Martin Siegert siegert at sfu.ca
Thu Jan 4 15:08:13 PST 2001

Hello everybody,

I'm planning to expand my cluster to ~ 100 processors with 3 x 100BaseT
channel bonding. Obviously, I need switches - unfortunately I don't know
very much about these beasts.

Here is my idea: I'll buy 48 dual processor nodes with 3 NICs each
(at least 4 in the master node). Hence, I'll need 3 48 port switches.

Can anybody recommend a particular 48 port (or more) switch (best performance,
lowest price, as usual :-). My web search didn't come up with much:

Cisco Catalyst 2948G
Cisco Catalyst 3548XL
Enterasys Vertical Horizon VH-4802
Intel Express 420T

Did I miss anything? Which can be recommended?
Do they all have backplanes that support 4.8Gb/s? I guess in this price range
all of these should allow forcing to 100BaseT/full-duplex (I don't trust
autonegotiation - should I?).
There are other modular switches (e.g., Dlink DES-5600, HP Procurve 4000M),
but these seem to be more expensive, right?

Alternatively, I could use stackable 24 port switches, however then I need
a 2.4Gb/s link between the stacked switches (full duplex). I don't know
whether I can get that. 48 port switches seem to be easier in any case.

Thanks for your help and comments in advance.


Martin Siegert
Academic Computing Services                        phone: (604) 291-4691
Simon Fraser University                            fax:   (604) 291-4242
Burnaby, British Columbia                          email: siegert at sfu.ca
Canada  V5A 1S6

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