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Distributed network computing over local ATM networks

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5 Author(s)
Mengjou Lin ; Adv. Technol. Group, Apple Comput. Inc., Cupertino, CA, USA ; Jenwei Hsieh ; Du, D.H.C. ; Thomas, J.P.
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Communication between processors has long been the bottleneck of distributed network computing. However, recent progress in switch-based high-speed local area networks (LANs) may be changing this situation. Asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) is one of the most widely-accepted and emerging high-speed network standards which can potentially satisfy the communication needs of distributed network computing. We investigate distributed network computing over local ATM networks. We first study the performance characteristics involving end-to-end communication in an environment that includes several types of workstations interconnected via a Fore Systems' ASX-100 ATM switch. We then compare the communication performance of four different application programming interfaces (APIs). The four APIs were Fore Systems' ATM API, the BSD socket programming interface, Sun's remote procedure call (RPC), and the parallel virtual machine (PVM) message passing library. Each API represents distributed programming at a different communication protocol layer. We evaluated two popular distributed applications, parallel matrix multiplication and parallel partial differential equations, over the local ATM network. The experimental results show that network computing is promising over local ATM networks, provided that the higher level protocols, device drivers, and network interfaces are improved

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Selected Areas in Communications, IEEE Journal on  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 4 )