[mpich-discuss] General Scalability Question

Robertson, Andrew andrew.robertson at atk.com
Mon Oct 26 10:30:24 CDT 2009

Our IT staff is not particularly knowledgeable about parallel computing.
Their current upgrade plan centers around quad/quad or dual/hex boxes
which would have 16 or 12 cores respectively. I have no doubt that such
a machine would run a parallel job efficiently. My question is how well
can I harness multiple boxes together? 

The applications are all CFD (FLUENT, GASP, STAR, VULCAN). I am talking
to the various software vendors about this but would like some info from
the programming community. 

Assuming the same memory per core am I better off with

High core count (12-16) boxes on a gigabit switch
Lower core count (2 -4) boxes on an infiniband switch.

I understand that if I configure mpich correctly it will use shared
memory on the mutli-core multi-processor boxes. If I end up with the
high core count boxes, should I spec the frontside bus (or whatever it
is called now) as high as possible??

I also have concerns that a single power supply failure takes out more
cores, though perhaps that is not such a problem

Any information is greatly appreciated

Andrew Robertson P.E.
CFD Analyst
GASL Operations
Tactical Propulsion and Controls
77 Raynor Avenue
Ronkokoma NY 11779
631-737-6100 Ext 120
Fax: 631-588-7023

!! Knowledge and Thoroughness Baby !!

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