now many nodes can a lan support?

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Fri Jan 10 13:28:11 EST 2003


It's basically a communications bandwidth problem...

What's your bottleneck?  I would assume it's the link to the head in your 
case, since all those 1KB packets heading out and 100B packets heading back 
have to go through it.

1KB > roughly 10 kbits (by the time you add headers, etc.)
100B > roughly 1 kbit..
Clearly the "head to node" traffic will dominate the link, it's ten times 
bigger.

Figure that 10 Mbps wire can carry, comfortably, 5 Mbps..

5000 kbps/10 kb = 500 packets/second


Now you need to find out how long it takes for a node to process the 
packet..  If it takes 1 second, you can support 500 nodes. If it takes 0.01 
seconds you can support 5.


This is a very rough and ready estimate, of course...  You need to address 
such issues as:

1) synchronization of the nodes... if they all try to talk at the same 
time, your throughput will drop (a lot). If node 2 tries to talk to the 
head at the same time node 1 is, then either node 2 blocks, or its packet 
gets held somewhere.  In your application, the dominant traffic appears to 
be from the head to the nodes, so it would inherently tend to be sequenced 
and non-simultaneous.
2) variability of the processing time on the node...

This is all pretty standard queuing theory stuff.  You could write a little 
simulation program to try it all out.  R.G.Brown's book at the Duke Brahma 
site talks quite a bit about how to calculate parallelism and speedup




At 11:15 AM 1/10/2003 -0600, you wrote:
>My guess is this question has been asked before, but I've not been
>able to find it in the archive file. The question is given a typical
>10Mb/s lan how many nodes can a cluster support? Assume the cluster
>has its own switch, the head and nodes are connected in a star with
>the switch, the cluster lan is isolated from all other non-cluster
>network traffic, the only way to reach a node is through the head,
>ignore extra traffic from TCP handshakes and such, and the the
>data packet for a work unit is 1KB with a 100B results packet back
>to the head.
>
>How do I calculate this?
>
>Mike
>_______________________________________________
>Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at beowulf.org
>To change your subscription (digest mode or unsubscribe) visit 
>http://www.beowulf.org/mailman/listinfo/beowulf


_______________________________________________
Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at beowulf.org
To change your subscription (digest mode or unsubscribe) visit http://www.beowulf.org/mailman/listinfo/beowulf



More information about the Beowulf mailing list