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HPC over UDP

September 12, 2014 at 9:52 am PST

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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HPC in L3

March 10, 2014 at 11:30 am PST

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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