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HPC in L3

As an HPC old-timer, I’m used to thinking of HPC networks as large layer-2 (L2) subnets.  All HPC traffic (e.g., MPI traffic) is therefore designed to stay within a single L2 subnet.

The next layer up — L3 — is the “networking” layer in the OSI network model; it adds more abstractions than are available in L2.  For example, IP switching and routing occurs at L3.  Indeed, L3-based networks can be comprised of multiple subnets.

I’ve come to appreciate that, especially with modern high-speed networking gear, there is no reason for limiting HPC networks to L2.

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What’s Next for MPI?

MPI-3 has been out for over a year and a half.  MPICH supports all of the mandatory MPI-3 behavior and some of its optional semantics.  Open MPI supports all of MPI-3 except the new one-sided semantics.  New functionality is becoming mature in both, and that maturity is trickling down to the implementations that are derived from those two.

So what’s next?  Are we done?

Far from it.

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Open MPI 1.7.4 released!

Open MPI logoIt took us longer than we intended, but we finally released Open MPI v1.7.4.  

Woo hoo!  (we got nice coverage from El Reg, too)

This is a monster release; it represents hundreds (thousands? millions?) of person-hours of work.  Consider this a ginormous “thank you!” to the entire Open MPI community! Special thanks goes to Paul Hargrove of Lawrence Berkeley Labs for his hero efforts in regression testing throughout December and January.

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More Network Locality (Netloc) progress

We announced the Network locality project at SC’13, and generated a LOT of interest (far more than I even anticipated!).  As a refresher, here’s a link to a a blog entry we wrote about Netloc back in November.

There is still much work to be done; we’re actively continuing work in multiple areas:
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InsideHPC podcast: MPI collaboration with OpenFabrics

In my last blog post, I described a new collaboration between the MPI community and the OpenFabrics verbs community.

The collaboration started with the OpenFrameworks group asking the MPI community to list its requirements for a lower layer network API to the OpenFabrics OpenFrameworks working group.

In that last blog post, I posted an abbreviated set of slides with the first part of this MPI community feedback.  Since then, I have finished collating the feedback from the MPI community and have assembled a full set of slides.

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