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We present a systematic performance assessment of the hardware and software that provides the interface between applications and emerging high-speed networks. Using LogP as a conceptual framework and Active Messages as the communication layer, we devise a set of communication microbenchmarks. These generate a graphical signature from which we extract the LogP performance parameters of latency, overhead, and bandwidth. The method is illustrated on three diverse platforms: Intel Paragon, Meiko CS-2, and a cluster of SparcStations with Myrinet. The study provides a detailed breakdown of the differences in communication performance among the platforms. While the details of our microbenchmark depend on Active Messages, the methodology can be applied to conventional communication layers.
Interconnects, system performance analysis, Myrinet, communication performance

L. T. Liu, D. E. Culler, C. O. Yoshikawa and R. P. Martin, "Assessing Fast Network Interfaces," in IEEE Micro, vol. 16, no. , pp. 35-43, 1996.
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