Predicting the performance of various infrastructure design options in complex federated infrastructures with computing sites distributed over a wide area that support a plethora of users and workflows, such as the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG), is not trivial. Due to the complexity and size of these infrastructures, it is not feasible to deploy experimental test-beds at large scales merely for the purpose of comparing and evaluating alternate designs.
An alternative is to simulate the behaviours of these systems based on realistic simulation models. This approach has been used successfully in the past to identify efficient and practical infrastructure designs for High Energy Physics (HEP). A prominent example is the Monarc simulation framework, which was used to study the initial structure of the WLCG. However, new simulation capabilities are needed to simulate large-scale heterogeneous infrastructures with complex networks as well as application behaviours that include various data access and caching patterns.
In this context, a modern tool to simulate high energy physics workloads that execute on distributed computing infrastructures based on the SimGrid and WRENCH simulation frameworks is outlined. Studies of its accuracy and scalability are presented using HEP as a case-study.
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