- Distributed N-body simulation on the grid using dedicated hardware
- New Astronomy
- Volume | Issue number
- 13 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
Informatics Institute (IVI)
We present performance measurements of direct gravitational N-body simulation on the grid, with and without specialized (GRAPE- 6) hardware. Our intercontinental virtual organization consists of three sites, one in Tokyo, one in Philadelphia and one in Amsterdam. We run simulations with up to 196,608 particles for a variety of topologies. In many cases, high performance simulations over the entire planet are dominated by network bandwidth rather than latency. With this global grid of GRAPEs our calculation time remains dominated by communication over the entire range of N, which was limited due to the use of three sites. Increasing the number of particles will result in a more efficient execution. Based on these timings, we construct and calibrate a model to predict the performance of our simulation on any grid infrastructure with or without GRAPE. We apply this model to predict the simulation performance on the Netherlands DAS-3 wide area computer. Equipping the DAS-3 with GRAPE-6Af hardware would achieve break-even between calculation and communication at a few million particles, resulting in a compute time of just over ten hours for 1 N-body time unit.
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