|By Mark Sandstrom||
|February 18, 2013 08:00 AM EST||
Improving application program performance will require parallelizing the program execution at ever finer granularity now that the processor clock rates are no longer increasing. However, even in a per-application dedicated computing environment, the parallelization overhead is known to place a limit on how much application on-time throughput performance increase can be achieved via higher levels of parallel processing. The throughput-limiting impact of parallelization overhead will be significantly amplified when executing multiple internally parallelized applications on dynamically shared cloud computing environment, since the allocation of processing resources to instances and tasks of any given application cannot be done in isolation, but instead it needs to be done collectively across all the applications dynamically sharing the given pool of computing resources. There thus is an urgent need to solve this complex challenge of developing internally parallelized programs for dynamic execution on shared cloud computing infrastructure, if we expect to be able scale the performance and capacity of cloud hosted applications going forward.
PaaS Approach for Parallel Cloud Computing Challenges
The Need for Cross-layer Optimized Platform
For effectiveness of a parallel cloud computing platform, what is essential is how well the platform elements perform together, rather than individually. Consequently, the complex, interleaved challenges of parallel cloud application development and execution cannot be solved by any single layer or element of traditional computing architectures alone. Instead, a comprehensive, cross-layer optimized platform architecture is needed.
This new platform architecture will involve a parallel program development environment for producing application executables based on actors that can be efficiently mapped for concurrent execution on processing cores of dynamically shared manycore arrays. In addition, the parallel cloud computing platform will need an execution environment that, besides executing the program instructions on processing cores, takes care of the dynamic parallel execution routines on behalf of the applications, so that the processing cores are used for executing the actual client programs instead of system functions. If the hardware of the manycore processor fabric did not handle the parallel execution routines, eventually the system would be just managing itself rather than providing increased user application throughput as the numbers of processing cores and applications and tasks sharing them are scaled up. This difference in enabling application on-time throughput scalability is illustrated at Figures 4 and 5 (in Ch. 3 Architectural Advantages of Cross-layer Optimized Parallel Computing PaaS).
The Platform Architecture
Figure 1 below illustrates the overall architecture of the envisioned open parallel program development and execution platform as a service (PaaS).
Figure 1: Overview of the parallel cloud computing PaaS
As illustrated in Figure 1, the open parallel computing PaaS has an open-sourced parallel program development environment and a dynamic parallel execution environment. The development environment allows the platform users to produce executables of their application programs that are made of segments (tasks/actors/threads) that can execute concurrently on parallel (incl. pipelined) processing cores. The execution environment provides, besides an array of processing cores for parallel execution of the user program tasks, the capabilities to dynamically map the highest-priority ready application task instances for execution on their assigned cores. While the state (e.g. which application task instance is mapped to any given core of the shared resource pool at any given time) of the execution environment is highly dynamic during the application runtime, in the platform architecture per Figure 1, the execution environment provides for the application programs (and their developers) a virtual static view of it; any given application can assume that each of its task instances is always active and mapped to a virtual static core in an array that is virtually dedicated to that single application. The hardware automated parallel processing runtime routines of the execution environment per Figure 1 hide (to the desired level) the dynamic details of the processing hardware from the applications as well as the development environment software, thereby providing a higher level, simplified abstraction of the execution environment for the software. The raised level of the software-hardware interface per Figure 1 enables greater productivity for both realizing the much needed open, comprehensive parallel programming environment as well as for developing parallelized applications for cloud deployment, as software does not need to be concerned of the dynamic parallel execution details.
Importantly, there is the need to coordinate the various development activities concerning parallel programming and cloud computing tools etc. base technologies (e.g. languages, compilers, parallel file systems, data bases, etc.) around a common overall framework so that the individual technology elements work efficiently together, to enable high productivity development of parallelized applications for cloud deployment. ThroughPuter proposes that the elevated level of the interface to the parallel execution environment per the platform architecture of Figure 1 provides a compelling motive for why the software technology development activities for parallel cloud computing should be based on this execution environment model. More specifically, the major reasons for software ecosystem for parallel computing platform to be based on the dynamic parallel execution environment interface standard per figure include:
- Greater productivity through less low-level work: The execution environment in the platform architecture per Figure 1 automates dynamic parallel execution routines in (programmable) hardware, providing higher level application development interface for the software of the PaaS.
- Higher performance and scalability via eliminating system software overhead by hardware automation of system tasks such as optimally allocating processing core capacity, scheduling and placing application tasks for execution, inter-task communications, billing etc.
- Built-in cloud computing security from the hardware level up: unauthorized interactions between different applications simply not enabled in the hardware.
- Open source software and open standard interface between development and execution environment: users have full freedom to choose where to host the development environment as well as the parallelized application executables produced by it. Any execution environment implementation complying to the simple, open execution environment interface standard per Figure 1 is a possible hosting option so there is nothing vendor specific about this platform architecture, and users will not suffer from vendor lock-in.
Application software developers access the envisioned open parallel cloud computing PaaS through its Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to build application software optimized for parallel processing on dynamically shared cloud processors. The IDE provides a web-based program flow chart, code advisor, profiler etc. (GUI) tools to assist and automate parallelizing the users' programs. The IDE also includes the automated back-end development tool chain, incl. compiler, linker and loader programs, for building and executing the user's parallelized application in a processing hardware complying to the discussed execution environment interface standard per Figure 1. The IDE further equips the user application programs with the system software that automates and optimizes the minimal (to none) interactions between the user programs and the hardware operating system of the dynamic parallel execution environment of the parallel cloud computing PaaS.
The IDE software can be hosted with the same parallel computing PaaS as the applications it produces. This practice avoids the need for cross-compiling, and enables straightforward and rapid-cycle interactive testing, debugging and optimization of the parallelized application programs, as well as deployment and scaling releases of the user applications.
The software of the parallel cloud computing PaaS is developed and made fully available as an open-source project, and can be integrated with popular open-source IDEs. In essence, this software project is to add the parallel programming development tools to the major open source IDE and PaaS code bases, while utilizing (and further developing) the applicable existing features from them.
The openness of the promoted comprehensive parallel cloud computing PaaS, besides the open-source IDE, is also manifested via the simple, open standard interface between the development and execution environments of the PaaS architecture. This open standard interface enables any user to host the IDE as well as the parallel program executables produced by it anywhere, e.g. at the user premises, or with ThroughPuter or any 3rd party. Alternative I/PaaS providers furthermore are encouraged to support the execution/development environment interface via their respective implementations of either side or both sides of that interface. The customizable, open-source IDE and open-standard interface to the execution environment provides the users and collaborators a flexible and productive way to approach the major, must-solve parallel cloud application development and execution challenge that is facing much of the software industry and its customers.
The efficient dynamic parallel processing features - which will be critically needed as user application throughput requirements begin exceeding what is available from conventional sequential execution models, and as the parallelized applications will be cloud hosted -- of this open-source software based PaaS are delivered by an execution environment that provides the necessary, dynamic parallel execution core to application task instance allocation, task instance to core assignment, and inter-task communication capabilities. These critical parallel execution capabilities are an integrated feature in the ThroughPuter hosted commercial PaaS offering.
For reference on ThroughPuter's implementation of the dynamic parallel execution environment for the open parallel computing PaaS architecture per Figure 1, the below Figure 2 shows ThroughPuter's realtime application load adaptive manycore processor architecture, highlighting its hardware logic automated operating system functionality enabling a number of customer application programs to securely, dynamically and cost-efficiently share the processing capacity of the manycore processor hardware.
Figure 2: Reference diagram for ThroughPuter manycore processors with hardware-automated multi-user parallel processing optimized operating system.
ThroughPuter's hardware operating system, manycore fabric memory and I/O subsystems are largely responsible for the architectural security, performance and cost-efficiency benefits of the ThroughPuter PaaS. However, the IDE hides the actual execution environment features from the user; the user does not need to be aware of the novel hardware-implemented capabilities of this dynamic parallel execution environment in order to realize the performance benefits.
A possible core to application task/instance allocation scenario over a few core allocation periods (CAPs) is illustrated in Figure 3 below, along with associated highlights of the feature benefits.
Figure 3: Dynamic core to application task instance assignment scenario in the execution environment of the PaaS per Figure 1.
In reference to the dynamic core assignment scenario per Figure 3, it shall be remembered that in the PaaS architecture per Figure 1, the software does not need to be aware of the dynamic parallel execution matters, but can instead maintain a virtual static view of the execution environment where each possible application task instance is constantly mapped to its virtual dedicated core, thus simplifying both the development environment as well as the application software while improving the development productivity and runtime performance.
Architectural Advantages of Cross-layer Optimized Parallel Computing PaaS
The platform model presented here is crucial for enabling application on-time throughput performance scalability in the age of parallel cloud computing, as illustrated in Figures 4 and 5.
Figure 4: Scalability problem in parallel cloud computing due to the system software overhead.
As illustrated in Figure 4, when relying on system software for managing the parallel execution, there is a limit to scalability of cloud computing platforms in the parallel processing era, as application performance improvement begins requiring ever finer grades of intra-application parallelism (i.e. more tasks and task instances per application). This is due to that the parallel processing system software overhead (the need to dynamically coordinate and manage concurrent tasks and parallel processing resources) increases with the number of applications as well as their tasks and instances, and the number of processing cores being dynamically shared among them. When relying on system software to handle parallel execution routines, the processing capacity of a given manycore processor (array) is split between processing user applications and system software, with the rate of system software increasing with scale, at the expense of the user applications. This causes that after some point, the system-wide application processing on-time throughput (the product of number of cores and the percentage of the cores' processing capacity available for user applications) will begin decreasing as the system is scaled up (by adding processing cores and parallelized applications and their tasks sharing the cores).
To solve this fundamental challenge affecting the scalability of cloud computing in the parallel processing era, the processing hardware needs to raise up to this challenge and handle the parallel processing routines in the hardware of the manycore processors, so that the processing cores will be optimally used for processing the user applications (rather than for processing the system functions, and/or be locked to low utilization due to non-load-adaptive allocation).
The impact of the hardware automation of the parallel processing system functions in the hardware of manycore processors per Figures 1-3 is illustrated in Figure 5 below.
Figure 5: Scalability solution for parallel cloud computing delivered via automating the parallel execution system functions in hardware.
The enabling of scalability of cloud computing platforms and cloud applications' on-time processing throughput in the emerging era of (inter and intra) application parallel processing by the execution environment model per Figure 1 serves as a further compelling reason for concentrating the efforts to address the popular parallel programming challenge via the herein presented open parallel cloud computing platform model. Parties interested in collaboration to realize this much needed comprehensive, open source parallel cloud computing platform can contact ThroughPuter via [email protected].
Relevant further material on the parallel program development and execution challenges is available at:
- Stanford University Pervasive Parallelism Laboratory
- UDel Computer Architecture and Parallel Systems Laboratory
- ThroughPuter's technology page
- These include: monitoring application processing load demands, periodically allocating processing resources (cores) among the applications based on their processing load variations and contractual entitlements, prioritizing and selecting application task instances for execution, mapping selected task instances for execution on their assigned cores and accordingly configuring the IO and memory access subsystems, arranging the inter task communications, plus contract billing based on applications' resource entitlement and usage.
- These interactions are mainly limited to the application program, via the PaaS tool-generated system software, providing to the hardware operating system of the execution environment (per Figure 1) a listing of its schedulable tasks/instances in their priority order; there is very little overhead in interacting with such hardware operating system. Where applicable, the hardware operating system of the PaaS is able to deduce the processing core demands and task/instance priority orders of the applications by itself by monitoring the input processing data load levels for the applications. This feature, where employed for a given application (or task group), will effectively eliminate all the parallelization system software overhead for the given application (task group).
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Jan. 31, 2015 03:00 PM EST Reads: 5,255
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 31, 2015 02:30 PM EST Reads: 4,605
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
Jan. 31, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 5,970
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Jan. 31, 2015 01:15 PM EST Reads: 4,520
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
Jan. 31, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 3,150
“With easy-to-use SDKs for Atmel’s platforms, IoT developers can now reap the benefits of realtime communication, and bypass the security pitfalls and configuration complexities that put IoT deployments at risk,” said Todd Greene, founder & CEO of PubNub. PubNub will team with Atmel at CES 2015 to launch full SDK support for Atmel’s MCU, MPU, and Wireless SoC platforms. Atmel developers now have access to PubNub’s secure Publish/Subscribe messaging with guaranteed ¼ second latencies across PubNub’s 14 global points-of-presence. PubNub delivers secure communication through firewalls, proxy ser...
Jan. 31, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 2,677
We’re no longer looking to the future for the IoT wave. It’s no longer a distant dream but a reality that has arrived. It’s now time to make sure the industry is in alignment to meet the IoT growing pains – cooperate and collaborate as well as innovate. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine the key ingredients to IoT success and identify solutions to challenges the industry is facing. The deep industry expertise behind this presentation will provide attendees with a leading edge view of rapidly emerging IoT oppor...
Jan. 31, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 2,959
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Jan. 31, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 4,754
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Jan. 31, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 10,792
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 31, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 5,061
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Jan. 31, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 4,768
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
Jan. 31, 2015 11:30 AM EST Reads: 3,828
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...
Jan. 31, 2015 11:15 AM EST Reads: 5,420
Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...
Jan. 31, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 4,094
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Jan. 31, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 4,912
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Jan. 31, 2015 10:45 AM EST Reads: 4,553
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
Jan. 31, 2015 10:45 AM EST Reads: 4,831
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Jan. 31, 2015 10:30 AM EST Reads: 4,197
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Jan. 31, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 4,769
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Jan. 31, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 5,118