Barcelona Supercomputing Center releases COMPSs 1.4

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The Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) has announced the release version 1.4 of its programming environment COMPSs.

The latest release of the software, developed by the workflows and distributed computing team at BSC, includes new features that improve runtime performance, provide a new tracing infrastructure and support for distributed application development on both Docker and Chameleon.

COMPSs is a task-based programming model known for improving the performance of large scale applications by automatically parallelising their execution.

This release comes with a better implementation of the workers cache to improve performance, a new tracing mechanism based on native Java calls to enable instrumentation of the runtime internals with support for communication events, and implementation of hardware performance counters.

Further developments in this software release, available now, are the result of the BSC’s recent work to provision tools that developers can use to program and execute their applications efficiently on distributed computational infrastructures such as clusters, grids, and clouds. Specifically, the software now features support for Docker managed with swarm, support for the Chameleon infrastructure, and support for MareNostrum supercomputer as an external resource which enables users to submit COMPSs tasks to MareNostrum from the users' laptop.

Chameleon is a large scale, reconfigurable, testbed for Computer Science that supports research ranging from virtualisation and operating systems to resource management and the development of novel applications.

Docker is an open platform for distributed applications, designed to be used by developers and sysadmins. It is a lightweight container technology built on top of linux container, cgroup, and AUFS. It allows developers to package an application with all of its dependencies into a standardised unit for software development.

Previous iterations of the software have been available for the last few years to the MareNostrum supercomputer users and the Spanish Supercomputing Network. The software was also adopted in several research projects such as OPTIMIS, VENUS-C, EUBrazilOpenBio, EUBrazil CloudConnect, transPLANT, and EGI.

In these projects, COMPSs has been implemented by several different communities across diverse disciplines such as biomedicine, engineering, biodiversity, chemistry, astrophysics, and earth sciences. Currently, the software is also under extension in projects such as ASCETIC, EUROSERVER, the BSC Severo Ochoa program and the Human Brain Project. COMPSs will also be further developed and used in the following recently started EU funded Horizon 2020 projects: EUBRA BIGSEA, NEXTGenIO, MUG, TANGO and the CoE BioExcel.

In recent years, the BSC development team for COMPs have focused their efforts on virtualisation technologies which have been quickly adopted by many cloud environments. In these systems, COMPSs provides scalability and elasticity by dynamically adapting the number of resources to the actual workload.

The packages and the complete list of features are available BSC website. A virtual appliance is also available to test the functionalities of COMPSs through a step-by-step tutorial that guides users to develop and execute a set of example applications.