Gigabit Ethernet powers computer clusters

Gigabit Ethernet most popular connecting technology among top 500 supercomputers

Gigabit Ethernet as a means to connect devices in data centers and storage facilities has earned another proof point -- a computing cluster in Germany that is linked by Gigabit Ethernet and that has ranked number 58 overall for performance among the top 500 supercomputing sites in the world.

The cluster at Max Planck Institute in Hanover, Germany, supports a 32.8 Teraflop cluster, which is a far cry from the petaflop level reached by IBM to claim the top spot on the Top500.com list of supercomputing installations.

But it is still an impressive amount of computing power generated by off-the-shelf equipment, and ranks the site as the No. 1 Gigabit Ethernet-connected facility on the list from among 285. That makes Gigabit Ethernet the most popular connecting technology among the top 500, behind Infiniband, which was used in 120.

The winning IBM supercomputer uses both Gigabit Ethernet and Infiniband.

The Max Planck cluster, called ATLAS, consists of Intel EM64T 32xx 2.4GHz processors supplied by Pyramid and connected via Gigabit Ethernet switches made by Woven Systems.

The switches feature Woven technology called Dynamic Congestion Performance. This detects when traffic bound for the same computational device will collide with other traffic with the same destination and switches some of the traffic to an alternate path.

This effectively prevents switches that connect the computational devices from being overwhelmed. It also reduces the amount of memory needed to buffer the switches because they have fewer collisions to deal with. Less memory lowers the cost of the switches, Woven Systems says.

ATLAS crunches numbers in an attempt to directly measure gravitational waves, warping of the space-time fabric postulated by Albert Einstein in 1916 but never directly observed.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Greene

Network World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?