[Beowulf] layer 3 switches

John Hearns john.hearns at streamline-computing.com
Fri Sep 22 02:20:15 PDT 2006

Warren Turkal wrote:
> Does a layer 3 switch make sense on a Beowulf cluster running on GigE? If so, 
> does anyone have any recommendations?

We use several brands of switches, HP, 3Com and Nortel.

We have recently put in some larger clusters using Nortel 5510 switches,
which are stackable 48 port switches. You can get longer stacking 
cables, so you can put one switch (*) per rack and extend the stacks 
horizontally, ie. cat 5 stays within a rack, or maybe two.

These are layer 3 switches, but we don't use the layer 3 functionality.

I'm sure others will disagree, but I would say layer 3 functionality is 
not needed.

(*) Well, not really one switch. One switch for admin and Panasas 
storage traffic, and two for dedicated MPI traffic.

      John Hearns
      Senior HPC Engineer
      Streamline Computing,
      The Innovation Centre, Warwick Technology Park,
      Gallows Hill, Warwick CV34 6UW
      Office: 01926 623130 Mobile: 07841 231235

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