Title: Network Shared Memory: A New Approach for Clustering Workstations for Parallel Processing

Authors: Ranga S. Ramanujan, Jordan C. Bonney and Kenneth J. Thurber

Address: Architecture Technology Corporation, P.O. Box, 24344, Minneapolis, MN 55424 ranga@atcorp.com

Abstract:In this paper, we describe a new approach for clustering workstations into a dedicated, medium-sized, shared memory parallel processor. This new approach, called the network shared memory (NSM) approach, is based upon a new way of looking at the role of communication networks in a multi-computer system. We develop an implementation model of the architecture of an NSM based workstation cluster. This model serves as the basis for simulations that we use to assess the performance of NSM based workstation clusters. We also use simulations to evaluate the performance of architectures representative of existing approaches for workstation clustering as well architectures representative of commercial symmetric multi-processors. The results of the performance assessment show that the NSM approach outperforms existing approaches for clustering workstations.