Effects of communication latency, overhead, and bandwidth in a cluster architecture

Richard P. Martin, Amin M. Vahdat, David E. Culler, Thomas E. Anderson
1997 Proceedings of the 24th annual international symposium on Computer architecture - ISCA '97  
This work provides a systematic study of the impact of communication performance on parallel applications in a high performance network of workstations. We develop an experimental system in which the communication latency, overhead, and bandwidth can be independently varied to observe the effects on a wide range of applications. Our results indicate that current efforts to improve cluster communication performance to that of tightly integrated parallel machines results in significantly improved
more » ... application performance. We show that applications demonstrate strong sensitivity to overhead, slowing down by a factor of 60 on 32 processors when overhead is increased from 3 to 103 s. Applications in this study are also sensitive to per-message bandwidth, but are surprisingly tolerant of increased latency and lower per-byte bandwidth. Finally, most applications demonstrate a highly linear dependence to both overhead and per-message bandwidth, indicating that further improvements in communication performance will continue to improve application performance.
doi:10.1145/264107.264146 dblp:conf/isca/MartinVCA97 fatcat:ykuhh4gpevaj5eelkd6phyxyom