[Beowulf] Network considerations for new generation cheap beowulfcluster

Mark Hahn hahn at mcmaster.ca
Mon May 21 10:46:34 PDT 2007

>> 5 years ago, the low-end approach was 100bT; now its 1000bT.  the prime 
>> target for that approach (serial or EP) has simply gotten broader;
>> I don't see this as anything to complain about.  for "real" parallel,
>> you have to pay for the network you need.  there as well, you now get more 
>> for your money, no complaints.  complaining that you can't get 1 us, 1GBps 
>> interconnect for $50/port is just silliness.
> I disagree on this last point. Why can't low latency interconnects become the 
> standard?

because most of computing is not latency-sensitive.  even in HPC, most cycles
are consumed by throughput and loose-parallel apps (where Gb works fine.)

> It is not just HPC applications that are demanding low latency 
> networks.

what applications are you thinking of?  the only I can think of would be 
lock/metadata traffic for very large parallel clustered DB/filesystem,
and even there the argument is weak.

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