News around the Linux on Power Community
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Please post Linux on POWER related blog entries here.
Bill_Buros 270000QDEP Tags:  benchmarks performance speccpu2006 advancetoolchain gcc 8,866 Views
By: Bill Buros.
There's quite a bit going on in the world of Linux on Power, where several of us have some focus on improvements for performance. Lately, a series of articles have been published on DeveloperWorks which nicely highlight the performance gains that gcc (packaged in the Advance Toolchain) provides over the gcc packaged with the Linux operating system.
Two articles are available which dive into performance gains across a number of workloads embedded in the SPECcpu2006 suite. The approach is simple. Use gcc as bundled with the version and release of the operating system, measure the performance. Then install the Advance Toolchain (a couple of rpms), change the path to gcc, re-build, re-run, and compare the performance.
Naturally, your mileage will vary. If you have a workload example of something you think should be running faster, let us know, we'll try to help!
And more gcc improvements are coming. It just keeps getting better.
(Sept 19th 2011 - updated the url link to the Advance Toolchain 4.0 article)
Last week a new SAP Sales and Distribution (SD) Standard Application Benchmark result was published on the SAP benchmark site ( here ).
The result was produced with SLES 11 sp1 running on an IBM Power 730 12-core system. What's particularly cool for us is the result was produced with gcc 4.3.4 as shipped with the SLES 11 distro. For more information on general SAP tunings, an IBM InfoCenter Blueprint paper was published which explains how to tune an SAP implementation on Linux on Power.
The article describes common system tunings, as well as common SAP and DB2 tunings.
Updated: Numerous results have been published on the IBM Power 730 server for the SAP benchmark. See the performance details for the IBM Power 730 for more details. The results have been published for a 12-core and a 16-core POWER7 server running at 3.72Ghz with the SLES 11SP1 operating system.
By: Bill Buros.
Continuing our theme of leveraging gcc for performance based workloads, here we point to a couple of recent Linpack results from the Top500 web site. The Top500 site tracks the results of Linpack runs from small single standalone servers all of the way up through the Top 500 supercomputers in the world. Naturally, the smaller results are buried in a very big table somewhere on the site, but the Top500 entries are listed separately.
This Power 750 cluster was running Linux and was interconnected with 10GigE. If you view the details of the result, the Top500 site incorrectly lists the result as AIX based. Which OS is listed doesn’t really matter much in the grand scheme of things. We do verify that AIX, SLES, and RHEL provide very similar performance for workloads like this. For a Linux-based team of analysts and programmers, having AIX listed on a Linux result is just annoying. Many harumphs.
In this case, the Power 730 server has results listed for RHEL 6 running on a 12-core server running at 3.72GHz. The results were 333.1 when we used either gcc from the distro or with IBM’s XL Compilers.
Now, for full and correct disclosure, in this particular case, it doesn’t really matter which compiler is used to build Linpack (or similar applications) for performance. A very large percentage of the CPU time for Linpack is spent in the ESSL libraries themselves, which are provided pre-built. The point here is to demonstrate that gcc can easily be used with IBM ESSL for those workloads or applications where gcc might be the preferred compiler.
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When you need the ultimate performance on IBM's POWER systems, the IBM XL compilers are the recommended vehicle. XL C/C++ for Linux is a highly advanced optimizing compiler, and XL Fortran is the compiler of choice for the scientific and engineering communities to support extensive numerical, scientific and high-performance computing.
The following product pages contain recommended updates for the IBM XL compilers on the following platforms:
The product updates:
July 2011 Update for XL C/C++ for Linux, V11.1
The runtime updates:
July 2011 Runtime for XL C/C++ for Linux, V11.1
For more information on the XL compilers, check out these pages:
By: Jeff Scheel.
I hope you "Think" our Power Linux community is starting to come together. It's taking some time to bring the pieces together, but we're making progress. Since Rome wasn't built in a day, hopefully you'll understand if the Think Power Linux community takes a couple months.
Speaking of Rome and building, did you know that IBM's effort with Power Linux is over 10 years old. Yes, I was one of the original team members focused on putting Linux on the iSeries. That mission grew into the ppc64 kernel and glibc that ultimately became the core of today's shipping RHEL and SLES distributions. During that time, I've held lots of leadership roles, including manager, release architect, and various other IBM-speak titles which won't mean much to most people. I even managed to get one patch accepted into the kernel, quite an accomplishment for an IBM Manager. About 5 years ago, the Linux for Power mission merged into IBM's larger Linux Technology Center where we now work. This move combined our team with teams focused on doing platform independent Linux work as well as enabling IBM's System x and System z platforms -- effectively giving us access to a worldwide extended team of over 400 developers in over 40 countries. It's been lots of working getting this far, but also alot of fun working with a terrific team.
I've been with IBM 20 years. I started working on I/O adapters writing microcode for SCSI bus controller chips. Then, I joined the team which brought logical partitions (LPARs) to the iSeries (formerly AS/400) systems. This code base eventually became the design point for what we now call PowerVM on Power Systems. After getting our LPAR function under control, the next logical step was to add Linux to a partition and despite my doubts about the project, it's turned into quite the opportunity to impact the business. With one exception, a 2 year 'sabbatical" where I worked with the Blue Gene team on their Blue Gene /P product, I've been working with Power Linux.
Today, as the Chief Architect, I wear a variety of different hats. I like to tell folks that "architect equals fireman, traffic cop, politician, salesman, referee, switchboard operator, janitor, or as my colleagues affectionately call me, just a 'basic slug.'" Seriously, my day-to-day role is deciding how we spend our resource and setting technical direction. That means I help decide where the code gets written, but not actually writing the code. It also means that you'll find me filling in around the outside of the projects, giving presentations, answering questions, helping out where I can.
My personal focus this year is on our ecosystem. I'm helping where I can to get the Think Power Linux community off and running. Therefore, you'll find me creating wiki pages like the "Knowledge is Power" topic, writing blogs like this one, and answering posts to the message board. If you need help, check out the information in the community and then post to the message board if you can't find the needed information. I'm watching all posts and working to ensure that they get answered. If that doesn't work or if you want a more personal dialogue, feel free to drop me an email at the address in my profile (see the "General info" tab).
In the spirit of "ecosystem", I'd like to leave you with a couple useful Power Linux links:
Hopefully, you'll find at least one to be worthwhile.
Thanks for taking the time to read our blog. Hopefully, I've put a little more of a virtual "face" behind the name. Look for more posting from other Experts in the coming months.
By: Bill Buros.
Across the enterprise Linux versions and releases, there's a set of key features and highlights which can help you see the depth and breadth of support for POWER7 servers in the industry. Recently updated in the IBM Information Center for Linux, the "supported features" tables have a good list of key features implemented in SLES 10, SLES 11, RHEL 5, and RHEL 6.
Check out the two tables. Find an entry where you might want to learn more about the capabilities of Power Linux. Ask questions on the Think Power Linux message board. Development continues on new features, both in Linux and Power systems, so your interest and questions will help shape discussions within the expanding Power Linux community.
Going to LinuxCon North America the week of the 17th in Vancouver? Wish I was....
By: Robert MacFarlan.
Power Linux will be getting a bit of love at LinuxCon this year. IBM is sponsoring an extended Birds of a Feather / Beverage Social. Did you secretly want to be on Jeopardy and compete against Watson? You can at LinuxCon. There will be a "Mini Watson" demo outside the doors of the beverage social Did you know Watson ran on Power Linux? Paul Mackerras, PPC Maintainer for Linux, will also be demoing an interesting lab project he and others have been working on that you might want to be sure and see as well. If there, be sure and attend to see the unique ways in which Power adds value to a Linux operating environment. Besides, there's free beer!
Taken from the LinuxCon events site:
"IBM Think Power Linux Lounge - Thurs, Aug 18th, 5:15pm, Regency A Room, Hyatt
Braindead after a hard day at LinuxCon? Come relax over beverages and snacks and chat with peers from the IBM Linux Technology Center, Red Hat, and SUSE. Try your luck at the Watson Jeopardy! challenge outside the door...then come inside to hear "how'd they do that" with Linux and the Apache Hadoop framework on a cluster of standard IBM POWER7 systems. Linux IT professionals from IBM clients Rice University and GHY International will be on hand to share how they do it, too, using Linux on ppc64 architecture."
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By: Robert MacFarlan.
Power Linux will be well represented at next week's North America LinuxCon, the annual conference of the Linux Foundation. Please let others who might be attending know. Thank you!
1. Visit the IBM booth.
Regency Foyer - 3rd level, top of escalator, open Wed 9am - Friday 5pm. Visit Nathan Fontenot from the LTC, who will be demoing and talking about the Linux technologies behind Watson. Pick up a stack of Think Power Linux business cards to hand out to your developer peers, encouraging them to join the Think Power Linux community at www.ibm.com/developerworks/group/tpl (or www.ibm.com/developerworks/group/thinkpowerlinux). They can join on the spot in the booth, or later at their convenience.
2. Attend the Linux Beyond x86 breakout session.
Wed, 3pm, Georgia A. Support Power Linux and System z by attending in this panel moderated by Jean Staten Healy. Two Power Linux customers are featured: Dr. B. Kim Andrews, Manager of Research Computing at Rice University (home of BlueBioU POWER7-based Supercomputer) and Nigel Fortlage, VP of IT at GHY International. Telus, a System z Linux client will also participate.
3. Attend and participate in the Think Power Linux BoF and encourage your peers to attend!
Thurs, 5:15-7pm, Regency A. Chat with your peers about Power Linux over appetizers and beverages. See KVM on POWER7 in action during the short lab project demo by Paul Mackerras. Register as a Think Power Linux community member on the spot. See IBM's investment in Power Linux come to life at this special event.
jerberstark 06000003SW Tags:  linux power powerlinux performance advancetoolchain jerberstark documentation 5,812 Views
By: Jessica Erber-stark.
Check out the Linux Information Center for new information about Improving performance with Advance Toolchain 4.0
About the Advance Toolchain:
The Advance Toolchain provides early and easy access to libraries and the latest compiler technologies for Linux distributions. Over time, these libraries and latest compiler technologies are integrated into the shipping distributions. However, the Advance Toolchain contains the latest tested and supported GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) compiler versions, tailored for Power systems, and packaged together with an expanding set of processor-tuned libraries, allowing you to take advantage of the latest technology without waiting.
Topics covered in the documentation: