[Beowulf] SW Giaga, what kind?

Mark Hahn hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Wed Jan 3 08:05:00 PST 2007

> But, originally, my question was about the quality and reliability of the
> brand of *LevelOne* SW (Unmanaged, Gigabit ports), in comparison to its

I've never heard "level one" used in this context.  the closest would be 
"layer 2", which refers to mac-based switching, and might be what you mean.

> fairly low price, on one hand, and the brand of *3COM* SW (Unmanaged,
> Gigabit ports) on the other hand.

3com is not an exceptional switch vendor, except in the historic sense.
they make OK stuff, but I don't think I'd give them special credit against
any of the well-known brands (dlink, netgear for commodity, hp-procurve,
cisco and some others for higher-end, enterpriseish stuff.)

> The number of nodes in our initial plan is 6 nodes, AMD DualCore, desktop
> type systems.

a dime-store, no-name 8-port gigabit switch would serve just fine.
at gigabit latencies (with a normal stack, etc: ~50 us), internal details
of the switch are basically irrelevant.  small switches like this are 
probably single-chip, giving appliance-like in reliability, insensitivity
to the name on the case, and probably line speed.

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