networking options

Dean Johnson dtj at
Mon Sep 23 18:23:10 PDT 2002

On Mon, 2002-09-23 at 17:08, Matthew Timothy Pratola wrote:
> Hi all,
> Just looking for some information and/or recommendations on the various
> networking options available for building beowulfs.  The beowulf in
> question would consist of ~1000 nodes.  I'm aware of myrinet, dolphonics,
> fiber and of course the ethernet options.  Also of concern is topology.
> If any of you can expand my knowledge (or point me to articles which will
> help me) in this regard, it is much appreciated.  Even practical
> experience in terms of real-world latency, throughput and reliability of
> these various options would be helful, as well as knowing if they require
> the use of a proprietary MPI implementation (bad for us).

Its best summarized by "how much money ya got?". To a lesser extent, its
what you intend on doing with the cluster and how important absolute
performance is to you. Each app is pretty much different as to its
networking requirements. The cost of high throughput/low latency
networking is on the order of $1500 or more per machine (based on a
recent myrinet purchase). Considering that pretty darn good cluster
nodes can be had for $2k each... On the other end of the spectrum,
gigabit ethernet is pretty damn cheap now and helps quite nicely with
many apps.


More information about the Beowulf mailing list