[Beowulf] [External] numad?

Prentice Bisbal pbisbal at pppl.gov
Tue Jan 18 21:50:00 UTC 2022

Just to add to my earlier comment below. I think numad is something 
that's really meant for non-HPC environments where latency-hiding is 
more important than all-out performance. Kinda like hyperthreading - on 
HPC workloads, it provides marginal improvement at best, but is very 
helpful on non-HPC workloads (or so I've been told - I have no firsthand 
professional experience with hyperthreading)


On 1/18/22 2:56 PM, Prentice Bisbal wrote:
> Mike,
> I turn it off. When I had it on, it would cause performance to tank.  
> Doing some basic analysis, it appeared numad would move all the work 
> to a single core, leaving all the others idle. Without knowing the 
> inner workings of numad, my guess is that it saw the processes 
> accessing the same region of memory, so moved all the processes to the 
> core "closest" to that memory.
> I didn't do any in-depth analysis, but turning off numad definitely 
> fixed that problem. The problem first appeared with a user code, and I 
> was able to reproduce it with HPL. It took 10 - 20 minutes for numad 
> to start migrating processes to the same core, so smaller "test" jobs 
> didn't trigger the behavior, causing first attempts at reproducing it 
> were unsuccessful. It wasn't until I ran "full" HPL tests on a node 
> that I was to reproduce the problem.
> I think I used turbostat or something like that to watch the load 
> and/or processor freqs on the individual cores.
> Prentice
> On 1/18/22 1:18 PM, Michael Di Domenico wrote:
>> does anyone turn-on/off numad on their clusters?  I'm running RHEL7.9
>> on Intel CPU's and seeing a heavy performance impact on MPI jobs when
>> running numad.
>> diagnosis is pretty prelim right now, so i'm light on details. when
>> running numad i'm seeing MPI jobs stall while numad pokes at the job.
>> the stall is notable, like 10-12 seconds
>> it's particularly interesting because if one rank stalls while numad
>> runs, the others wait.  once it frees they all continue, but then
>> another rank gets hit, so i end up seeing this cyclic stall
>> like i said i'm still looking into things, but i curious what
>> everyone's take on numa is.  my consensus is we probably don't even
>> really need it since slurm/openmpi should be handling process
>> placement anyhow
>> thoughts?
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