[Beowulf] Mellanox UFM question

Jeff Becker jeffrey.c.becker at nasa.gov
Tue Sep 15 09:23:09 PDT 2015

Hi Jörg,

Have you tried using the subnet manager from Mellanox OFED (which is 
free)? That's what we use on our big heterogeneous cluster at NASA.



On 09/15/2015 08:55 AM, Jörg Saßmannshausen wrote:
> Dear all,
> I am a bit confused and I was wondering whether somebody on the list could
> give me a bit of advice here.
> I was previously using QLogic for my QDR InfiniBand network. I got one master
> switch which got the licence for the InfiniBand installed and things appear to
> work ok. At least I cannot detect any problems despite adding switches and
> nodes to the fabric.
> Now, we recently purchased a new cluster with 20 cores per node and here I
> decided to go for FDR to be a bit more future proofed as well. So I got the
> 'normal' licence from Mellanox for the cluster. I got one licence per node so
> I assumed that was ok.
> Now, we are in the process to set up another cluster with a mixture of older
> and newer hardware. Again I have decided to opt for the FDR simply to be a bit
> more future proofed. And this is where the confusion comes in.
> Apparently I do need now the UFM (Unified Fibre Manager) from Mellanox to run
> the InfiniBand. However, the normal licence is only for up to 16 cores per node
> and I would need the more expensive exhanced licence.
>  From what I and a colleague of mine can see the UFM is nothing more than the
> requires subnet manager plus some diagnostic tools.
> There are two questions here:
> - do we really need the exhanced UFM licence or is that just a way to make
> money?
> - would the open source subnet manage work as well and would the open source
> diagnostic tools be ok?
> - why do I need to pay for a licence for each node? Somehow I cannot recall
> having done that in the past.
> Unfortunately, InfiniBand is not my strong side and thus I would appreciate and
> advice here.
> All the best from a meanwhile sunny London
> Jörg
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