Title page for ETD etd-02062012-121115

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Braithwaite, Ryan Karl
Author's Email Address rkb@vt.edu
URN etd-02062012-121115
Title NUMA Data-Access Bandwidth Characterization and Modeling
Degree Master of Science
Department Computer Science and Applications
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Feng, Wu-Chun Committee Chair
McCormick, Patrick Committee Member
Ribbens, Calvin J. Committee Member
  • Performance Modeling
  • NUMA
  • Benchmarking
Date of Defense 2012-01-23
Availability unrestricted
Clusters of seemingly homogeneous compute nodes are increasingly heterogeneous within each

node due to replication and distribution of node-level subsystems. This intra-node heterogeneity

can adversely affect program execution performance by inflicting additional data-access

performance penalties when accessing non-local data. In many modern NUMA architectures,

both memory and I/O controllers are distributed within a node and CPU cores are logically

divided into “local” and “remote” data-accesses within the system. In this thesis a method for

analyzing main memory and PCIe data-access characteristics of modern AMD and Intel NUMA

architectures is presented. Also presented here is the synthesis of data-access performance models

designed to quantify the effects of these architectural characteristics on data-access bandwidth.

Such performance models provide an analytical tool for determining the performance impact of

remote data-accesses for a program or access pattern running in a given system. Data-access

performance models also provide a means for comparing the data-access bandwidth and attributes

of NUMA architectures, for improving application performance when running on these

architectures, and for improving process/thread mapping onto CPU cores in these architectures.

Preliminary examples of how programs respond to these data-access bandwidth characteristics are

also presented as motivation for future work.

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