IB vs Myrinet

Bill Broadley bill at math.ucdavis.edu
Tue Nov 4 05:37:47 EST 2003

On Mon, Nov 03, 2003 at 10:19:48PM -0500, Joey Sims wrote:
> I believe IB is a much better interconnect technology than Myrinet
> period.  Plus, you don't have to deal with Myricom.

People I've talked to is pretty happy with Myricom, of course there
have been the occasional complaint.  But in general I'd say they
deliver what they promise, and the result is pretty much as

> IB is about to find major traction in this industry and Myricom will not

I've heard this statement for 2 years running, not that it couldn't
become true.

> have the guns to stop it.  As adoption rates increase the price will
> decrease quite rapidly.  I've been working with Mellanox and Topspin
> both using Mellanox chips but, their product positioning is different.
> The difference between the two being that Topspin offers a more "value
> added" flavor of Mellanox silicon with various hardware tweaks and a
> more robust software package.  
> It depends on how you're looking at the cost of IB.  First of all, it's
> comparative to Myrinet in "cost per port".  Not too long ago, Myrinet
> was higher in price than IB is today and they haven't came out with
> anything "new" in forever.  Well except a PCI-X version when PCI Express
> is around the corner.  Myricom has a lot of installations worldwide and
> they are highly credible without a doubt but, this industry moves very
> fast and new things are not a new thing.  At 3x the performance of
> Myrinet, "comparative" is still a better value.  IB has many different

3x the performance of Myrinet?  Actual observed performance in a
real life situation?  Are we talking programmer visible bandwidth?
Latency? Or both?  At the process? Port? Or switch level?

> Up to 10GB/sec is fairly fat today.  The roadmap for IB has this
> interconnect technology ratcheted up way higher than 10GB.

Roadmaps are great, easy, and cheap.  I'm most interested in
what I can build a cluster with today.

Do you mean 10 GB/sec = 10 Gigabytes/sec or 10 Gigabits/sec?  In what
conditions?  Where can I download a linux compatible driver?  Linux
compatible MPI implementation?  Linux/AMD64 drivers/MPI implementations?

Bill Broadley
UC Davis
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