One of the major
challenges of the opencluster project, part of the
CERN openlab framework,
is to take maximum advantage of the 10 Gbps technology.
A first series of tests has been conducted between two
Linux-based Hewlett Packard rx2600 computers equipped
each with two 1 GHz Itanium-2 Intel processors. The two
computers were directly connected ("back-to-back"
connection) through 10 GbE Network Interface Cards (NICs)
from Intel (see recent
news). The transfer reached a data rate of 755 MB/s,
that is, approximately 3/4 of the maximum attainable bit
rate of the interfaces.
The transfer took place
over a 10 km fiber. It used very big frames (16 KB) over
a single stream, and involving the regular suite of
Linux Kernel protocols (TCP/IP). When using “jumbo
frames” (9 KB), the same test reached 693 MB/s.
The next stages of the
test campaign will include continued tuning of the
parameters, evaluating next version of processors and
inserting Ethernet switching between the end-systems.