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SGI DataSync Programmer's Guide
(document number: 007-4463-001 / published: 2001-08-30)    table of contents  |  additional info  |  download
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Chapter 1. SGI DataSync Overview

This overview of SGI DataSync consists of the following sections:

SGI Graphics Cluster System Architecture

The SGI Graphics Cluster uses either the Linux or Windows NT operating system and incorporates proprietary hardware and software from SGI. The hardware consists of the following:

  • A single master node

  • Multiple visual channel nodes (each with a commercial graphics card)

  • An Ethernet backbone, including a network switch

  • An optional SGI ImageSync network

Figure 1-1 illustrates the hardware architecture.

Figure 1-1. Sample Configuration of an SGI Graphics Cluster Series 12

Sample Configuration of an SGI Graphics Cluster Series 12

System Software

The software for the SGI Graphics Cluster Series 12 consists of the following:

  • Operating system (Windows NT 4.0 or SGI Linux kernel with XFS support (2.4.2-5SGI-137 or greater)

  • SGI ImageSync device drivers

  • SGI SynaptIQ (Linux systems only)

  • SGI DataSync (Linux systems only)

Figure 1-2 illustrates the software architecture.

Figure 1-2. System Software Architecture

System Software Architecture

What SGI DataSync Provides

SGI DataSync attempts to provide a simulated single-system image (SSI) interface to distributed applications running on a cluster. Although compute applications have long used packages like Message Passing Interface (MPI) to parallelize codes across a cluster, a similar fabric has been missing in the rendering arena. SGI DataSync handles the complexity of breaking up and reassembling graphics data in a cluster environment and of rendering an application across multiple pipes.

The software core creates a shared arena style module within each node. A library call then creates named blocks within this shared arena. These blocks of memory can then be selectively shared across the nodes to provide a transparent mechanism for sharing data.

SGI DataSync Programmer's Guide
(document number: 007-4463-001 / published: 2001-08-30)    table of contents  |  additional info  |  download

    Front Matter
    About This Guide
    Chapter 1. SGI DataSync Overview
    Chapter 2. Sharing Memory Across a Cluster
    Chapter 3. ClusterFly—A Sample Application
    Index


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