IMDT for containers

Intel® Optane™ solid state technology offers a persistent media with capacity and pricing typical of disk drives but latency that is not so far from the memory. The Intel® Optane™ P4800X drive come with Intel Memory Drive Technology (IMDT), a software that allows extending the memory of a system using the solid-state drive, moving the classic tiering from storage tiering to memory tiering. This shift has several potential benefits: larger memory available to programs while keeping costs under control. On the other hand, latency of the Intel® Optane™ media is superb when compared to other solid-state technologies but still slower than memory.
In this report we extended the memory of a DellEMC® server with Intel® Optane™ P4800x and Intel Memory Drive Technology to measure how a memory intensive HPC workload is affected by the software memory tiering.
Our tests show that by tripling the memory (from 192GB to 698GB of RAM) the performance loss is acceptable in the range of 30% with respect to the memory only workload. The final figure is a worst-case scenario since we used a memory intensive workload, a mesh preprocessing from fluid dynamics simulation, typical of HPC.
The benchmark has been conducted using Docker containers to maximize the jobs throughput per unit of time given the large quantity of available memory.


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