|C H A P T E R 3|
Sun Fire Visual Grid System Hardware Requirements
This chapter describes the Sun Fire Visual Grid system hardware requirements and supported system configurations.
See the diagrams in System Configuration Examples for examples on hardware networking configurations.
Only the Sun XVR-4000 graphics accelerator is supported by the Sun Fire Visual Grid system. A system can have other frame buffers installed; they cannot, however, be used in conjunction with the Sun Fire Visual Grid software.
Each slave must be connected to the master by at least two separate networks--a Gigabit Ethernet network connection for X protocol data and a Myrinet network for OpenGL data. The Ethernet connection can pass through a switch, but the Myrinet connections must be point-to-point. For security and performance reasons, consider isolating the Sun Fire Visual Grid system Gigabit Ethernet network from the main corporate network (see Chapter 6).
Sun Fire Visual Grid software includes software that aggregates bandwidth across three point-to-point Myrinet links between the master host and each slave host. This makes it possible to increase bandwidth beyond what is possible for a single Myrinet card. A total of six Myrinet cards are required for each slave--three are installed in the slave computer and three in the master computer. A Myrinet fiber cable is used to attach each pair of Myrinet cards in point-to-point fashion, without a network switch; therefore, three Myrinet cables are required between each master and slave. The Myrinet cards and cables are part of the installation kit (Installation Kit).
For a Sun Fire 4800/6800 master, you must install a USB card into one of the PCI slots so that the keyboard and mouse can be attached. This keyboard and mouse is used when running X Windows. The Sun Fire V880z already has USB ports for a keyboard and mouse.
A USB card that fits into a Sun Fire 4800/6800 PCI slot is included in the Sun Fire Visual Grid system installation kit. The USB card is only supported for a keyboard and mouse, and other USB 1.0 and USB 1.1 functionality. USB 2.0 is not officially supported with this card, although it should function properly.
For a master Sun Fire 4800/6800, you can obtain serial port capability by using an Edgeport Standard Serial Converter (Edgeport model number 301-1000-04), which is a USB-to-RS232 serial converter.
A keyboard and mouse extender device is required for a Sun Fire 4800/6800. Otherwise, the keyboard and mouse cables will not reach far enough to connect to that computer. Some installations might also need video extenders, which provide remote access to the video some distance away from a Sun Fire V880z, typically over fiber links. This equipment must be purchased separately and is not included in the Sun Fire Visual Grid system installation kit. For help obtaining the equipment, contact your Sun service representative.
TABLE 3-1 lists the supported system configurations. For networking diagram examples, see System Configuration Examples.
For configurations beyond the limits in TABLE 3-1, see Support Services at:
For Sun Fire 4800 and Sun Fire 6800 Visual Grid configurations only, the single Sun XVR-4000 graphics accelerator option enables configurations with an odd number of frame buffers. In this configuration, however, you can only have one Sun Fire V880z slave with one Sun XVR-4000 graphics accelerator.