An Evaluation of Multiple Communication Interfaces for Virtualized SMP Clusters

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Executive Summary

Clusters with multiple CPU nodes are becoming increasingly popular due to their cost/performance ratio. Due to its many potential advantages, interest in using virtualization on these systems has also increased. Although several studies on the applicability of Xen for high performance computing have been made, most overlook the issue of multiple network interfaces. This paper presents an update to the state of art of Xen and gives a comprehensive performance evaluation of the various network configurations that can be implemented using multiple Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) interfaces. The paper introduces new Xen network configurations, which enable the Xen guests to efficiently utilize the available network infrastructure compared to the default Xen network configurations.

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