[Beowulf] New beowulf recommendations

Camm Maguire camm at enhanced.com
Fri Sep 7 16:00:46 EDT 2007


Greetings!  We're putting together a new 36-node cluster, and are
seeking recommendations on a few points.  Our chosen motherboard is an
Intel 1333 Mhz FSB/Core2 Duo 2.66Ghz/800 Mhz DDR2 (2 Gb)

1) There is an onboard Gigabit NIC which pushes the computational load
   onto the CPU.  Our vendor states that a server card in the
   PCIExpress slot would have better latency.  True?  Significant?

2) We're considering either a Layer 2 or Layer 3 Netgear 48 port
   switch.  The backplane bandwiths are 96Gb and 196Gb respectively,
   and the latencies are 20us and 2us.  I don't understand how the
   additional bandwidth can be used, but the latency gain seems reason
   enough for the Layer 3.  Is it worth an extra $3k?  We are network
   latency bound on our existing 16 node cluster, but I do not know
   how much latency is due to the switch, nor how to find out.

Thanks so much for any recommendations in advance.

Take care,
-- 
Camm Maguire			     			camm at enhanced.com
==========================================================================
"The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens."  --  Baha'u'llah
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