[Beowulf] Update on dealing with Spectre and Meltdown

Skylar Thompson skylar.thompson at gmail.com
Thu Mar 8 16:06:26 PST 2018

We installed the kernel updates when they became available. Fortunately we
were a little slower on the firmware updates, and managed to rollback the
few we did apply that introduced instability. We're a bioinformatics shop
(data parallel, lots of disk I/O mostly to GPFS, few-to-no
cross-communication between nodes), and actually had some jobs start
running faster, though the group running them came back to us to report
that they had taken advantage of the maintenance window to make some tweaks
to their pipeline.

That's sort of a long way of saying YMMV.


On Thu, Mar 8, 2018 at 10:10 AM, Prentice Bisbal <pbisbal at pppl.gov> wrote:

> Beowulfers,
> Have any of you updated the kernels on your clusters to fix the Spectre
> and Meltdown vulnerabilities? I was following this issue closely for the
> first couple of weeks. There seemed to be a lack of consensus on how much
> these fixed would impact HPC jobs, and if I recall correctly, some of the
> patches really hurt performance, or caused other problems. We took a
> wait-and-see approach here. So now that I've waited a while, what did you
> see?
> --
> Prentice
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