Gb Ethernet Protocols for Clusters: An OpenMPI, TIPC, GAMMA Case Study
Gigabit Ethernet is a standard feature of cluster machines. Provision of fast network interconnects is negated if communication software cannot match the available throughput and latency. Transparent Inter Process Communication (TIPC) has been proposed as an alternative to TCP in terms of reduced message latency and system time. This study compares through low-level tests and application benchmarks the relative performance of TIPC, Open MPI, and also what improvement the GAMMA User-Level Network interface can bring compared to both of these. TIPC's system time usage is reduced compared to TCP, leading to computational gains, especially on loaded cluster nodes. GAMMA is shown to bring significant improvement in computational performance on an unloaded cluster but a more flexible alternative is Open MPI running over TIPC.