A Performance Comparison of TCP/IP and MPI on FDDI, Fast Ethernet, and Ethernet


Saurab Nog and David Kotz. A Performance Comparison of TCP/IP and MPI on FDDI, Fast Ethernet, and Ethernet. Technical Report number PCS-TR95-273, Dartmouth Computer Science, November 1995. ©Copyright the authors. Revised January 8, 1996.


Communication is a very important factor affecting distributed applications. Getting a close handle on network performance (both bandwidth and latency) is thus crucial to understanding overall application performance. We benchmarked some of the metrics of network performance using two sets of experiments, namely roundtrip and datahose. The tests were designed to measure a combination of network latency, bandwidth, and contention. We repeated the tests for two protocols (TCP/IP and MPI) and three networks (100 Mbit FDDI (Fiber Distributed Data Interface), 100 Mbit Fast Ethernet, and 10 Mbit Ethernet). The performance results provided interesting insights into the behaviour of these networks under different load conditions and the software overheads associated with an MPI implementation (MPICH). This document presents details about the experiments, their results, and our analysis of the performance.

Revised on 1/8/96 to emphasize our use of a particular MPI implementation, MPICH.

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