Apr 1, 2000
Designing a PC Farm to Simultaneously Process Separate
Computations Through Different Network Topologies
Laboratory for Nuclear Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
This is a short report on a demonstration project at the MIT Laboratory
for Nuclear Science to develop multiple types of network hardware
interconnections among the individual PC processors in a single PC farm.
The goal of the project was to develop a flexible system that would only
require the hardware from one PC farm to provide the capabilities of
handling specialized computations optimized for different types of PC
farm hardware configurations. High energy and nuclear theorists
frequently design the interconnections among the processors on a PC farm
to be either a 2, 3, or 4 dimensional torus network topology.
Experimentalists frequently prefer the PC farm processors to be simply
connected to allow many processors to work independently on data analysis.
This report will describe the network hardware modifications and system
software needed to allow one PC farm to simultaneously handle both the
lattice gauge theory calculations with an embedded torus network topology
and the single independent processor PC farm to analyze experimental data.