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The increasing complexity of available infrastructures (hierarchical, parallel, distributed, etc.) with specific features (caches, hyper-threading, dual core, etc.) makes it extremely difficult to build analytical models that allow for a satisfying prediction. Hence, it raises the question on how to validate algorithms and software systems if a realistic analytic study is not possible. As for many other sciences, the one answer is experimental validation. However, such experimentations rely on the availability of an instrument able to validate every level of the software stack and offering different hardware and software facilities about compute, storage, and network resources.
Almost ten years after its premises, the Grid'5000 testbed has become one of the most complete testbed for designing or evaluating large-scale distributed systems. Initially dedicated to the study of large HPC facilities, Grid’5000 has evolved in order to address wider concerns related to Desktop Computing, the Internet of Services and more recently the Cloud Computing paradigm. We now target new processors features such as hyperthreading, turbo boost, and power management or large applications managing big data. In this keynote we will both address the issue of experiments in HPC and computer science and the design and usage of the Grid'5000 platform for various kind of applications.