Dell will be once again demonstrating its HPC leadership with the release of Mellanox SwitchIB-2 featuring Scalable Hierarchical Aggregation and Reduction Protocol (SHARP)™ technology. Mellanox and Dell have a long history delivering HPC solutions and are partners in many of the TOP500 supercomputers in the world. These supercomputers utilize InfiniBand infrastructure from Mellanox and PowerEdge servers from Dell to achieve the highest levels of performance and efficiency. For High-Performance-Computing applications, the performance of the compute cluster is highly dependent on internode communication. Network latency is extremely important in the overall performance of distributed applications, because each node needs the results from all the other nodes before moving on to the next iteration of the calculation. Thus network latency directly contributes to the overall execution time and compute efficiency of the cluster. Mellanox InfiniBand solutions lead the industry with the lowest latency and highest throughput switches and network interface adapters.
CORE-Direct technology introduced by Mellanox, in partnership with Oak Ridge National Lab, was the first step toward taking a holistic system approach to improving performance by implementing the execution of collective communications in the network. SHARP technology is an extension of this technology, which moves support for collectives-based communication from the network edges, e.g. the hosts, to the core of the network – the switch fabric. This emerging class of intelligent interconnect devices, including Mellanox SwitchIB-2 EDR 100Gb/s InfiniBand Switching with SHARP, is now enabling a new generation of in-network co-processing, and more effective mapping of communication between devices in the system by increasing system performance by an order of magnitude.
SHARP greatly improves the performance of many scientific and engineering applications by reducing the time needed to perform collectives operations. Such operations would otherwise need to wait for data to arrive at the server nodes and consume many CPU clock cycles which limits the application’s ability to scale. SwitchIB-2 frees the CPU from performing these operations, allowing more CPU cycles to work on the application and greatly improves application scalability.
The most advanced compute clusters in the world depend on Mellanox to deliver the needed performance, efficiency and scalability of HPC performance. Only SwitchIB-2 is able to deliver the needed performance characteristics for scale-out infrastructures, bringing us one-step closer to Exascale computing.