· Technology
 · · Networking

Network Too Slow? · I’m embedded at the Mothership here in Silly Valley all week, and among other things, heard about a product I never dreamed existed. Check it out: the IB Switch 9p; it’s a nine-port Infiniband switch, non-blocking even, each port up to 30Gbs and no, that’s not a misprint. Why nine, I wonder? My poor little mind boggles at the thought of what you could do with a rack full of either Opterons or T2000s, maxed out on memory and wired up with one of these things. Today, store.sun.com says one of these puppies will set you back $8,500; I imagine that in a decade, there’ll be one in your wristwatch to handle your personal telemetry.
Latency · [For Java/networking geeks only.] I have these two Java programs, talking through an ordinary TCP/IP socket. The client sends a (medium-sized) serialized object to the server, which does a little bit of computation and acknowledges by sending a (small) object back. Straight writeObject()/readObject() calls with setTcpNoDelay(true) in effect. When both of them are running on my 1.25Ghz PowerBook here, the latency required for the whole transaction is like 190msec, which is horrible. So I moved the server code down to the mouldy old P300 Debian box in the basement, talking to it over two or three legs of WiFi and Ethernet switches, and the latency dropped to around 33msec; still not great, but the difference is instructive.
author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
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