A Case for Portability and Reproducibility of HPC Containers
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TimeMonday, 18 November 20194:45pm - 5pm
DescriptionContainerized computing is quickly changing the landscape for the development and deployment of many HPC applications. Containers are able to lower the barrier of entry for emerging workloads to leverage supercomputing resources. However, containers are no silver bullet for deploying HPC software and there are several challenges ahead in which the community must address to ensure container workloads can be reproducible and inter-operable.

In this paper, we discuss several challenges in utilizing containers for HPC applications and the current approaches used in many HPC container runtimes. These approaches have been proven to enable high-performance execution of containers at scale with the appropriate runtimes. However, the use of these techniques are still ad hoc, test the limits of container workload portability, and several gaps likely remain. We discuss those remaining gaps and propose several potential solutions, including custom container label tagging and runtime hooks as a first step in managing HPC system library complexity.
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