University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
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Abstract

The Virtual Interface Architecture (VIA) standard is a low-latency protocol that was designed for use in high-performance networks. VIA improves performance by reducing overhead in messaging. This research has two components. The first part of this research project is the development of a new tool for measuring the performance of a VIA implementation and comparing it to the more traditional high-overhead protocols used on the Internet. The development of the tool represents a significant contribution in and of itself, since the tool has been put into the public domain and will likely become useful by Lima users, both for measuring VIA networks, and as one of the first example codes available for learning how to write programs that use VIA. The new tool has exposed some interesting performance issues of VIA as the number of messages increases that are currently being examined. The second component of this research is the definition and development of appropriate interfaces from the network to the lowest level services in Lima on the Power PC platform, and the testing and evaluation of these functions. The research approach was to port a freely available implementation of VIA that runs on a Pentium platform to the Power PC platform. The architectural differences of the two platforms have raised a number of design and configuration issues that have been investigated and solved.

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