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The effect of network total order, broadcast, and remote-write capability on network-based shared memory computing

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5 Author(s)
Stets, R. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Rochester Univ., NY, USA ; Dwarkadas, S. ; Kontothanassis, L. ; Rencuzogullari, U.
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Emerging system-area networks provide a variety of features that can dramatically reduce network communication overhead. In this paper, we evaluate the impact of such features on the implementation of Software Distributed Shared Memory (SDSM), and on the Cashmere system in particular. Cashmere has been implemented on the Compaq Memory Channel network, which supports low-latency messages, protected remote memory writes, in-expensive broadcast, and total ordering of network packets. Our evaluation is based on several Cashmere protocol variants, ranging from a protocol that fully leverages the Memory Channel's special features to one that uses the network only for fast messaging. We find that the special features improve performance by 18-44% for three of our applications, but less than 12% for our other seven applications. We also find that home node migration, an optimization available only in the message-based protocol, can improve performance by as much as 67%. These results suggest that for systems of modest size, low latency is much more important for SDSM performance than are remote writes, broadcast, or total ordering. At the same time, results on an emulated 32-node system indicate that broadcast based on remote writes of widely-shared data may improve performance by up to 51% for some applications. If hardware broadcast or multicast facilities can be made to scale, they can be beneficial in future system-area networks

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High-Performance Computer Architecture, 2000. HPCA-6. Proceedings. Sixth International Symposium on

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