low-latency high-bandwidth OS bypass user-level messaging for commodity(linux) clusters with commodity NICs(<$200), HELP! (GAMMA/EMP/M-VIA/etc.)

Patrick Geoffray patrick at myri.com
Mon Dec 16 23:58:21 PST 2002

Hi Don,

On Mon, 2002-12-16 at 19:31, Donald Becker wrote:

> > BIP
>    Magic protocol using custom Myrinet firmware.  Grumble: early
>    performance numbers were not reproducible (I got exactly 50% of tech report
>    numbers on same hardware and software).

This is weird. I was involved in BIP back when I was a student in
France, and Loic (BIP's author and Myrinet guru at large) was very
careful about publishing real and reproducible numbers. I have myself
confirmed these numbers many times.
Try to get a hand on 2 recent NICs and test the latest BIP (0.99u) from
http://www.ens-lyon.fr/LIP/BIP/. I am sure Loic would help you if you
cannot reproduce good numbers. Last time I heard about it, BIP was
getting <4 us on L9 (not reliable though. Reliability was planned but
never implemented, the curse of all academics projects).

> No commercial company is likely to support a communication protocol
> unless they can pay for it (and have a hope of it working!) by
> bundling it with expensive hardware.

I totally agree with you. It would be very hard to generate enough
income selling only software to support the manpower needed for this
type of development. That's why, when selling a product (hardware +
software), the software end up almost all of the time being free.
In the case of Scyld, the value is not in the software, it's in the
service (not that the software has no value, but people accept to pay
for service, not anymore for software).

My 2 cents.


Patrick Geoffray, Phd
Myricom, Inc.

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