Blockchain et calcul distribué au service de la réduction de l’empreinte environnementale

Communiqué de presse

L’équipe de recherche Avalon, commune à Inria, CNRS, Ens de Lyon et Université Lyon1, vient de démontrer, en collaboration avec la start-up Stimergy, que la technologie blockchain peut contribuer à la réalisation d’une place de marché distribuée dans laquelle différents acteurs peuvent mettre à disposition leurs ressources informatiques — serveurs, jeux de données, applications — formant ainsi un « Cloud distribué ». Ce projet ouvre notamment des perspectives dans le domaine de l’optimisation de l’utilisation des data-centers avec une réduction de leur empreinte environnementale.

Qu’est-ce que la blockchain ?

La blockchain est une technologie déjà éprouvée, puisqu’elle est à l’origine des cryptomonnaies telles que le Bitcoin. Mais des usages nouveaux émergent, dans de nombreux domaines, avec un intérêt croissant des scientifiques et des industriels pour en exploiter la puissance.
Une blockchain est à la fois une structure de données informatique qui prend la forme d’un livre de compte distribué qui enregistre des transactions entre participants, et un réseau de nœuds — qualifiés de mineurs — qui assurent le consensus entre les participants. Les transactions sont donc enregistrées de façon sécurisée, transparente et infalsifiable. Cette technologie évolue rapidement, et les dernières propositions logicielles telles qu’Ethereum permettent maintenant d’écrire des programmes distribués et autonomes, appelés « smart contract », distribués sur la blockchain . Ceci ouvre de nouvelles possibilités d’applications qui restent encore à inventer.

Blockchain et calcul distribué pour partager des ressources informatiques

L’équipe Avalon mène depuis plusieurs années des recherches sur les systèmes distribués de calcul permettant à des ordinateurs de se coordonner pour exécuter des applications scientifiques parallèles de grande taille qui normalement nécessiteraient l’utilisation de super-calculateurs pour s’exécuter. En particulier ces recherches sont appliquées dans le domaine de la physique des hautes énergies grâce à une collaboration avec le laboratoire de l’accélérateur linéaire de l’IN2P3/CNRS à Orsay.
Grâce aux blockchains , il est maintenant possible de concevoir une place de marché distribuée dans laquelle différents acteurs peuvent mettre à disposition leurs ressources informatiques — serveurs, jeux de données, applications — formant ce que l’on appelle un « Cloud distribué ».
Cette approche de Cloud distribué permet notamment de repenser l’organisation des centres de données dont la concentration poussée à l’extrême pose de sérieux problèmes : consommation excessive d’énergie, éloignement des centres de données dans des régions où l’électricité est moins chère ou le refroidissement gratuit (Islande), et souveraineté des données que les utilisateurs confient, sans contrôle possible, aux géants de l’Internet (GAFA).

Une collaboration avec la start-up Stimergy

Les chercheurs de l’équipe Avalon, en collaboration avec la start-up Stimergy ont réalisé une preuve de concept de Cloud distribué accessible via la blockchain .
Stimergy est le concepteur de chaudières numériques que l’on installe en complément du chauffage central des habitations. Il s’agit de serveurs dont la chaleur dissipée
par les processeurs sert à chauffer de l’eau qui sera distribuée dans les logements des habitants. Ce concept connait un essor important notamment dans le cadre des smart cities avec la volonté d’un meilleur contrôle de notre empreinte environnementale et d’une meilleure gestion de l’énergie.
Pour la première fois, les serveurs de Stimergy peuvent être réservés grâce à des « smart contracts » distribués sur la blockchain Ethereum, c’est-à-dire sans avoir la nécessité de passer par un intermédiaire, et apportant ainsi une visibilité optimale de la place disponible. Les logiciels développés par Gilles Fedak , chercheur Inria et Oleg Lodygensky , ingénieur CNRS permettent d’observer l’activation du smart contract, de réserver la ressource de calcul, d’y déployer les applications et les données nécessaires et de notifier la blockchain de la disponibilité des résultats.

Cette nouvelle approche de Cloud distribué, rendue possible par l’utilisation simultanée de blockchain et du calcul distribué permettra d’optimiser l’empreinte environnementale des data-centers en les répartissant au sein même de la ville. Elle permet également de rapprocher les données de leurs producteurs et de leurs consommateurs, ce qui ouvre la voie à de nombreuses applications nouvelles pour lesquelles le Cloud centralisé est un facteur limitant, telles que par exemple l’intelligence artificielle distribuée, l’Internet des objets et l’analyse distribuée de flux de données.

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Contacts Presse: Laurence Goussu et Marie Collin

 

Inauguration de la Fédération

Inauguration de la Fédération

[In French]

Inauguration de la Fédération

Lieu: Grand Amphithéâtre de l’Université de Lyon. 90 rue Pasteur, Lyon 7ème

Retrouvez Avalon à l’inauguration de la Fédération Informatique de Lyon (FIL) qui aura lieu le mardi 24 janvier 2017 de 17h à 19h.

Inscriptions: http://bit.ly/inaug-fil

 

Durant l’inauguration, clin d’oeil à de nombreux projets dans lesquels Avalon s’implique: MILyon, Grid’5000, iEx.ec, Qirinus, MMI, …

 

WG Hayri Acar: Software development methodology in a Green IT environment

2016-06-07 – Hayri Acar

Title: Software development methodology in a Green IT environment

Speaker: Hayri Acar

Abstract: Writing sustainable, power efficient and green software necessitates understanding the power consumption behavior of a computer program. One of the benefits is the fact that developers, by improving their source code implementations, can optimize power consumption of a software. Existing power consumption models need to be improved by taking into account more components susceptible to consume energy during runtime of an application. In this paper, we first present a detailed classification of previous works on power consumption modelization. Then, we introduce TEEC (Tool to Estimate Energy Consumption) model in order to estimate the power consumed by CPU, memory and disk due to the execution of an application at runtime. The main goal is to guide developers to improve their source code for optimizing energy consumption. TEEC enables determining the part of the code consuming the highest power. This will help to obtain a less energy consuming software with the same functionalities.

PPT: WG_160607_Presentation_ENS

WG Philippe Virouleau: Improving OpenMP compilers and runtimes for task-based applications on NUMA architectures

2016-05-17 – Philippe Virouleau

Title: Improving OpenMP compilers and runtimes for task-based applications on NUMA architectures

Speaker: Philippe Virouleau

Abstract: The most popular architecture for building large-scale shared memory machines nowodays is the NUMA architecture (Non-Uniform Memory Access). In such architecture, the shared memory and cores are split in nodes, physically separated from each others. The memory access time depends on which core wants to access which data, and the distance between the core and the data’s NUMA node. A popular application design to efficiently exploit the parallelism offered by large multi processors architectures is to use fine-grain dependent tasks. In order to successfully use this approach on NUMA architectures, the application’s programmer should take great care of the locality between the task being executed, and the data manipulated by the task. OpenMP is the de-facto standard for shared-memory parallel programming, and the revision 4.0 introduced the tasks with dependencies model, in which the programmer can specify which data are read and/or written by a given task. Having the runtime use these informations is a first step to dynamically improve the application’s performances, however more flexibility could be given to the programmer, e.g. by giving him the possibility to specify which data are important for a given task. This presentation will describe my PhD works, which focus on proposing and evaluating compilers and runtimes extensions to help reduce the impact of NUMA architectures on the application’s performances and scalability.

PDF: WG_160517_avalon_2015

WG Issam Raïs: Towards Green Exascale Computing Challenges

2016-05-03 – Issam Raïs

Title: Towards Green Exascale Computing Challenges

Speaker: Issam Raïs

Abstract: Exascale is coming. Massively heterogeneous machines with hundreds of thousands of computing nodes and each of these nodes possessing hundreds of cores, bounded to each other by a dedicated and efficient network. On every component composing such a machine, we can spot many techniques to reduce energy consumption while maintaining good computing power. In such a context, this presentation aims at presenting the problematics being tackled in the current thesis.

PDF: presentation

WG Hadrien Croubois: Toward an autonomic approach of workflows distribution on cloud

2016-04-19 Hadrien Croubois

Title: Toward an autonomic approach of workflows distribution on cloud ;

Speaker: Hadrien Croubois

Abstract: Advances in distributed systems technologies require a constant rethinking of previous deployments methods. Development of the Cloud paradigm is symptomatic of a broader tendency toward more dynamicity in the management of tasks and resources. However, the scientific computing still mostly uses old paradigms when deploying complex workflows. Our focus is therefore to propose a solution that will make the link between the needs of user in terms of scientific computation and the features offered by cloud providers. After having modelled both those needs and features, we describe the different mechanisms which are part of what should allow for an autonomous platform dedicated to collaborative scientific computing.

PDF: slides

WG Issam Raïs: An analysis of the feasibility of energy harvesting with thermoelectric generators on petascale and exascale systems

2016-04-16 Issam Raïs

Title: An analysis of the feasibility of energy harvesting with thermoelectric generators on petascale and exascale systems;

Speaker: Issam Raïs

Abstract: The heat induced by computing resources is generally a waste of energy in supercomputers. This is especially true in very large scale supercomputers, where the produced heat has to be compensated with expensive and energy consuming cooling systems. An analysis of the feasibility of energy harvesting with thermoelectric generators on petascale and exascale systems; Energy is a critical point for future supercomputing trends that currently try to achieve exascale, without having its energy consumption reaching an important fraction of a nuclear power plant. Thus, new ways of generating or recovering energy have to be explored. Energy harvesting consists in recovering wasted energy. ThermoElectric Generators (TEGs) aim to recover energy by converting wasted dissipated energy into usable electricity. By combining computing units (CU) and TEGs at very large scale, we spotted a potential way to recover energy from wasted heat generated by computations on supercomputers. In this paper, we study the potential gains in combining TEGs with computational units at petascale and exascale. We present the technology behind TEGs, the study of a typical supercomputer environment, and finally our results concerning binding TEGs and computational units in a petascale and exascale system. With the available technology, we demonstrate that the use of TEGs in a supercomputer environment could be realistic and quickly profitable, and hence have a positive environmental impact.

PDF: Thermoelectricity

WG Romaric Guilier: E-Biothon

2016-03-29 Romaric Guillier

Title: E-Biothon

Speaker: Romaric Guillier. 

Abstract: an experimental platform for BioInformatics; Abstract: The E-Biothon platform is an experimental Cloud platform to help speed up and advance research in biology, health and environment. It is based on a Blue Gene/P system and a web portal that allow members of the bioinformatics community to easily launch their scientific applications. This presentation describes the technical capacities of the platform, the different applications supported and finally a set of user experiences on the platform.

PDF: ebiothon_presentation_avalon

 

Avalon and DIET take part in official french delagation to establish industrial partnerships with India

Daniel Balouek-Thomert’s joint work with Mahindra Ecole Centrale (Hyderabad,India) has been valorized within the NUVEA industrial project, and will take part of the French presidential delegation to visit India on January 24-26th.

Granted by the Raman-Charpak Fellowship, Daniel Balouek-Thomert (Avalon,ENS Lyon / NewGeneration-SR) has visited Mahindra Ecole Centrale (Hyderabad, India) during 3 months (Oct-Dec 2015) to work with Dr. Arya K. Bhattacharya.

In a context of reducing the energy consumption of Clouds and large scale infrastructures while concurrently mitigating the environmental impact and maximizing the economic benefits, we proposed to synergize two state-of-the-art technologies by combining multi-objective evolutionary algorithms with trade-off mechanisms using the DIET Middleware.

Beyond a new collaboration between Mahindra Ecole Centrale and ENS Lyon, the outcome of the project brings an interface to express tradeoffs that allows end-users/customers to perform an efficient selection of resources with respect to a certain quality of service (mainly throughput of computing tasks) and energy consumption.

This research work has been valorized within an industrial project, NUVEA, which is mainly focused on eliminating sub-optimal states at available resources, and consolidating tasks/VMs in a way to optimize the overall power consumption while protecting the resulting SLA/QoS.

The NUVEA project, represented by NewGeneration-SR, is part of the official French presidential delegation headed by F.Hollande to visit India for India National Day on January 24-26th, 2016. This is a great testimony of our fruitful research collaboration, and a showcase to pave the way for an international development of this work.

Avalon and DIET take part in official french delegation to establish industrial partnerships with India

Daniel Balouek-Thomert’s joint work with Mahindra Ecole Centrale (Hyderabad,India) has been valorized within the NUVEA industrial project, and will take part of the French presidential delegation to visit India on January 24-26th.

Granted by the Raman-Charpak Fellowship, Daniel Balouek-Thomert (Avalon,ENS Lyon / NewGeneration-SR) has visited Mahindra Ecole Centrale (Hyderabad, India) during 3 months (Oct-Dec 2015) to work with Dr. Arya K. Bhattacharya.

In a context of reducing the energy consumption of Clouds and large scale infrastructures while concurrently mitigating the environmental impact and maximizing the economic benefits, we proposed to synergize two state-of-the-art technologies by combining multi-objective evolutionary algorithms with trade-off mechanisms using the DIET Middleware.

Beyond a new collaboration between Mahindra Ecole Centrale and ENS Lyon, the outcome of the project brings an interface to express tradeoffs that allows end-users/customers to perform an efficient selection of resources with respect to a certain quality of service (mainly throughput of computing tasks) and energy consumption.

This research work has been valorized within an industrial project, NUVEA, which is mainly focused on eliminating sub-optimal states at available resources, and consolidating tasks/VMs in a way to optimize the overall power consumption while protecting the resulting SLA/QoS.

The NUVEA project, represented by NewGeneration-SR, is part of the official French presidential delegation headed by F.Hollande to visit India for India National Day on January 24-26th, 2016. This is a great testimony of our fruitful research collaboration, and a showcase to pave the way for an international development of this work.