Optimal Checkpointing Period with replicated execution on heterogeneous platforms

TitleOptimal Checkpointing Period with replicated execution on heterogeneous platforms
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsBenoit, A., A. Cavelan, V. Le Fèvre, and Y. Robert
Conference Name2017 Workshop on Fault-Tolerance for HPC at Extreme Scale
Date Published2017-06
PublisherIEEE Computer Society Press
Conference LocationWashington, DC

In this paper, we design and analyze strategies to replicate the execution of an application on two different platforms subject to failures, using checkpointing on a shared stable storage. We derive the optimal pattern size~W for a periodic checkpointing strategy where both platforms concurrently try and execute W units of work before checkpointing. The first platform that completes its pattern takes a checkpoint, and the other platform interrupts its execution to synchronize from that checkpoint.

We compare this strategy to a simpler on-failure checkpointing strategy, where a checkpoint is taken by one platform only whenever the other platform encounters a failure. We use first or second-order approximations to compute overheads and optimal pattern sizes, and show through extensive simulations that these models are very accurate. The simulations show the usefulness of a secondary platform to reduce execution time, even when the platforms have relatively different speeds: in average, over a wide range of scenarios, the overhead is reduced by 30%. The simulations also demonstrate that the periodic checkpointing strategy is globally more efficient, unless platform speeds are quite close.