Cisco Blogs
Share
tweet

Is your MPI IPv6-ready?

- February 4, 2011 - 0 Comments

Here’s a poll for readers: is your MPI IPv6-ready?

Many of you may not be using IP-based MPI network transports, but as HPC is becoming more and more commoditized, IP-based MPI implementations may actually start gaining in importance.  Not to ultra-high-performing systems, of course.  But you’d be surprised how many 4-, 8-, and 16-node Ethernet-based clusters are sold these days… particularly as core counts are increasing — a 16-node Westmere cluster is quite powerful!

Owners of such systems are typically running ISV-based MPI applications, or other “canned” parallel software.  Most of them don’t use InfiniBand or other high-speed interconnect — they just use good old Ethernet with TCP as the underlying transport for their MPI.

Sure, you ultra-high-performers out there may scoff at such a setup, but it’s pretty darn common these days.

Indeed, this class of customers — who clearly aren’t in the Top 500; let’s call them the “Bottom 500,000” — just want to plug-n-play.  They don’t want to tweak, tune, or fiddle.  They just want to run their apps outo-of-the-box and enjoy some level of speedup over running on a single machine (probably directly relational to how much they paid for their cluster).

These are enterprise customers.

They use organization-wide resources for maintenance and support.  They call their IT department to setup the cluster for them.  And central IT doesn’t like one-off solutions; they like centrally managed, supported, and as-homogeneous-as-possible solutions.

With all the press recently about running out of IPv4 address blocks, how long will it be before organizations start using IPv6 internally?  It may be soon; it may be years away.  But that day is coming. And when that happens, central IT may want HPC clusters to use IPv6, too.

Is your MPI ready?

(yes, I know that there’s oodles of other HPC-related software that will need to be IPv6-ready, too, but this blog is about MPI 🙂  )

It would be interesting to hear if anyone is using MPI over IPv6 for read production runs (and why).

Tags:
Leave a comment

We'd love to hear from you! To earn points and badges for participating in the conversation, join Cisco Social Rewards. Your comment(s) will appear instantly on the live site. Spam, promotional and derogatory comments will be removed.

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.

Share
tweet