Ethernet Channel Bonding (ECB)

Martin Siegert siegert at sfu.ca
Mon Apr 22 20:45:41 EDT 2002


On Mon, Apr 22, 2002 at 06:01:22PM -0600, Timothy W. Moore wrote:
> I am new to the Beowulf cluster computing and am awaiting UPS to deliver 
> my systems.  I have been researching ECB and it seems to have mixed 
> reviews regarding performance enhancement.  Would/Could someone shed 
> some light on this topic to the following effect:
> 
> [1] Is it truly necessary?

That depends on the programs you are planning to run your cluster. With
respect to performance: I am getting 269Mbit/s bandwith with 3-way
channel bonded fast ethernet (using 3Com NICs). This is almost exactly
three times as much as I get from a single NIC. The latency is not quite
as good as with a single NIC: 55us vs. 43us (all numbers measured with
netpipe). Thus if your program doesn't need the bandwith or if your
program is extremely sensitive to latencies then you don't need channel
bonding.

> [2] If using RedHat 7.2, should I re-compile the kernel?

Not necessarily. The bonding.o module is part of all RedHat kernels.
However, I strongly recommend upgrading the kernel to 2.4.18 - I had
problems with all earlier 2.4.x versions.

Regards,
Martin

========================================================================
Martin Siegert
Academic Computing Services                        phone: (604) 291-4691
Simon Fraser University                            fax:   (604) 291-4242
Burnaby, British Columbia                          email: siegert at sfu.ca
Canada  V5A 1S6
========================================================================
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