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InfiniBand is the de facto networking technology for commodity HPC clusters and has been widely deployed. However, most production large-scale InfiniBand clusters use simple routing schemes such as the destination-mod-k routing to route traffic, which may result in degraded communication performance. In this work, I investigate using the OpenFlow-style Software-Defined Networking (SDN) technology to overcome the routing deficiency in InfiniBand. I design an enhanced InfiniBand with OpenFlow-style SDN capability and demonstrate a use case that illustrates how the SDN capability can be exploited in HPC clusters to improve the system and application performance. Finally, I quantify the potential benefits of InfiniBand with OpenFlow-style SDN capability in balancing the network load by simulating job traces from production HPC clusters. The results indicate that InfiniBand with SDN capability can achieve much better network load balancing than traditional InfiniBand for HPC clusters.
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