VMD-L Mailing List
From: Mayne, Christopher G (cmayne2_at_illinois.edu)
Date: Thu Jul 31 2014 - 10:26:00 CDT
Thanks for the explanation. Very clear.
On Jul 31, 2014, at 10:02 AM, John Stone wrote:
> I wanted to summarize my answer to Chris's question since other
> VMD users will definitely have similar experiences when doing large
> analysis runs on network-attached drives.
> Chris ran his analysis job on a workstation mounting an NFS
> network filesystem on a 1Gbps ethernet network. When VMD reports
> the I/O rate (as below) for trajectory frames, it is reporting only the
> achieved timestep read/write rates, and these rates don't count any
> computing time associated with per-timestep analysis work done in between
> loading or writing of timesteps. So in the case Chris asked about below,
> his analysis script itself has no bearing on the reported I/O rates.
> The second part of the question is why the I/O rates initially start
> very high, and they end up degrading by as much as two orders of magnitude
> during part of the run he shows below. In this particular case, the file
> format is DCD, which is read using traditional buffered I/O APIs such as
> Unix lseek()/read()/readv(). The Linux kernel uses otherwise unused system
> memory as a huge filesystem cache. At the beginning of Chris' run, he's
> seeing I/O rates of 1652 MB/sec, but this way too fast to be due to anything
> but the Linux in-memory filesystem cache, since he's loading a file over
> an NSF mount on a 1Gbps network. The peak network I/O rate, assuming a
> perfect transfer rate (not achievable by a long shot using normal NFS) is
> only 100 MB/sec, so that clearly shows that the peak observed rate was
> due to Linux filesystem caching. As the run progresses, the I/O rate
> quickly drops under 100 MB/sec, which is showing that the network is not
> able to keep up with the rate that VMD is flying through in-cache DCD
> file, and the network+cache are falling behind VMD's read rate. As the
> Linux filesystem cache is effectively empty, the I/O rate drops down into
> a range between 25 MB/sec and 43 MB/sec. Since the NFS server Chris used
> is shared by others, his analysis run is competing for I/O by other jobs
> and any other network traffic. The I/O rate looks somewhat randomized as
> his run progresses, and this is due to a combination of Linux trying to do
> file read-ahead, combined with competition for the shared network and
> NFS server with anything else that might have been running such as
> other VMD analysis jobs, simulation jobs, backups being done at night,
> and so on.
> I would characterize the I/O rates Chris saw as being quite "normal" for
> access to DCD files on a shared NFS server through a typical 1Gbps network.
> The results could be better, and they could be worse, but the numbers
> he reported are not unreasonable given the scenario.
> The best case scenarios for doing high-performance trajectory analysis
> is to use the "js" file format (rather than DCD) and a locally attached
> array of fast SSDs in a RAID0 configuration on a PCIe 3.0 RAID controller.
> Using such a configuration is is possible to hit I/O rates on the order of
> 8,000 MB/sec without trying too hard. I plan to develop new VMD tutorials
> that describe how to do this for people that are interested.
> John Stone
> On Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 02:20:53AM +0000, Mayne, Christopher G wrote:
>> I'm using the bigdcd script for analysis and I'm seeing huge drop-offs in IO speed followed by fluctuations. The per-frame proc is building a histogram -- measure bond distances (indices stored in global variables) and increment an element (i.e. my "bin") held in a global array. The only thing I can think of is that the initial array is small, and hence, fast. Because of structural constraints on my system, the final array size converges at around 100 elements, which I wouldn't guess is this much slower and it doesn't explain the fluctuations with the later dcd loads.
>> Any ideas?
>> VMD 1.9.2a39 running in text mode
>> Linux, CentOS
>> DCD IO output
>> Info) Coordinate I/O rate 1429.2 frames/sec, 1652 MB/sec, 4.5 sec
>> Info) Finished with coordinate file <redacted>.0.eq.0.0.dcd.
>> Info) Coordinate I/O rate 446.1 frames/sec, 515 MB/sec, 6.1 sec
>> Info) Finished with coordinate file <redacted>.0.eq.0.1.dcd.
>> Info) Coordinate I/O rate 73.8 frames/sec, 85 MB/sec, 86.8 sec
>> Info) Finished with coordinate file <redacted>.0.eq.0.2.dcd.
>> Info) Coordinate I/O rate 22.3 frames/sec, 25 MB/sec, 120.9 sec
>> Info) Finished with coordinate file <redacted>.0.eq.0.3.dcd.
>> Info) Coordinate I/O rate 37.7 frames/sec, 43 MB/sec, 238.9 sec
>> Info) Finished with coordinate file <redacted>.0.eq.0.4.dcd.
>> Info) Coordinate I/O rate 25.4 frames/sec, 29 MB/sec, 353.9 sec
>> Info) Finished with coordinate file <redacted>.0.eq.0.5.dcd.
>> Info) Coordinate I/O rate 11.3 frames/sec, 13 MB/sec, 416.6 sec
>> Info) Finished with coordinate file <redacted>.0.eq.0.6.dcd.
>> Info) Coordinate I/O rate 11.7 frames/sec, 13 MB/sec, 482.8 sec
>> Info) Finished with coordinate file <redacted>.0.eq.0.7.dcd.
>> Info) Coordinate I/O rate 34.0 frames/sec, 39 MB/sec, 806.0 sec
>> Info) Finished with coordinate file <redacted>.0.eq.0.8.dcd.
>> VMD Startup Details:
>> Info) VMD for LINUXAMD64, version 1.9.2a39 (March 21, 2014)
>> Info) Exiting normally.
>> Info) VMD for LINUXAMD64, version 1.9.2a39 (March 21, 2014)
>> Info) http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/vmd/
>> Info) Email questions and bug reports to vmd_at_ks.uiuc.edu
>> Info) Please include this reference in published work using VMD:
>> Info) Humphrey, W., Dalke, A. and Schulten, K., `VMD - Visual
>> Info) Molecular Dynamics', J. Molec. Graphics 1996, 14.1, 33-38.
>> Info) -------------------------------------------------------------
>> Info) Multithreading available, 8 CPUs detected.
>> Info) Free system memory: 23683MB (98%)
>> Info) Creating CUDA device pool and initializing hardware...
>> Info) Detected 1 available CUDA accelerator:
>> Info)  GeForce GTX 570 15 SM_2.0 @ 1.46 GHz, 1.2GB RAM, KTO, OIO, ZCP
>> Info) Dynamically loaded 2 plugins in directory:
>> Info) /Projects/vmd/pub/linux64/lib/vmd192a39/plugins/LINUXAMD64/molfile
> NIH Center for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics
> Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
> University of Illinois, 405 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801
> http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/~johns/ Phone: 217-244-3349