Stingray: cone tracing using a software DSM for SCI clusters
Proceedings 42nd IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science
In this paper we consider the use of a supercomputer with a hardware shared memory versus a cluster of workstations using a software Distributed Shared Memory (DSM). We focus on ray tracing applications to compare both architectures. We have ported Stingray, a parallel cone tracer developed on a SGI Origin 2000 supercomputer, on a cluster using a Scalable Coherent Interface (SCI) network and a software DSM called SciFS. We present concepts of cone tracing with Stingray, concepts of SCI cluster
... pts of SCI cluster with a DSM and the implementation issues. We compare the results obtained with the two architectures and we discuss the trade-offprice/performance/programming ease -of both architectures. 12 We show with Stingray that a modest 12 nodes SCI cluster with an efficient software DSM is 5 times cheaper and can perform up to 2.3 times better than a SGI Origin 2000 with 6 processors. We think that a software DSM is well suited for this kind of applications and provides both ease of programming and scalable performance.