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Architecture and evaluation of a high-speed networking subsystem for distributed-memory systems

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4 Author(s)
Steenkiste, P. ; Sch. of Comput. Sci., Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA, USA ; Hemy, M. ; Mummert, T. ; Zill, Brian

Achieving high-speed network I/O on distributed-memory systems is difficult because their architecture is in general ill-suited for communication processing. Some of the common problems are: inability to do protocol processing, inefficient handling of data distribution, and poor management of the I/O. The authors present an I/O architecture that addresses these problems and supports high-speed network I/O on distributed-memory systems. The key to good performance is to partition the work appropriately between the system and the network interface. The authors perform some communication tasks on the distributed-memory parallel system since it is more powerful, and less likely to become a bottleneck than the network interface. Tasks that do not parallelize well are performed on the network interface and hardware support is provided for the most time-critical operations. They emphasize the use of simple I/O mechanisms that can be used by programming tools that map applications on the distributed-memory system to implement efficient I/O for the class of applications they support. This architecture has been implemented for the iWarp distributed-memory system. The authors describe this implementation and present performance results

Published in:

Computer Architecture, 1994., Proceedings the 21st Annual International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

18-21 Apr 1994