[Beowulf] interconnect and compiler ?

Mark Hahn hahn at mcmaster.ca
Thu Jan 29 10:28:39 EST 2009


> Can anyone tell me if I can find a complete list of all high BW, low latency 
> networks and vendors somewhere. I know myricom, quadrics and the various 
> infiniband vendors like melanox, verari, voltaire and Qlogic. Are these the 
> main players?

well, do you count 10GE in general?  I would think you should, since 
although 10GE+OpenMP isn't _that_ competitive with IB/quadrics or 
even myriMX, it's still very fast.  the 10GE market seems to be 
developing slower than I expected, though, with switches remaining 
pretty expensive, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of "chatter"
of street experience on this list, for instance.  my organization has had 
a 10GE WAN backbone for a while, and has had moderate success with 
getting 10GE data onto it (rather than just aggregating lots of 1GE).
SFP+ seems like a useful advance for 10GE, assuming 10GbaseT is either
not going to happen or will take a long time.  the switch side of things
seems to be slo-mo as well.

IB is, of course, mainly just Mellanox, though Qlogic still has a finger
in the pie.  (just NICs, though, right?  AFAIKT Qlogic's switches are built
from Mellanox chips like all the rest...)

Quadrics is a bit of an enigma to me - we're still going strong with our 
Elan4 systems, but I don't really understand Quadrics future plans.
they seem to be morphing into a 10GE vendor, but do they have any unique
value-add?

> BTW, as for the adaptors, does it make a big difference if they are on a 
> hypertransport or PCI express (because I might be constrained to Xeon's)?

iirc, there was only a small latency difference between HTX and PCI-E
versions of Infinipath.

> Next, could anyone point me to recent benchmarks of the pathscale and icc 
> compiler vs. gcc ?

I'd like to see that too!  might as well throw in PGI.  in fact, we have 
all of those compilers available - does anyone have suggestions of good 
test codes?

regards, mark hahn.
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