Beside libraries enabling efficient communication and task management, ParaStation MPI also provides a set of kernel modules:
p4sock.o: this module implements the
kernel based ParaStation communication protocol.
bcm5700_glue.o: these modules enable
even more efficient communication to the network drivers
coming with ParaStation MPI (see below).
p4tcp.o: this module provides a feature
called "TCP bypass". Thus, applications using
standard TCP communication channels on top of Ethernet are
able to use the optimized ParaStation protocol and therefore
achieve improved performance.
No modifications of the application, even no relinking is necessary to use this feature. To gain best performance, relinking with the MPI library provided by ParaStation MPI is recommended.
To enable the maximum performance on Gigabit Ethernet, ParaStation MPI comes with its own set of network drivers. These drivers are based on standard device drivers for the corresponding NICs and especially tuned for best performance within a cluster environment. They will also support all standard communication and protocols. To enable best performance within an Ethernet-based cluster, these drivers should replace their counterparts currently configured within the kernel.
ParaStation MPI currently comes with drivers for Intel (e1000) and Broadcom (bcm5700) network interface controllers. Dedicated helper modules (glue modules) for these drivers decrease the latency even more.
ParaStation MPI is also able to use all standard Ethernet network drivers configured into the Linux kernel. However, to get the best performance, the use of the provided drivers is recommended, if applicable.