Cactus and Visapult: A case study of ultra-high performance distributed
visualization using connectionless protocols
This past decade has seen rapid growth in the size, resolution, and complexity of Grand Challenge simulation codes. Many such problems still require interactive visualization tools to make sense of multi-terabyte data stores. Visapult is a parallel volume rendering tool that employs distributed components, latency tolerant algorithms, and high performance network I/O for effective remote visualization of massive datasets. In this paper we discuss using connectionless protocols to accelerate Visapult network I/O and interfacing Visapult to the Cactus General Relativity code to enable scalable remote monitoring and steering capabilities. With these modifications, network utilization has moved from 25 percent of line-rate using tuned multi-streamed TCP to sustaining 88 percent of line rate using the new UDP-based transport protocol.