April 23, 2006
Cluster Interconnects: The Whole Shebang
Author: Jeff Layton
Douglas Eadline writes "In this extensive review, Cluster Monkey Jeff Layton, provides an overview of the available Linux cluster interconnect technologies. This article is the first ever attempt to provide a comprehensive look at cluster interconnects. It concludes with two tables summarizing key features and pricing for various size clusters. An often asked question from both "clusters newbies" and experienced cluster people ask is, "what kind of interconnects are available?" The question is important for two reasons. First, the price of interconnects can range from as little as $32 per node to as much as $3,500 per node, yet the choice of an interconnect can have a huge impact on the performance of the codes and the scalability of the codes. And second, many users are not aware of all the possibilities. People new to clusters may not know of the interconnection options and, sometimes, experienced people choose an interconnect and become fixated on it, ignoring all of the alternatives. The interconnect is an important choice and ultimately the choice depends upon on your code, requirements, and budget."