A fundamental requirement of current high performance workloads is that both CPU and I/O must be highly efficient for tasks such as MPI jobs.