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Colloquium - Wisniewski

Continuous Program Optimization in the K42 Operating System
IBM Research
3/10/2005
3:30pm-4:30pm

Systems, including hardware and software, have become more complex. The operating system is tasked with providing an efficient interface to the hardware and a high performing environment for applications. However, for many optimizations, the operating system, or any single layer in the stack, is not well positioned to be able to gather the data needed and affect the optimization that would yield a better performing application.

To address these challenges we have designed and implemented a framework for continuous program optimization (CPO), in which, a customizable operating system, a vertical PEM infrastructure and external agents cooperate to affect system configuration changes and improve performance. Within the CPO framework, we have examined the resource allocation decision of assigning large pages. Our preliminary results argue for the advantage of this approach. Specifically, the operating system should support gathering and exporting of performance monitoring data efficiently, and should be modular and open so that at control points, such as assigning resources, an external entity can be efficiently queried and its data used to make better decisions.

In this talk I will describe our PEM and CPO infrastructure and K42, the research operating system it was implemented on. I will focus the talk on a CPO agent that we implemented to analyze the benefit of large pages and then automatically control the operating system's allocation for the application.

Department of Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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