Analyzing the Energy and Power Consumption of Remote Memory Accesses in the OpenSHMEM Model

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Abstract

PGAS models like OpenSHMEM provide interfaces to explicitly initiate one-sided remote memory accesses among processes. In addition, the model also provides synchronizing barriers to ensure a consistent view of the distributed memory at different phases of an application. The incorrect use of such interfaces affects the scalability achievable while using a parallel programming model. This study aims at understanding the effects of these constructs on the energy and power consumption behavior of OpenSHMEM applications. Our experiments show that cost incurred in terms of the total energy and power consumed depends on multiple factors across the software and hardware stack. We conclude that there is a significant impact on the power consumed by the CPU and DRAM due to multiple factors including the design of the data transfer patterns within an application, the design of the communication protocols within a middleware, the architectural constraints laid by the interconnect solutions, and also the levels of memory hierarchy within a compute node. This work motivates treating energy and power consumption as important factors while designing compute solutions for current and future distributed systems.