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Effects of Communication Latency, Overhead, and Bandwidth in a Cluster Architecture

Summary: Effects of Communication Latency, Overhead, and
Bandwidth in a Cluster Architecture
Richard P. Martin, Amin M. Vahdat, David E. Culler and Thomas E. Anderson
Computer Science Division
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720
This work provides a systematic study of the impact of commu­
nication performance on parallel applications in a high performance
network of workstations. We develop an experimental system in
which the communication latency, overhead, and bandwidth can be
independently varied to observe the effects on a wide range of ap­
plications. Our results indicate that current efforts to improve clus­
ter communication performance to that of tightly integrated paral­
lel machines results in significantly improved application perfor­
mance. We show that applications demonstrate strong sensitivity
to overhead, slowing down by a factor of 60 on 32 processors when
overhead is increased from 3 to 103 ¯s. Applications in this study
are also sensitive to per­message bandwidth, but are surprisingly
tolerant of increased latency and lower per­byte bandwidth. Fi­


Source: Anderson, Tom - Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington at Seattle
Martin, Richard P. - Department of Computer Science, Rutgers University


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences