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Cisco ultra low latency support for MPI

November 16, 2012 at 9:42 am PST

My team demonstrated our new ultra-low latency Ethernet solution in the Cisco booth at SC this past week (it was so busy that I didn’t get to post this until it was all over!).

The short version is that we have implemented operating system bypass and NIC hardware offload via the Linux OpenFabrics verbs API stack. We call it “userspace NIC”, or “USNIC”.

But let’s cut to the chase — what’s the performance?  Let’s break it down:

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MPICH 3.0 RC released

November 14, 2012 at 6:16 am PST

The MPICH folks have released an RC candidate for MPICH 3.0:

A new preview release of MPICH, 3.0rc1, is now available for download. The primary focus of this release is to provide full support for the MPI-3 standard.  Other smaller features including support for ARM v7 native atomics are also included.

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MPI-3 standard available in hardcover

November 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm PST

The MPI-3.0 standard is now available in hardcover (it’s green!).  The book is available for cost by Dr. Rolf Rabenseifner at HLRS; no profit is being made by these sales.  Here’s an excerpt from Rolf’s original announcement:

As a service (at costs) for users of the Message Passing Interface,  HLRS has printed the new Standard, Version 3.0 (852 pages)  in hardcover. The price is only 19.50 Euro or 25 US-$.

The book is available through the HLRS web site.

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Cisco @SC2012

November 9, 2012 at 6:24 am PST

Going to Salt Lake City for Supercomputing 2012 next week?  So are we!

Be sure to drop by and see us in the Cisco booth (#2517).  I’ll be there, demonstrating and talking about our latest developments in ultra low latency Ethernet (hint: it includes 250ns port-to-port Ethernet switch latency and our latest MPI/OS-bypass technology on the Cisco Virtualized NIC in Cisco UCS servers).

In short: everyone assumes Ethernet is slow.  Everyone is wrong.

I’ll also be co-hosting the Open MPI State of the Union BOF with George Bosilca from the University of Tennessee in the Wednesday noon timeslot (room 155B).

I’ll also be one of the judges in the Student Cluster Competition.  Be sure to drop by and see the teams; they make an amazing effort every year.

Finally, this isn’t really SC-related, but Cisco will be hosting the MPI Forum meeting again in December.  Register and come join in the discussion that shapes HPC for the next 10 years.

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Why MPI is Good for You (part 2)

October 28, 2012 at 6:00 am PST

A while ago, I posted “Why MPI is Good For You,” describing a one-byte change in Open MPI’s code base that fixed an incredibly subtle IPv6-based bug.

The point of that blog entry was that MPI represents an excellent layered design: it lets application developers focus on their applications while shielding them from all the complex wilderbeasts that roam under the covers in the implementation.

MPI implementors like me don’t know — and don’t really want to know — anything about complex numerical analysis, protein folding, seismic wave propagation, or any one of a hundred other HPC application areas.  And I’m assuming that MPI application developers don’t know — and don’t want to know — about the tricky underpinnings of how modern MPI implementations work.

Today, I present another motivating example for this thesis.

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