Intel PRO/1000CT Gigabit ethernet with CSA

Mikhail Kuzminsky kus at free.net
Mon Jul 23 12:44:16 EDT 2012


According to Daniel Pfenniger
> Patrick Geoffray wrote:
> > On Fri, 2003-06-27 at 13:46, Daniel Pfenniger wrote:
> >>The exact costs are presently not well fixed because several companies
> >>enter the market.  The nice thing about IB is that it is an open
> >>standard, the components from different companies are compatible,
> >>which is good for pressing costs down.
> > 
> > With the slicon coming from one company (actually 2 but the second one
> > does only switch chip), the price adjustment would mainly affect the
> > reseller, where the margin are not that high. I don't expect much a
> > price war in the Infiniband market, mainly because many IB shops are
> > already just burning (limited) VC cash.
> > The main point for price advantage of IB is if the volume goes up. It's
> > a very different problem that the multiple-vendors-marketing-stuff. One
> > can argue that HPC does not yield such high volumes, only a business
> > market like the Databases one does.
> > 
> > Remember Gigabit Ethernet. It was very expensive when the early adopters
> > were the HPC crowd and the price didn't drop until it made its way to
> > the desktop. It's the case for 10GE today.
> > ...
>  > Patrick Geoffray
>  > Myricom, Inc.
> 
> Yes I mostly agree with your analysis, database is the only significant
> potential market for IB.
> 
> However the problem with 1GBE or 10GBE is that the latency remains poor
> for HPC applications, while IB goes in the right direction.
> The real comparison to be made is not between GE and IB, but between
> IB and Myricom products, which belong to an especially protected niche.
> As a result for years the Myrinet products did hardly drop in price
> for a sub-Moore's-law increase in performance, because of a lack of
> competition (the price we paid for our Myricom cards and switch
> 18 months ago is today *exactly* the same).
  I agree with you both. From the viewpoint of HPC clusters the IB
competitor is Myrinet (and SCI etc). But there are many applications
w/coarse-grained parallelism, where bandwidth is the main thing, not the
latency (I think, quantum chemistry applications are bandwidth-
limited). In this case (i.e. if latnecy is less important) 10Gb Ethernet
is also IB competitor. Moreover, IB, I beleive, will be used for
TCP/IP connections also - in opposition to Myrinet etc. (I beleive
there is no TCP/IP drivers for Myrinet - am I correct ?)

Again, from the veiwpoint of some real appilications, there are some
applications which
use TCP/IP stack for parallelization (I agree that is bad, but ...)
- for example Linda tools (used in Gaussian) work over TCP/IP, Gamess-US
DDI "subsystem" works over TCP/IP. In the case of IB or 10Gb Ethernet
TCP/IP is possible.

Mikhail Kuzminsky
Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry
Moscow
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