[Beowulf] Mutiple IB networks in one cluster

Peter Kjellström cap at nsc.liu.se
Mon Feb 3 02:39:06 PST 2014

On Thursday, January 30, 2014 11:33:11 AM Prentice Bisbal wrote:
> Beowulfers,
> I was talking to a colleague the other day about cluster architecture
> and big data, and this colleague was thinking that it would be good to
> have two separate FDR IB clusters within a single cluster.

Some random thoughts on this:

* By default both IPC and storage (everything) will go over the same IB link 
and (worse) same virtual lane (VL). If you have more than one switch in your 
fabric then this is probably true even if you connect your nodes using two 
different ports on different HCAs.

* Performance problems from mixing storage and IPC is likely to be related to 
congestion (stemming from the per VL per link flow control). Not from running 
out of bandwidth or message rate.

* Two interfaces on the same ConnectX-3 HCA will not get you additional 
bandwidth (_one_ 4x FDR ~= 8x pci-e gen3).

* Subnet Manager (version/config) and VL setup can make a big difference.

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