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Re: more on gigabit

If I channel bond multiple fast ethernet cards, what
is the point of diminishing returns?  Will three cards
do much better than two?  (I've read at least one
account that says two is the limit.)

There is the ever-recurring debian-beowulf thread concerning bonding 3 cards with very little loss... http://ilab.usc.edu/beo/ has some info... 4 cards will run you up against IRQ problems but it has been done (with a substantial throughput drop, I understand).

In terms of gigabit, what exactly is the bottleneck?
Hardware?  Software?  Is there any reason to believe
that a $150 "server" interface card would do better
than a $40 "desktop" card?

A 64-bit PCI card (all of the cheap ones are 32-bit) will definitely get you better throughput... I have found a number of eval. pages for GigE-on-Linux like

http://www.syskonnect.com/syskonnect/performance/gig-over-copper.htm  and

but they all seem to be pretty outdated and I suspect the drivers are a little better these days...

Kurt Keville
Debian Beowulf Users Group (DeBUG)
Cluster On!

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