[Beowulf] Supermicro 2U

Nifty Tom Mitchell niftyompi at niftyegg.com
Sun Feb 22 23:53:18 PST 2009

On Sat, Feb 21, 2009 at 07:46:57AM -0500, Andrew Piskorski wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 04:10:33PM +0000, John Hearns wrote:
> > It is a tad lame to repeat articles from HPCwire here, but I can't help it.
> > New. Shiny. http://www.supermicro.com/products/nfo/2UTwin2.cfm
> So it gets to use all larger 80 mm case fans, while stuffing 4
> dual-socket nodes into one 2u case, neat.  Only two tiny little
> screechy fans, in the power supplies.
> The "4x InfiniBand controller ports" listed for the 6026TT Server
> seems a bit confusing though.  A few of the motherboard options
> include built-in InfiniBand, but only Opteron boards (e.g., the
> H8DMT-IBXF), none of the supported Intel cpu motherboards have that.
> What are the pros/cons of the on-motherboard InfiniBand compared to
> using an add-on IB and riser card in the PCI-Express slot?
>   http://www.supermicro.com/Aplus/motherboard/Opteron2000/MCP55/H8DMT-IBXF.cfm

Compare and contrast various IB solutions on a MB the same way you
would older Ethernet solutions.  This MB has a Mellanox InfiniHost
MT25204A0-FCC-D for 10Gb/s InfiniBand chip set.  Since 20Gb/s Infiniband is
available having this Infiniband on the MB may constrain you to 10Gb/s links.
With 2xQuad core processors this may be less than you would like.
This IB chip set has been well benchmarked.  Still, _your_ benchmarks
will tell....

The next question is IB drivers and MPI libs from Super Micro.  For this
chip set the kernel.org and/ or Open MPI drivers may be on a par with
vendor drivers.   Do watch for firmware version update and compat issues....

In general a landed on motherboard chip set solution can be less expensive
than a MB+card solution.   The lack of a PCIe connector and riser can
improve PCIe signal quality.   The IB chip set is close to the 4x connector
which is a good thing.

This could be a fine MB... 

	T o m  M i t c h e l l 
	Found me a new hat, now what?

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