[GE users] Disappointing initial "qmake" performance benchmarks

Greg Earle earle at isolar.DynDNS.ORG
Thu Jul 29 19:10:52 BST 2004

I'm running Grid Engine 6.0 on 6 dual-processor 1 GHz UltraSPARC IIIi
SunFire V240 servers running Solaris 9.

As a test, I built tcpdump 3.8.3 on one of the machines, and then
built it again on the Grid using "qmake".

With "ssh" and "sshd" as the rsh_command/rsh_daemon, respectively,
the connection overhead (not to mention all the SSH banners spewed
out) was so bad that the compilation took 1 minute and 1 second.

I went back to the modified NetBSD "rsh"/"rshd" combination, and
got it down to 45 seconds initially.

A single (regular) "make" on one of the Grid nodes resulted in a
time of 1 minute 16 seconds.

Then, realizing it was a dual-processor machine, I instead ran
"gmake -j 2".  That got it down to 35 seconds.

So, I ran it on the Grid and specified "1-12" in the parallel "make"

sunfire240#6:1:646 [/usr/local/src/networking/tcpdump/tcpdump-3.8.3] # \
/bin/time qmake -cwd -v PATH -v CC -v CXX -v LM_LICENSE_FILE -pe make 
1-12 --

real       30.6
user        0.0
sys         0.1

30 seconds vs. 35 seconds isn't much of an improvement!  While I
didn't expect a 6-fold speed increase from using the Grid, 15%
improvement doesn't seem very good - I was hoping it would be at
least twice as fast if not faster.

(The source tree I'm building on is served via NFS from a NetApp
  filer, in case it matters - obviously all 6 machines in the Grid
  configuration can see the same exact tree.)

Am I doing something obviously wrong, or are my expectations too
high for the kind of speedups I should see with things like
distributed makes in a loosely-coupled clustering environment
like this?


	- Greg

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