Need: Switch Recommendations ( > 150 ports)

Dean Johnson dtj at
Sat Oct 19 18:33:04 PDT 2002

On Sat, 2002-10-19 at 13:05, Shanwu Wang wrote:
> Hi Dean,
> Thank you for your reminder.    We are going to trash our first generation
> beowulf,  dual-PII 400 to save some space and power.  I will measure our
> beowulf shelf again to make sure it is big enough, :-).  When I hunt for
> desktop, I select the smallest one from Dell.  Its volume is only 1/4 of
> tower case.

I know the machines that you are talking about. I even have one sitting
under my desk waiting to get install. They are reasonably nice machines,
but limited in ways that may or may not be important, like the
processors that you can get in it and limitations on memory. Those tiny
desktop machines often have really lame chipsets and slow memory that
often hamstring the computational power.

> Because the CPU is much faster than our current systems (PIII 500 and
> PIII766, a total number of 350CPUs), the network is our bottleneck.
> Therefore, we select 1NIC/1CPU or channel bonding for dual-CPU node when we
> still don't have enough money for Gig or myrinet.  The switch is really a
> headache problem for a system in such a size.

Seriously check out the current state of gigabit ethernet. The NICs are
only slightly more than good normal ethernet NICs. When you start
thinking about channel bonding, you need to get more switch ports and
add to the complexity of the install and maintainence. Does anybody have
any idea of how bonding impacts latency?

Myrinet is really pricey (think ~$1400 per seat), but absolutely
essential for some things. They have really good service, I must say.


More information about the Beowulf mailing list