[Beowulf] Performance of SMC Gigabit switches

Markus Baumgartner mbaumgar at gup.jku.at
Mon Dec 20 13:57:09 PST 2004

Kartik Gopalan wrote:

>Would anyone on this list have experience using the SMC unmanaged switches
>(specifically one of the SMC8505T, SMC8508T, SMC8516T or SMC8524T
>switches). These seem to be inexpensive switches that claim to support
>jumbo frames.
>Before purchasing them, I am interested in finding out whether or not
>these switches actually deliver close to gigabit/sec throughput in
>Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks in advance,
>- Kartik

I'd stay away from the SMC8516T. We have one of those and are 
experiencing the following problem: we have a dual-opteron machine that 
tends to crash from time to time. This machine is connected to the SMC 
switch. Whenever the machine crashes, the switch stops working and all 
machines connected to the switch are unreachable. Obviously, some 
illegal frame or signal from the crashed machine make the switch freeze, 
too. Even after disconnecting the crashed machine the switch won't work. 
Only after resetting the switch it will work again. IMHO, a switch 
should be robust enough to never have to be reset manually.

Markus Baumgartner
Institute of Graphics and Parallel Processing, University of Linz, Austria

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