[Beowulf] Intel CPU design bug & security flaw - kernel fix imposes performance penalty

Kevin Van Workum vanw+beowulf at sabalcore.com
Wed Jan 3 12:29:47 PST 2018

Intel's response:

On Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 12:57 PM, Joe Landman <joe.landman at gmail.com> wrote:

> Looks like it will respond to a 'nopti' boot option (at least the patches
> I've seen from 4-Dec)
> On 01/03/2018 12:57 PM, Ellis H. Wilson III wrote:
>> On 01/03/2018 12:47 PM, Lux, Jim (337K) wrote:
>>> I suppose the down side is that if they do kernel mods to fix this
>>> for the 99.9%, it adversely affects the performance for the 0.1%
>>> (that is, us).
>> We've been discussing this extensively at my workplace, and the
>> overwhelming expectation is that at least in Linux the fix should be
>> configurable such that those operating in non-multitenant systems (such as
>> scale-out storage appliances) can disable it.
>> If this ends up not being the case, I would expect it in the short-term
>> to lock us out of upgrading to newer kernels where the fix and resultant
>> overheads come into play until we're on newer CPUs where the architecture
>> deficiency is resolved.  This latter part (the expectation of Intel fixing
>> it in their newer HW) is all the more reason I'm inclined to believe the
>> fix will be delivered as a tunable.
>> Best,
>> ellis
> --
> Joe Landman
> e: joe.landman at gmail.com
> t: @hpcjoe
> w: https://scalability.org
> g: https://github.com/joelandman
> l: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joelandman
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Kevin Van Workum, PhD
Sabalcore Computing Inc.


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