[Beowulf] Questions regarding interconnects

Olli-Pekka Lehto oplehto at csc.fi
Sun Mar 20 09:56:35 PST 2005


I'm writing a paper on current and emerging cluster interconnect 
technologies as a part of my University studies. I have included 1GbE 
(incl. RDMA), 10GbE, Quadrics, InfiniBand and Myrinet. The goal is to 
provide an introduction to the subject maybe more from a network 
engineer's point of view with an overview on the key features and the 
pros/cons of each solution. I have some questions on which I hope you 
could help me out with:

What do you see as the key differentiating factors in the quality of an 
MPI implementation? This far I have come up with the following:
-Completeness of the implementation
-Asynchronous communication
-Smart collective communication

Are there any NICs on the market which utilize the 10GBase-CX4 
standard and if there is are there any clusters which use them? Do you 
see it as a viable choice for an interconnect considering the 
relatively low cost of InfiniBand and that fact that 10GBase-T is not 
that far in the future?

When do you estimate that commodity Gigabit NICs with integrated RDMA 
support will arrive to the market? (or will they?)

best regards,
Olli-Pekka Lehto, Systems Specialist, Systems Services, CSC
PO Box 405 02101 Espoo, Finland; tel +358 9 457 2215, fax +358 9 457 2302
CSC is the Finnish IT Center for Science, www.csc.fi,
e-mail: Olli-Pekka.Lehto at csc.fi

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