Recent Changes - Search:


edit SideBar

Network Switch

A switch is a networking device that routes packets amongst connected devices. In a cluster, the choice of network equipment, in particular switches, can be critical for performance, especially for MPI jobs.

In the UJ cluster, as in many other clusters and batch farms mostly dedicated mostly to natively parallel jobs, we use Gigabit Ethernet, as a cost effective compromise. Also, the adoption of multi-core CPUs and multi-socket servers tends to decrease the networking bandwidth and latency requirements for MPI jobs.

Other solutions (Infiniband, Myrinet) could be considered if the user base moves more towards intercommunicating applications, and if funds are available. It should be noted, anyway, that Meraka and CHPC already offer this kind of platforms to the SA research community.

At present (Feb 2009) the UJ cluster is using a standard-issue Gigabit switch. As the usage of the cluster grows, we will evaluate the needs and consider acquiring a high-performance switch for the specific use,

As of 2008, common wisdom in the HPC community seemed oriented towards the HP ProCurve switches, considered best price/performance and trouble-free.

Some suggestions from a friend in Italy:

  • HP ProCurve Switch 2810-24 G 24 port Layer 2 Gigabit stackable switch (1.659,00 EUR)
  • HP ProCurve Switch 2810-48 G 48 port Layer 2 Gigabit stackable switch (3.099,00 EUR)
    Latency: < 5.4 Ás (FIFO 64-byte packets)
    Switching fabric: 48Gbps (24), 96Gbps (48)
  • HP ProCurve Switch 2900 - 24G 20 10/100/1000, 4 dual-personality (2.559,00 EUR)
  • HP ProCurve Switch 2900 - 48G 44 10/100/1000, 4 dual-personality (3.899,00 EUR)
    Latency: 1000 MB: < 3.7 Ás (FIFO 64-byte packets)
    10 Gb: < 2.1 Ás (FIFO 64-byte packets)
    Switching fabric: 48Gbps (24), 96 Gbps (48)

Other info:

  • An Allied Telesyn option, very good for switching but not on layer3. They indicate wirespeed, so latency should be < 4 Ás on Gigabit ports.
  • HP ProCurve 2800 managed 24 ports (~1,700 USD) or 44 ports
    I heard someone who is using one of these and they are quite happy with it.
  • LinkSys SRW2016 semi-managed
  • LinkSys SR2024 24 port unamnaged (~400 USD)
  • Extreme Summit 400-24t Price Range: $3,167.00 - $3,799.00
  • WideBand Corp. seems to make some nice switches... (web site does not work with mozilla :-(( )
Edit - History - Print - Recent Changes - Search
Page last modified on February 26, 2009, at 10:20 AM