[Bioclusters] Direct connect infiniband/quadrics?

John Van Workum jdvw at tticluster.com
Tue Mar 15 14:06:05 EST 2005

You also should ask yourself what are you going to determine using point to
point IB/Quadrics? Assuming you have some benchmark code that is well written
and works on both IB/Quadrics and Ethernet, your results will show Ethernet is
slower. But you might not be able to determine if using IB/Quadrics justifies
the cost. Perhaps a better test case is needed. How well will your application
scale? You might want to spend the money on a ~16 node cluster with GB
Ethernet for the test bed. If your tests run well on GB Ethernet you could
then extrapolate the benefits of upgrading to IB/Quadrics.

John Van Workum
Tsunamic Technologies Inc.

> Has anyone had any experience with a direct connect/point-to-point
> implementation of Quadrics or Inifiniband? I talked to a small lab
> doing some computational chemistry and molecular dynamics work and
> they're interested in setting up a cluster but there is a need to
> justify the cost of a cluster before the budget can be approved.
> During the discussion, the idea of using direct connect infiniband or
> quadrics on two dual or quad Opteron nodes came up as a testbed
> platform to justify to management. From a price point of view, this is
> very attractive since it'll probably cost less than $40,000 (two quad
> Opterons, two Quadrics cards) for a testbed system. Money is tight...
> So, is this setup workable? In theory this should be faster than a
> gigabit based interconnect, even if it's just two nodes but I'd welcome
> any other ideas/suggestions. Thanks.
> -- "Leadership & Life-long Learning" --
> Farul Mohd. Ghazali
> Manager, Systems & Bioinformatics
> Open Source Systems Sdn. Bhd.
> www.aldrich.com.my  Tel: +603-8656 0139/29   Fax: +603-8656 0132
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