Performance Assessment of InfiniBand HPC Cloud Instances on Intel Haswell and Intel Sandy Bridge Architectures


  • Jonathan Low A*STAR Computational Resource Centre, Singapore
  • Jakub Chrzeszczyk National Computational Infrastructure, ANU, Canberra
  • Andrew Howard National Computational Infrastructure, ANU, Canberra
  • Andrzej Chrzeszczyk Jan Kochanowski University, Kielce



This paper aims to establish a performance baseline of a HPC installation of OpenStack. We created InfiniCloud - a distributed High Performance Cloud hosted on remote nodes of InfiniCortex. InfiniCloud compute nodes use high performance Intel (R) Haswell and Sandy Bridge CPUs, SSD storage and 64-256GB RAM. All computational resources are connected by high performance IB interconnects and are capable of trans-continental IB communication using Obsidian Longbow range extenders.

We benchmark the performance of our test-beds using micro-benchmarks for TCP bandwidth, IB bandwidth and latency, file creation performance, MPI collectives and Linpack. This paper compares different CPU generations across virtual and bare-metal environments.

The results show modest improvements in TCP and IB bandwidth and latency on Haswell; performance being largely dependent on the IB hardware. Virtual overheads were minimal and near-native performance is possible for sufficiently large messages. From the Linpack testing, users can expect more than twice the performance in their applications on Haswell-provisioned VMs. On Haswell hardware, native and virtual performance differences is still significant for MPI collective operations. Finally, our parallel filesystem testing revealed virtual performance coming close to native only for non-sync/fsync file operations.


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How to Cite

Low, J., Chrzeszczyk, J., Howard, A., & Chrzeszczyk, A. (2015). Performance Assessment of InfiniBand HPC Cloud Instances on Intel Haswell and Intel Sandy Bridge Architectures. Supercomputing Frontiers and Innovations, 2(3), 28–40.

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