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High Performance Computing Networking

EDITOR’S NOTE: As with entries about hwloc, this announcement entry is a little off the beaten track for high performance networks, but it is definitely related and relevant.

The good folks at Argonne National Labs have released OpenPA (Portable Atomics) v1.0.2.  It’s a small library that implements processor atomic operations in a portable fashion (i.e., across platforms, compilers, etc. — including inline assembly support).  Here’s a link to the release announcement and the general OpenPA web site.

While OpenPA is not directly related to high performance networking, it is highly useful to have an extremely efficient/optimized set of atomic operations when multiple threads are sharing a single resource — such as a network resource.  Hence, this companion library is quite useful in driving full utilization of common network resources.  I keep beating the same drum: as core counts are going up, little utilities like OpenPA and hwloc are going to be very, very important to extract all the performance from your server that you expect to get.

Here’s some of the text from Dave Goodell’s announcement about OpenPA:

I am happy to announce a new version of OpenPA, v1.0.2.  This release contains support for 64-bit PPC, static initializers for OPA_ types, additional tests, and several bug fixes.  See the CHANGELOG file in the tarball for a detailed list of the changes.

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