The 10 Gigabit Ethernet HPC Cluster

Posted by deadline on Oct 29, 2009 12:20 AM EDT
Cluster Monkey; By Douglas Eadline
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With the availability high performance interconnects like InfiniBand, one has to ask why do people still use Ethernet for Linux HPC clusters? The answer may not be what you think!

First, Gigabit Ethernet (1000 Megabits/second) is "everywhere." Multiple Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) ports can be found on almost every server motherboard and users are comfortable with Ethernet technology. Second, it is inexpensive. The commodity market has pushed prices to the point where low node count clusters can expect Cat 5e cabling and switching costs to be between $10 and $20 per port. And finally, Ethernet is virtually plug-and-play. In other words, it just works. 10 Gigabit Ethernet is set to continue this trend.

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