Wednesday 13 April 2011
Scalability of BFS?
So it occurred to me that for some time I've been saying that BFS may scale well only up to about 16 CPUs. That was a fairly generic guess based on the design of BFS, but it appears that these more-thread machines and multi-core machines seem to quite like BFS on the real-world benchmarks I'm getting back from various people. With the latest changes to BFS, which bumped the version up to 0.400, it should have improved further. I've tried googling for links to do with BFS and scalability and the biggest machine I've been able to find that benefits from it is a 24 core machine running F@H (folding at home). Given that this was with an older version of BFS, and that there were actually advantages even at 24 cores, I wonder what the point is where it doesn't scale? Obviously scalability is more than just "running F@H" and will depend entirely on architecture and workload and definition of scalability, and so on, but... I wanted to ask the community what's the biggest machine anyone has tried BFS on, and how well did it perform? If someone had access to 16+ cores to try it out I'd be mighty grateful for your results.