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SCHEDULE: NOV 12-18, 2011

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A Long-Distance InfiniBand Interconnection Between Two Clusters in Production Use

SESSION: State of the Practice - AICS/Security/Net

EVENT TYPE: State of the Practice

TIME: 2:30PM - 3:00PM


AUTHOR(S):Sabine Richling, Steffen Hau, Heinz Kredel, Hans-Günther Kruse


We discuss operational and organizational issues of an InfiniBand interconnection between two clusters over a distance of 28 km in day-to-day production use. We describe the setup of hardware and networking components, and the solution of technical integration problems. Then we present solutions for a federated authorization system for the cluster within our two participating universities and other organizational integration problems. Performance measurements for MPI communication and file access to Lustre storage systems are presented. The results and a simple performance model show that MPI performance is intrinsically poor across the long-distance interconnection with limited bandwidth. However, file access and MPI communication among nodes on each side are barely affected by the limitations of the interconnection even at high load. Our organizational and technical setup allows the operation of the two clusters as a single system with lower administration costs and a better load balance than in a disconnected setup.

Chair/Author Details:

David Martin (Chair) - Argonne National Lab

Sabine Richling - University of Heidelberg

Steffen Hau - University of Mannheim

Heinz Kredel - University of Mannheim

Hans-Günther Kruse - University of Mannheim

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The full paper can be found in the ACM Digital Library

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