[Beowulf] 3c2000 recommendations?

Tony Travis ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk
Tue Jun 28 02:24:46 PDT 2005

John Van Workum wrote:
> Greetings,
> I've been researching some of the newer Gigabit adapters on the market
> recently. One that caught my eye is the 32bit 3Com 3c2000-T. It features a
> "128 KB deep packet buffer" and "Processing offloads: TCP/UDP/IP checksum".
> The processing offload really interests me, but I'm skeptical. The price is a
> little more than the Intel Pro/1000. I didn't find any reference to this
> adapter on this list and not much information about using this adapter in a
> cluster (MPI codes) on the net. Does anyone have any experience with this
> adapter?

Hello, John.

We're using them in our openMosix cluster for IPC, along with 3c905's 
for NFS+SSH etc. The openMosix loadbalancing, and MPI IPC goes over a 
Gigabit network fabric which is separate from the 100Base-T network 
fabric. I bought them for the same reason they look attractive to you 
but, I must admit, I've not benchmarked them against other DMA Gigabit 
NIC's. However, I thought it would be a mistake to buy Gigabit NIC's 
without an onboard processor. I made a pragmatic decision to replace all 
the 3c905's on the IPC fabric with 3c2000's to increase the bandwidth. 
We have a COTS cluster, and Myranet etc was out of the question. I'm 
quite happy with their price/performance which is why I bought them. We 
also bought Cisco 2070's Gigabit switches to go with them.

Dr. A.J.Travis,                     |  mailto:ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk
Rowett Research Institute,          |    http://www.rri.sari.ac.uk/~ajt
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn,          |   phone:+44 (0)1224 712751
Aberdeen AB21 9SB, Scotland, UK.    |     fax:+44 (0)1224 716687

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