[Beowulf] New beowulf recommendations

Camm Maguire camm at enhanced.com
Fri Sep 7 13:00:46 PDT 2007

Greetings!  We're putting together a new 36-node cluster, and are
seeking recommendations on a few points.  Our chosen motherboard is an
Intel 1333 Mhz FSB/Core2 Duo 2.66Ghz/800 Mhz DDR2 (2 Gb)

1) There is an onboard Gigabit NIC which pushes the computational load
   onto the CPU.  Our vendor states that a server card in the
   PCIExpress slot would have better latency.  True?  Significant?

2) We're considering either a Layer 2 or Layer 3 Netgear 48 port
   switch.  The backplane bandwiths are 96Gb and 196Gb respectively,
   and the latencies are 20us and 2us.  I don't understand how the
   additional bandwidth can be used, but the latency gain seems reason
   enough for the Layer 3.  Is it worth an extra $3k?  We are network
   latency bound on our existing 16 node cluster, but I do not know
   how much latency is due to the switch, nor how to find out.

Thanks so much for any recommendations in advance.

Take care,
Camm Maguire			     			camm at enhanced.com
"The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens."  --  Baha'u'llah

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