A few months ago, I posted an entry entitled “HPC in L3“. My only point for that entry was to remove the “HPC in L3? That’s a terrible idea!” knee-jerk reaction that us old-timer HPC types have.
I mention this because we released a free software update a few days ago for the Cisco usNIC product that enables usNIC traffic to flow across UDP (vs. raw L2 frames). Woo hoo!
That’s right, sports fans: another free software update to make usNIC even better than ever. Especially across 40Gb interfaces!
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Tags: HPC, HPC in L3, ip, mpi, UDP, USNIC
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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Tags: HPC, HPC in L3, mpi