[gmx-users] Networking

Justin MacCallum jlmaccal at ucalgary.ca
Tue Jan 8 02:55:13 CET 2002


I have a couple of questions/comments regarding scaling over gigabit

Our hardware vendor has given us three gigabit ethernet (Intel PRO/1000T
Server) and a switch (Intel NetStructure 470T) for evaluation.  We have
dual PIII 1Ghz nodes in our cluster.  I tried two test systems.  The first
one was a 64 lipid DOPC bilayer with ~11000 atoms.  The second was a box
of water containing 81000 atoms.  Both systems used a 0.9 rlist, 1.4 rdw
and 0.9 rcoulomb with PME, order=4, fourierspacing=0.12, optimize_fft=yes.

For both systems I ran two simulations, one on two processors and one on
four.  For both systems, the two processor version performed slightly
better than the four processor one.  In both cases, the network load in
the four processor versions was about 5%.  Based on previous benchmarks on
fast ethernet nodes, I expect things to scale much better without PME.

 From this I've concluded that for our hardware and systems we are latency
bound.  In order to improve scaling we need to move to an interconnect 
with lower latency, such as myrinet, or stop using PME.  Does this sound
right?  Also, does anyone know of any kernel parameters that may be
tweaked to improve latency on gibabit or fast ethernet?


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