Internship at Sun Microsystems


Most of you already know that I did an
internship at Sun Microsystems India Engineering Center this summer
(I am sure I have bragged enough about it). The internship has been a
fantastic experience. The very first day I was welcomed by Rajesh,
the Sun CA program co-ordinator for the south of India and Ganesh
Hiregoudar, the APAC Head of the Sun CA Program. On the very next day
I got a complete list of projects in my preferred area, High
Performance Computing (HPC). I chose a project and a conference call
was scheduled with the concerned Sun Engineer, in my case it was
Verdi March, who works at the Sun Singapore office and is also a
researcher at National University of Singapore (NUS). I was also
alloted an account at Singapore Grid Discovery Zone to run my apps.
My project was to find the per function speed up of a parallel
application across multiple profiles. If you haven't understood
anything, don't worry. I will explain.




Any computer application is made up of
functions (I trust you already knew that). Profiling an application
involves executing it and finding performance metrics out of it, like
number of system calls, the time taken for each such call, the time
taken by each function to complete,the amount of memory used, the
number of bytes of inter process communication done by the
application etc. In my case, all the applications were parallel ones,
applications which use more than one CPU/cores/nodes. Now each time
you run a app, under different conditions like different number of
CPU, the performance characteristics will be different. Function will
take different amounts of time to complete under different
conditions, sometimes lesser time (a speed-up) and sometimes more (a
speed down, i.e a speed up of less than 1). My job was to write a
program that could read the performance profiles and calculate this
speed up.




Here comes SCALASCA (Scalable Analysis
of Large Scale Parallel Applications). SCALASCA profiles and analyses
parallel apps. It been developed by the Julich Supercomputing Centre
in Germany and has been used on such well known supercomputers like
the Blue Gene......


My job was to extend SCALASCA to
calculate the per function speed up. SCALASCA already does the job of
profiling your application and generating a trace in XML format. It
also provides an API to read/write those files. However, there isn't
much documentation available on SCALASCA as the developers are mainly
people at the Julich Supercomputing Centre. Neither is there a
mailing list for discussing problems. Hence I spent a hell lot of
time going through the source and trying to understand the underlying
design. The problem was further compounded by the near lack of
comments in the source code. However, the SCALASCA developers,
particularly Markus Geimer and Brian Wylie replied to all my question
which enabled me to understand the CUBE API (CUBE is the tool that
displays the performance data in the form of a GUI and allows you to
perform operations on it).




Understanding the architecture of
SCALASCA and the CUBE API took me quite a few days. And finally on
the fourth week, I had nearly written a code that I believed would do
the job. However there are still a few compilation errors to be taken
care of (They have reduced from 26 to 4 now). I should complete the
whole thing in the next couple of days.




I also met many of the other CAs. Made
great friends with Abhishek Uppala, Vasusen Patil, Jay, Avinash,
Abhishek Gupta, Okendra and others. Rajesh and Ganesh were always
helpful and approachable. They are the best bosses you can get. I,
Rajesh, Uppala and Vasusen also made a trip to Pondicherry. It was a
fantastic experience. We played Foosball daily and my performance as
a defender improved from pathetic to passable. We also had a few CA
conferences and a team lunch as a farewell to Vijaya Santosh, a CA
co-ordinator.




Overall the experience was amazing and
I am looking forward to go back to IEC.

Comments:

It's great to hear about your internship experience, sounds like you worked on a pretty cool project. You should put up a summary (if you are allowed to) in the college magazine or the department notice board. Let people come to know what real internships are like (vs. training in some company where you only go for the certificate).

Looking forward to seeing some open source code from you in the next one year or so :)

Posted by Sunayana on July 22, 2009 at 09:07 AM IST #

Thank you. Well I believe my first open source code should be out in a few weeks. I dont know if my code will be part of official SCALASCA but I shall surely make available patches to add my code to SCALASCA.

And yes, I hate it when people ask me if I was at Sun for 'training'. Its insulting.

Posted by Sandip Dev on July 22, 2009 at 09:35 AM IST #

Very nice read.Wonderfull experience you had there i think.Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Fresher Jobs Banglore on July 28, 2009 at 06:23 AM IST #

Hai it is very impressive hearing about your internship program i am very interested in java and doing a lot in it.
could please tell me the details how you got the internship program?
mean is there any selection process? please reply.....

Posted by PRASHANTH on August 22, 2009 at 01:22 PM IST #

Hai it is very impressive hearing about your internship program i am very interested in java and doing a lot in it.
could please tell me the details how you got the internship program?
mean is there any selection process? please reply.....wht should i do to get into the internship program

Posted by PRASHANTH on August 22, 2009 at 01:23 PM IST #

Hi Prashant,

I got the internship because I am the Sun Campus Ambassador to NIT Surat. I am not sure how non CAs are selected for internships. You can always get in touch with the Sun Campus Ambassador of your college/university/institute if there is one? Where do u study?

Posted by Sandip Dev on August 22, 2009 at 02:41 PM IST #

hai sandeep...
it is a very nice article...great that you are lucky enough to secure an internship in SUN.
Can you pls advice me how i could acquire an internship like you.

by the way.... i am a btech 3rd year student from vit university.
also can you pls tell me how can we apply for sun ca post.
thank you..

Posted by aditya on September 01, 2009 at 01:53 PM IST #

hai sandeep...
it is a very nice article...great that you are lucky enough to secure an internship in SUN.
Can you pls advice me how i could acquire an internship like you.

by the way.... i am a btech 3rd year student from vit university.
also can you pls tell me how can we apply for sun ca post.
thank you..

Posted by aditya on September 01, 2009 at 01:55 PM IST #

I am doing B.Tech(IT) at Nirma University ahmedabad and i am in 7th sem.
I wanted to know that does Sun India has any internship program for 8th sem students like me?
And how you applied for the internship program at sun?

Posted by maitrik panchal on September 05, 2009 at 06:52 AM IST #

I got the internship as I am a Sun Campus Ambassador. Perks of being a CA. While I am not aware how non-CAs can get an internship, you can always start/join an OSUM community project. Go to www.osum.sun.com and look around. If you need any help, let me know. And dont forget to celebrate Software Freedom Day at you academic institution.

Sandy

Posted by Sandip Dev on September 13, 2009 at 05:42 AM IST #

Hi Sandip,
Its great to know your internship experience. I am a osum leader of my collage and I am a Java developer. I want to do my internship in sun India like you but I didnt find the way to do that. I have posted my resume to internprofile@sun.com but mail couldnt deliver. Please help me to do this I feel quite helpless because no one is here who can help me out.

Also I want to become CA of my region. Actually my collage is in chattisgarh state and there is no CA posted till now. So I want to become CA as I have 2+ year experience in using sun technologies. Please help me out where I should submit my resume or wat is the process to become a CA.

Please Sandip help me with ur support.

Regards
Rishabh Tripathi
rishabh1923@gmail.com

Posted by Rishabh on November 06, 2009 at 04:19 AM IST #

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About

Hi. I am Sandip Dev. I am a student of Computer Engineering at SVNIT (NIT-Surat). My passions are coding, listening to music, reading and learning new things. I am also the Chairperson of the ACM Chapter of my college and Sun Campus Ambassador here.

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