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Performance Implications of Using VPN Technology for Cluster Integration and Grid Computing

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4 Author(s)
Mache, J. ; Lewis & Clark Coll., Portland, OR ; Tyman, D. ; Pinter, A. ; Allick, C.

For cluster integration and grid computing that bridges organizational network boundaries, potential showstoppers include security policies, firewalls and non-routable IP addresses. Virtual private network (VPN) technology can overcome these hurdles, but what are the performance implications? In this paper, we analyze the performance implications of using the open-source OpenVPN software. Our measurements include NetIO and the NAS parallel benchmarks. The main performance implications are additional latency (0.5 milliseconds) and potentially maxed-out CPU load on the VPN gateways. Effective bandwidth and the execution time of applications that run across VPN-connected clusters was affected only if both (1) the wide-area link is fast (above 83 Mbits/s, given our 1.4 GHz Athlon CPU) and (2) the application is communication-intensive. Moreover, when moving an application from running within a single cluster to running across multiple clusters, we show that besides potential ''VPN slowdown" there is "hotspot slowdown": the grid topology can cause traffic hotspots on the inter-cluster links. The more nodes the cross-cluster application runs on, the worse the potential traffic hotspot

Published in:

Networking and Services, 2006. ICNS '06. International conference on

Date of Conference:

16-18 July 2006

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