Virtualizing File Transfer Agents for Increased Throughput on a Single Host
Authors: Thomas Stitt (Pennsylvania State University), Amanda Bonnie (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Zach Fuerst (Dakota State University)
Abstract: Single Lustre File Transfer Agent (FTA) performance is known to underutilize the Bandwidth of Infiniband (IB) cards. The utility and viability of multiple Lustre FTA Virtual Machines (VMs) for improved network throughput on a single node was investigated. It is proposed that having multiple VMs on a single node will help achieve better usage of the IB card. Kernel-based Virtual Machines (KVM) was chosen as the hypervisor because of its ease of use, popularity, and compatibility with the drivers needed for the Mellanox ConnectX-3 IB card. Single Root - I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) was configured so that the IB card could be divided up among the VMs. SR-IOV allows direct access to PCIe hardware, bypassing the hypervisor, leading to reduced latency and improved performance. Our results lead us to conclude that this method of provisioning FTAs should be further explored for HPC production use.
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