[Beowulf] onboard Gb lan: any opinion, sugestion or impression?

Donald Becker becker at scyld.com
Tue Nov 14 07:21:26 PST 2006

On Tue, 14 Nov 2006, Jones de Andrade wrote:

> Well, I've found some discussions within this list about brands of switches,
> and some about network card brands also.
> We came to a question here, in the cluster we are planning: how usefull are
> the, now so common, onboard gigabit networks (even dual networks) that are
> shipped in the motherboards? Great, bood, bad or terrible performance?

Almost all of the on-board Gigabit Ethernet NICs are very good.  They
are integrated into the primary chipset
 - giving them good access to main memory and
 - reducing the opportunity for vendors to use the cheapest NIC chip.

You won't find advanced offload features, but you do get good, solid 
non-quirky performance.

A secondary effect is that there are now very few NIC families, and those
vendors are motivated to support/control their drivers.  The network
device driver challenge of a decade ago, supporting hundreds of designs, 
is all but gone.

> stability issues? Much concern about it's use for clusters? Is there any
> example, or benchmark available of different onboard network chips in any
> (cluster?) application?
> Thanks a lot in advance,
> Sincerally yours,
> Jones
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Donald Becker				becker at scyld.com
Scyld Software	 			Scyld Beowulf cluster systems
914 Bay Ridge Road, Suite 220		www.scyld.com
Annapolis MD 21403			410-990-9993

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