Publications / SAND Report

Investigating methods of supporting dynamically linked executables on high performance computing platforms

Laros, James H.; Kelly, Suzanne M.; Levenhagen, Michael J.; Pedretti, Kevin P.

Shared libraries have become ubiquitous and are used to achieve great resource efficiencies on many platforms. The same properties that enable efficiencies on time-shared computers and convenience on small clusters prove to be great obstacles to scalability on large clusters and High Performance Computing platforms. In addition, Light Weight operating systems such as Catamount have historically not supported the use of shared libraries specifically because they hinder scalability. In this report we will outline the methods of supporting shared libraries on High Performance Computing platforms using Light Weight kernels that we investigated. The considerations necessary to evaluate utility in this area are many and sometimes conflicting. While our initial path forward has been determined based on this evaluation we consider this effort ongoing and remain prepared to re-evaluate any technology that might provide a scalable solution. This report is an evaluation of a range of possible methods of supporting dynamically linked executables on capability class1 High Performance Computing platforms. Efforts are ongoing and extensive testing at scale is necessary to evaluate performance. While performance is a critical driving factor, supporting whatever method is used in a production environment is an equally important and challenging task.