Ins and outs of 10GbE for HPC

Doug Eadline has written a post over at Cluster Monkey that summarizes a paper he’s recently written on 10 GbE in clusters.

In recent years, GigE has been struggling in terms of performance when used with modern processors. Recall that many of first HPC clusters used Fast Ethernet (100 Megabits/second) and hit a performance wall as compute nodes got faster. The market is presenting a similar situation with the cross-over from GigE to 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10,000 Megabits/second). Thus, one can expect a large number of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GigE) clusters in the coming year.

Recently, I wrote a white paper for Appro International entitled High Performance Computing Made Simple: The 10 Gigabit Ethernet Cluster (short registration required) that discusses the state of 10 GigE clustering and provides some recipes for a basic cluster using 10 GigE. I provide many of the hardware options including switches, NICs, and cabling (including RJ-45 connectors and Cat6 cabling solutions). In the remainder of this article, I will highlight some sections of the white paper.

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