MP_Lite: OS-bypass work

OS-bypass work is designed to reduce the message latency by allowing the message-passing layer to talk directly to the network driver software. It is also designed to allow 0-copy or 1-copy communications between systems using RDMA techniques.

Since these systems bypass the OS, they must reproduce some of the functionality that the OS provides. Some method to guarantee reliable delivery of all the data packets must be found that will still maintain a very streamlined system.

M-VIA

M-VIA is a modular implementation of the Virtual Interface Architecture specification that has been developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Many Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet cards have been supported. There is also an implementation of MPICH called MVICH that is an MPI implementation running on top VIA hardware and M-VIA software.

http://www.nersc.gov/research/ftg/via/
http://www.nersc.gov/research/ftg/mvich/

An MP_Lite VIA module has been developed to evaluate the performance of these OS bypass techniques, and to experiment with channel bonding multiple M-VIA interfaces. Four Fast Ethernet cards were channel bonded to produce a 3.5 times speedup, while Linux kernel channel bonding only provides a doubling in performance with 2 cards.

The M-VIA project is no longer funded. The MP_Lite VIA module has not been used in some time, and may not work anymore.