Argonne National Laboratory

A Container-Based Approach to OS Specialization for Exascale Computing

TitleA Container-Based Approach to OS Specialization for Exascale Computing
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsZounmevo, JA, Perarnau, S, Iskra, K, Yoshii, K, Gioiosa, R, Van Essen, BC, Gokhale, MB, Leon, EA
Conference NameFirst Workship on Containers 2015 (WoC)
Date Published03/2015
Other NumbersANL/MCS-P5288-0215
AbstractFuture exascale systems will impose several con- flicting challenges on the operating system (OS) running on the compute nodes of such machines. On the one hand, the targeted extreme scale requires the kind of high resource usage efficiency that is best provided by lightweight OSes. At the same time, substantial changes in hardware are expected for exascale systems. Compute nodes are expected to host a mix of general-purpose and special-purpose processors or accelerators tailored for serial, parallel, compute-intensive, or I/O-intensive workloads. Similarly, the deeper and more complex memory hierarchy will expose multiple coherence domains and NUMA nodes in addition to incorporating nonvolatile RAM. That expected workload and hardware heterogeneity and complexity is not compatible with the simplicity that characterizes high performance lightweight kernels. In this work, we describe the Argo Exascale node OS, which is our approach to providing in a single kernel the required OS environments for the two aforementioned conflicting goals. We resort to multiple OS specializations on top of a single Linux kernel coupled with multiple containers.