[Beowulf] Infiniband modular switches

Ramiro Alba Queipo raq at cttc.upc.edu
Fri Jun 13 08:28:06 PDT 2008

On Thu, 2008-06-12 at 10:08 -0500, Don Holmgren wrote:
> Ramiro -
> You might want to also consider buying just a single 24-port switch for your 22 
> nodes, and then when you expand either replace with a larger switch, or build a 
> distributed switch fabric with a number of leaf switches connecting into a 
> central spine switch (or switches).  By the time you expand to the larger 
> cluster, switches based on the announced 36-port Mellanox crossbar silicon will 
> be available and perhaps per port prices will have dropped sufficiently to 
> justify the purchase delay and the disruption at the time of expansion.

Could you explain me this solution? I did not know about it

> If your applications can tolerate some oversubscription (less than a 1:1 ratio 
> of leaf-to-spine uplinks to leaf-to-node connections), a distributed switch 
> fabric (leaf and spine) has the advantage of shorter (and cheaper) cables 
> between the leaf switches and your nodes, and relatively fewer longer cables 
> from the leaves back to the spine, compared with a single central switch.

What do you mean with a distributed switch fabric?
What is the difference with a  modular solution?

Thanks for your answer


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