Card/switch performance query

Josip Loncaric josip at
Thu Aug 24 12:03:32 PDT 2000

"Robert G. Brown" wrote:
>   What 10/100 cards would you (any or all of you) recommend for use in a
> "standard design" beowulf today?

My experience is limited to tulip cards (NetGear FA310TX and Kingston
KNE100TX).  We also had driver problems because the same network card
model can actually contain umpteen varieties of chips and board
revisions, each one with its own quirks.  It is difficult for the driver
to recover from so many different quirks when pushing the network to the
bleeding edge.  Perhaps some other cards have greater hardware
uniformity, but 'hardware uniformity' and 'mass market' generally do not
go together.  Unless someone convinces me that the situation is truly
better with another card, I'm inclined to stick with tulips.  At least
we learned how to deal with their quirks...

>   b) We'll very likely be upgrading/replacing our current aged Cisco Cat
> 5000 switch at the same time.

We've had good luck with 3com's SuperStack II Switch 3900 (the 36-port
version, 3C39036).  3com changed its marketing strategy recently, and
I'm not sure if 3C39036 was affected or not.


Dr. Josip Loncaric, Senior Staff Scientist        mailto:josip at
ICASE, Mail Stop 132C           PGP key at
NASA Langley Research Center             mailto:j.loncaric at
Hampton, VA 23681-2199, USA    Tel. +1 757 864-2192  Fax +1 757 864-6134

More information about the Beowulf mailing list