[Beowulf] SC|05: will 10Ge beat IB?

Mark Hahn hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Tue Nov 22 10:38:00 EST 2005


> > Fibre-media converters are still expensive and as far as I have heard, no
> > one is pushing 10G over copper.

oh, yes they are.  I probably should have mentioned that - the multitude
of 10G ports I saw at SC|05 were almost entirely copper (CX4).

> > IB is quite cheap compared to 10G, but

do you have numbers?  it _is_ possible to get a pretty cheap IB nic,
but aren't IB ports still pretty pricey?  and aren't the cheapest IB
nics also noticably lower performance?

from Myricom, 10G appears to be at around $1k/port (all in).  I haven't
gotten any real/firm prices on this, though, and certainly didn't ask 
the big chassis-switch companies what their price would be on 128 ports.

> > it is a new technology and adoption outside of HPC is slow.  The volume
> > isn't there yet to bring pricing where it should be.
> Infiniband isn't that new.
> Your point about the HPC market is valid, though what has happened is
> that IB was developed from the storage 'world' and happened to find a
> niche in HPC.

IB tried to do everything for a while, which I think most people would
agree led to bloat.  what I'm interested in is, having at least a toe-hold
in HPC (MPI), whether it can branch out into storage again without 
undue complication and vendor-closing.  a relatively transparent means 
of translating to the world at large (IP) would also be valuable.
(it's the latter where ethernet shines, of course, though ethernet 
addressing is no more native to IP than IB is...)

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