The goal of the eeClust project (Energy-Efficient Cluster Computing), funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research under the call “HPC-Software für skalierbare Parallelrechner”, is to determine relationships between the behaviour of parallel programs and the energy consumption of their execution on a compute cluster.

Based on this, strategies to reduce the energy consumption without impairing program performance will be developed. Project partners are the University of Hamburg (coordinator), Dresden University of Technology (TUD/ZIH), ParTec Cluster Competence Center GmbH, and the Jülich Supercomputing Centre of Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH.

In principle, this goal can be achieved when for as many as possible hardware components their energy saving mode can be activated for the periods of time when they are not used. Modern hardware and operating systems already use these mechanisms based on simple heuristics but without knowledge about the execution behavior of the applications currently executing. This naturally has a high potential for wrong decisions.

The project will develop enhanced parallel programming analysis software based on the successful Vampir (Dresden) and Scalasca (Jülich) software tools which in addition to measuring and analyzing program behaviour will be enhanced to also record energy-related metrics.

Based on this new energy efficiency analysis, the users can then insert energy control calls into their applications which will allow the operating system and the cluster job scheduler to control the cluster hardware in an energy-efficient way. The necessary software components will be developed by Hamburg and ParTec.

The effectiveness of the proposed strategy will be evaluated with the help of a small cluster testbed with special energy measurement and control components and synthetic and realistic benchmarks which also need to be developed in the course of the project.