An Efficient Network API for in-Kernel Applications in Clusters

Abstract : Running parallel applications on clusters with high-speed local networks requires fast communication between computing nodes but also low latency and high bandwidth file access. However, the application programming interfaces of high-speed local networks were designed for MPI communication and do not always meet the requirements of other applications like distributed file systems. In this paper, we explore several solutions to improve the use of high-speed network for in-kernel applications. Distributed file systems implemented on top of the GM interface of Myrinet are first examined to demonstrate how hard it is to get an efficient interaction between such applications and the network. Then, we propose solutions to simplify and improve this interaction and integrate them into the kernel interface of the new Myrinet driver, MX. Performance comparisons between MX and GM, and their usage in both a distributed file system and a zero-copy protocol show nice improvements. Moreover, we are able to improve the performance of the flexible kernel API we designed in MX that allows to remove some intermediate copy.
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Brice Goglin, Olivier Glück, Primet, Pascale Vicat-Blanc. An Efficient Network API for in-Kernel Applications in Clusters. [Research Report] LIP RR-2005-18, Laboratoire de l'informatique du parallélisme. 2005, 3+16p. ⟨hal-02102021⟩

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