Network RAM revisited

Matt Phillips mphil39 at hotmail.com
Wed May 28 10:47:58 EDT 2003


Hello,

I am a student about to start work on using Network RAMs as swap space in a 
cluster environment, as a part of semester project. I need to convince 
myself first that this is indeed relevant in today's situation. I have read 
the earlier discussions in the archives but they are two years old and 
things might have changed since that might have made Network RAM more 
plausible (gigE becoming ubiquitous, network latency reducing, seek time in 
disks not getting better etc). I would like to hear the opinion of the 
members in the group.

I guess the main argument against it is why not simply put in more memory 
sticks and avoid swap altogether. I was told there are applications out 
there that would still always need swap. To make the case more convincing, I 
would also like to test performance with real world application traces 
instead of probablity distributions. Does anyone know of applications 
(preferably used widespread) for which swap is unavoidable?

Another question that bothers me is network latency deteriorates severely 
after packet size goes beyond 1-1.5 KB. Assuming page size is 4KB, wouldn't 
this affect the network RAM performance in a big way? Any way around this 
problem?

Thanks in advance,
Matt

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