[Beowulf] TOE on Linux?

Mark Hahn hahn at mcmaster.ca
Wed May 14 17:09:14 EDT 2008


> Does anyone know of any network cards/drivers that support TOE (TCP
> Offload Engine) for Linux?

I'm sure there are some.  but let's define our terms - by TOE do you mean
the normal thing, namely "a card containing a completely separate host,
processor, memory, OS and network stack"?

> A hardware vendor just told me that Linux
> does not support the TOE features of *any* network card.

that's silly.  silly enough that such a vendor deserves public identification ;)

> Given Linux's strong presence in HPC and the value of having TOE in a
> cluster, I find that hard to believe.

why do you draw a linkage between TOE and HPC?  in general, latency is very 
important to HPC, and TOE is generally bad for latency.  it is also hostile 
to the Linux network stack, but that's a separate issue.  abstractly,
you can think of moore's law (and the inevitable acceleration of host
processors and related infrastructure) as working against TOE.  heck, you can
even think of the current NVidia-Intel shouting match (gp-gpu versus larrabee)
as similar, since the question is how widely appropriate are dedicated gpus.

but I'm curious: do you think you need TOE, and why?
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