Subject: Re: load balancing ethernet
To: Chris Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Skeelo <email@example.com>
Date: 07/22/1998 01:35:55
As I was checking out someone's great work in collecting information on
various organizations/projects that use NetBSD, I came across this.
Being the curious creature that I am I started reading. It's very
interesting and might be just what you are looking for.
Hope this helps.
On Tue, 21 Jul 1998, Chris Jones wrote:
> I sent this query to tech-net, and didn't get much response. I did,
> however, get email from somebody else who wants to know what I find out
> about this. Maybe somebody on this (higher-traffic) list can help...
> In my new job, we just got a grant to build a "distributed compute
> cluster." (We don't *really* know what that means, but it looked good on
> paper. :-) As the admin for the group, I'm trying to get this to happen
> with NetBSD, as I don't want to deal with a linux cluster.
> We don't know how much bandwidth we're going to need, but we think it will
> be approximately "lots." One thing we're looking at is multiplexing 100bT
> ethernet. (There are cards out there which have multiple fast ether
> interfaces on them -- I think I remember one by Adaptec. I'll try to
> find out more about them at some point.)
> Anyway, NASA (and other groups) have projects such as Beowulf
> (http://cesdis.gsfc.nasa.gov/linux/beowulf/beowulf.html) which do
> something they refer to as "channel bonding."
> (http://cesdis.gsfc.nasa.gov/beowulf/software/bonding.html) Channel
> bonding is supposed to load-balance (or multiplex, or whatever you want to
> call it) multiple ethernet interfaces, so you can effectively multiply
> your bandwidth.
> Companies like Cisco and Cabletron have similar things that their switches
> can do (e.g., http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/729/fec/index.shtml). I
> don't know how these work, other than some vague mumbo-jumbo a Cabletron
> salesman just told me about doing strange things with MAC addresses. But
> however they work, it seems to me that the OS is still going to need to
> understand what's going on.
> My actual question is, can we do something like this with NetBSD? Really,
> we just want to maximize the bandwidth/dollar ratio. ATM looks expensive,
> and 100bT may not have the bandwidth we need. Is there a way to multiply
> your bandwidth?
> Obviously, we could just assign a different IP to each ether interface,
> and use DNS load-balancing, but that solution gives a bunch of little
> pipes to each machine. We would really like to simulate a single, big
> pipe (with low latency) to each machine.
> Any thoughts?
> Chris Jones firstname.lastname@example.org
> Mad scientist at large email@example.com
> "Is this going to be a stand-up programming session, sir, or another bug hunt?"