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dist-gem5: Distributed Simulation of Computer Cluster

When analyzing a distributed computer system, we often observe that the complex interplay among processor, node, and network sub-systems can profoundly affect the performance and power efficiency of the distributed computer system. Therefore, to effectively cross-optimize hardware and software components of a distributed computer system, we need a full-system simulation infrastructure that can precisely capture the complex interplay. Responding to the aforementioned need, we present dist-gem5, a flexible, detailed, and open-source full-system simulation infrastructure that can model and simulate a distributed computer system using multiple simulation hosts. Then we validate dist-gem5 against a physical cluster and show that the latency and bandwidth of the simulated network sub-system are within 18% of the physical one. Compared with the single threaded and parallel versions of gem5, dist-gem5 speeds up the simulation of a 63-node computer cluster by 83.1x and 12.8x, respectively.