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The Project:

Size: Extend the UMass Medical HPC InfiniBand fabric, post re-cabling projects we did in the last couple of engagements.
Primary SI: DELL

The Challenges:

  • The UMASS admins were getting a lot of criticism from their customer base.
  • The cluster was slow and unreliable.
  • One of the key professor and researchers was very critical of the network performance.
    • Congestion on InfiniBand fabric
    • Performance issue detected on some nodes
  • The Admins didn’t know what to do and were paralyzed with fear about making any changes.
  • Bottlenecks Issues caused by
    • Inefficient Design
    • Fabric Health

The solution:

Mellanox started with baby steps, rebuilding the customer’s confidence with InfiniBand as a priority while addressing the technical items one by one.

  • Ten New EDR switches – “Bring-up” Services
  • Add two Ethernet switches
  • OS Upgrade of four existed switches.
  • Add one more new leaf IB switch

The Benefit:

  • Peak throughput has increased 300%
  • Average network latency reduced by 40%.
  • ‘99% Latency’ was reduced by 35%. (99% Latency = Max latency for 99% of network traffic)

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