Sunday, February 28, 2016

Intel OmniPath network - what happened to the performance numbers?

Intel has been talking on their new network products for high performance computing for quite some time. OmniPath is a new network based on the old technology Intel acquired from QLogic (aka TrueScale). As Intel officially announced OmniPath in the last supercomputing conference, I was waiting to see any real performance data using this network, but nothing was actually published so far (SC'15 was in Nov, March 2016 is around the corner...).

So, for now all I can do is to read what Intel publishes. But even this information is being changed over time. In July 2015 Intel published a chart claiming OmniPath do deliver 160 million messages per second, which is a very impressive number (and higher versus what InfiniBand can do today). But, but....wait, in the recent Linley Group data center conference (February 2016) Intel presented a slide that actually talks on a complete different set of numbers - they actually projected that the OmniPath message rate will be between 75 and 86 million, and said to actually measure 108 million (which is higher than what they have projected originally...). What happened to the 160 million number? 108 million is much lower versus InfiniBand, and is not that interesting to say the least.

 Intel July 2015 - 160 million messages per second

 Intel February 2016 - 108 million messages per second