A first implementation of in-transit buffers on myrinet gm software
|Research Area:||Networks of Workstations||Year:||2001|
|Type of Publication:||In Proceedings|
|Book title:||Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium., Proceedings 15th International|
Clusters of workstations (COWs) are becoming increasingly popular as a cost-effective alternative to parallel computers. In these systems, the interconnection network connects hosts using irregular topologies, providing the wiring flexibility, scalability, and incremental expansion capability required in this environment. Myrinet is the most popular network used to build COWs. It uses source routing with the up*/down* routing algorithm. In previous papers we proposed the In-Transit Buffer (ITB) mechanism that improves network performance by allowing minimal routing, balancing network traffic, and reducing network contention. The mechanism is based on ejecting packets at some intermediate hosts and later re-injecting them into the network. Moreover, the ITB mechanism does not require additional hardware as it can be implemented on the software running at Myrinet network adapters. In this paper, we present a first implementation of the ITB mechanism on Myrinet GM software. We show the changes required in packet format and the modifications performed in the Myrinet Control Program (MCP). In addition, both the overhead introduced by the new code and the cost of extracting and re-injecting packets are measured. Results show that, even for this simple implementation, code overhead is only about 125 ns per packet and the message latency increase for messages that use the ITB mechanismis around 1.3 s per ITB. This is the first attempt to implement this mechanism, showing that a real implementation of ITBs is feasible on Myrinet COWs, and the associated overhead does not restrict the potential benefits of this mechanism.