[Beowulf] how large of an installation have people used NFS with? would 300 mounts kill performance?

Rahul Nabar rpnabar at gmail.com
Wed Sep 9 13:40:23 EDT 2009

Our new cluster aims to have around 300 compute nodes. I was wondering
what is the largest setup people have tested NFS with? Any tips or
comments? There seems no way for me to say if it will scale well or

I have been warned of performance hits but how bad will they be?
Infiniband is touted as a solution but the economics don't work out.
My question is this:

Assume each of my compute nodes have gigabit ethernet AND I specify
the switch such that it can handle full line capacity on all ports.
Will there still be performance hits as I start adding compute nodes?
Why? Or is it unrealistic to configure a switching setup with full
line capacities on 300 ports?

If not NFS then Lustre etc options do exist. But the more I read about
those the more I am convinced that those open another big can of
worms. Besides, if NFS would work I do not want to switch.

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