High Performance Virtual Machines

PI: Andrew A. Chien , co-PIs: Daniel Reed, David Padua

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High Performance Virtual Machines (HPVMs) can increase the accessibility and delivered performance of distributed computational resources for high performance computing applications. Successful HPVM's will reduce the effort required to build efficient parallel applications on distributed resources, increase the performance delivered to those applications, and leverage parallel software tools from existing parallel systems to distributed environments.

Our approach is to exploit the rapidly increasing performance of low-cost computing systems has produced a rich environment for desktop, distributed, and wide-area computing. However this wealth of computational resources has not been effectively harnessed for high performance parallel computing. High Performance Virtual Machines (HPVMs) are a new technology which leverage the software tools and developed understanding of parallel computation on scalable parallel systems to exploit distributed computing resources. The objective to reduce the effort to build high performance applications on distributed systems.

High Performance Virtual Machines depend on building a uniform, portable abstraction -- a virtual machine -- with predictable, high performance characteristics. To successfully insulate application programs, a virtual machine must (1) deliver a large fraction of the underlying hardware performance, (2) virtualize resources to provide portability and to reduce the effort in building application programs, and (3) deliver predictable, high performance. The project is developing novel technology that leverages commodity components (hardware and software) to deliver high performance communication over cluster and wide area interconnects, predictable communication and computation, coordinated scheduling, and uniform access to resources (e.g. files, mass storage, embedded sensors). The HPVM project involves not only the development of novel communication, scheduling, and resource management technologies, but also dissemination of a series of software release which embody these ideas.

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Last updated January 1999