Performance issues with older Virtualbox


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Profile Wenjing Wu
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Message 5158 - Posted: 1 Sep 2016, 8:46:48 UTC
Last modified: 5 Sep 2016, 8:40:43 UTC

We recently noticed that with the ATLAS Multi Core application, there is a HUGE performance difference between the old and new version virtualbox, and this is especially obvious with big multi core (Core number >4 ).


As shown in this host with 12 Cores allocated to BOINC, the older version of virtualbox (4.2.16) uses almost 3 times of CPU time compared to the newer version(5.1.2) with the same kind of jobs.More results of other hosts from our database confirms this difference. And our database also shows around 7% of hosts still use older virtualbox(version<5.00). In order to avoid wasting the CPU, we advise that you upgrade the virtualbox to the most recent ones (5.1.2 or 5.1.4).

Also, in a few days, we shall setup a requirement on the server, so that hosts with older virtualbox(version<5.0.0) no longer receives the ATLAS Multi Core jobs.

Test results can be seen here

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Message 5176 - Posted: 2 Sep 2016, 23:13:21 UTC - in response to Message 5158.

Where can we download the latest VBox?
I've tried to find the latest VBox download on your home page. The only I found was to download Boinc includes VBox 5.0.x.)
"Join ATLAS@Home
Read our rules and policies
This project uses BOINC. If you're already running BOINC, select Add Project. If not, download BOINC. "

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Message 5177 - Posted: 3 Sep 2016, 1:40:27 UTC - in response to Message 5176.

https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

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Message 5178 - Posted: 3 Sep 2016, 3:14:16 UTC - in response to Message 5177.
Last modified: 3 Sep 2016, 3:18:50 UTC

Thank you for the link. I will wait for the project administrators to update Atlastathome home page so it is quick and easy to find the current version blessed by them. (seems like not so long ago 5.1.x was advised against). :D

Profile Wenjing Wu
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Message 5189 - Posted: 5 Sep 2016, 1:26:49 UTC - in response to Message 5178.

The most recent version of ATLAS_MCORE(v1.04) supports virtualbox 5.1.x. We will update the home page to correct this information. So please go ahead to update your virtualbox to 5.1.2 or 5.1.4 from here:
https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

Thank you for the link. I will wait for the project administrators to update Atlastathome home page so it is quick and easy to find the current version blessed by them. (seems like not so long ago 5.1.x was advised against). :D

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Message 5193 - Posted: 5 Sep 2016, 12:58:32 UTC - in response to Message 5158.

thx for the update :)

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Message 5197 - Posted: 5 Sep 2016, 17:33:26 UTC - in response to Message 5158.

Test results can be seen here



Only looking at the figures from 5.1.2 brings up some thoughts about this table:

If I understand it right, the sec/event is raising with growing number of cores ? !

Is there any idea why ?

The essence of this again seems to be: It will be much performanter to run 2x6 Core-WUs than 1x12 Core-WUs

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Message 5207 - Posted: 6 Sep 2016, 0:15:53 UTC - in response to Message 5176.

https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

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Message 5215 - Posted: 6 Sep 2016, 8:04:07 UTC - in response to Message 5197.

Yeti wrote:
If I understand it right, the sec/event is raising with growing number of cores ? !
Is there any idea why ?

I think there's more management involved.
But, do we have to multiply the number of cores with the number of events?
If so, more cores will be even more performant then fewer cores although the sec/event are increasing.
If not so, the use of fewer cores would be more efficient.
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Greetings, Jens

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Message 5216 - Posted: 6 Sep 2016, 8:09:58 UTC - in response to Message 5215.

Ok, wrong speculation as I just read in another thread.
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Greetings, Jens

Profile Harm Joris ten Napel
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Message 5224 - Posted: 6 Sep 2016, 22:44:10 UTC - in response to Message 5197.

That seems to be the gist of it, but I wonder since they would run on the same host, that the 'interference' may as well span VMs. Also if there's sufficient memory I wonder if it would help to simply give the VM with the higher number of cores some more memory. Anyway I gave BOINC 4 cores (and atlas is all I run) so I'm already at the optimum.

Profile Harm Joris ten Napel
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Message 5225 - Posted: 6 Sep 2016, 22:56:39 UTC - in response to Message 5215.

If you use > 4 cores there's more inefficiency however overall there's still more work done, this lacks in the explanation, it seems that beyond 12 cores there's no overall gain in adding cores anymore, for example consider if the sec/events processed at 12 cores took 3x330 = 990 it would be the tipping point. With the old Virtualbox version that tipping point is already at 6 cores.

Message boards : News : Performance issues with older Virtualbox