Using XDMoD to facilitate XSEDE operations, planning and analysis

Thomas R. Furlani, Barry L. Schneider, Matthew D. Jones, John Towns, David L. Hart, Steven M. Gallo, Robert L. Deleon, Charng Da Lu, Amin Ghadersohi, Ryan J. Gentner, Abani K. Patra, Gregor Von Laszewski, Fugang Wang, Jeffrey T. Palmer, Nikolay Simakov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The XDMoD auditing tool provides, for the first time, a comprehensive tool to measure both utilization and performance of high-end cyberinfrastructure (CI), with initial focus on XSEDE. Here, we demonstrate, through several case studies, its utility for providing important metrics regarding resource utilization and performance of TeraGrid/XSEDE that can be used for detailed analysis and planning as well as improving operational efficiency and performance. Measuring the utilization of high-end cyberinfrastructure such as XSEDE helps provide a detailed understanding of how a given CI resource is being utilized and can lead to improved performance of the resource in terms of job throughput or any number of desired job characteristics. In the case studies considered here, a detailed historical analysis of XSEDE usage data using XDMoD clearly demonstrates the tremendous growth in the number of users, overall usage, and scale of the simulations routinely carried out. Not surprisingly, physics, chemistry, and the engineering disciplines are shown to be heavy users of the resources. However, as the data clearly show, molecular biosciences are now a significant and growing user of XSEDE resources, accounting for more than 20 percent of all SUs consumed in 2012. XDMoD shows that the resources required by the various scientific disciplines are very different. Physics, Astronomical sciences, and Atmospheric sciences tend to solve large problems requiring many cores. Molecular biosciences applications on the other hand, require many cycles but do not employ core counts that are as large. Such distinctions are important in guiding future cyberinfrastructure design decisions. XDMoD's implementation of a novel application kernel-based auditing system to measure overall CI system performance and quality of service is shown, through several examples, to provide a useful means to automatically detect under performing hardware and software. This capability is especially critical given the complex composition of today's advanced CI. Examples include an application kernel based on a widely used quantum chemistry program that uncovered a software bug in the I/O stack of a commercial parallel file system, which was subsequently fixed by the vendor in the form of a software patch that is now part of their standard release. This error, which resulted in dramatically increased execution times as well as outright job failure, would likely have gone unnoticed for sometime and was only uncovered as a result of implementation of XDMoD's suite of application kernels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the XSEDE 2013 Conference
Subtitle of host publicationGateway to Discovery
StatePublished - 2013
EventConference on Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment, XSEDE 2013 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jul 22 2013Jul 25 2013

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


OtherConference on Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment, XSEDE 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Application kernels
  • CI performance metrics
  • HPC metrics
  • Technology audit service
  • XDMoD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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