Compute Canada

Why PVM and not MPI?

Please note: The FAQ pages at the HPCVL website are continuously being revised. Some pages might pertain to an older configuration of the system. Please let us know if you encounter problems or inaccuracies, and we will correct the entries.

There is a large literature about the question of PVM vs MPI. We present here some of PVM features that may let you consider using PVM. PVM supports a higher level of portability that is extended to interoperability between different languages, messages can be sent and received between C and Fortran programs for example. Another feature of PVM is that it allows the development of fault tolerant applications that can survive host or task failure and provide notification to the user in this event, which could be a critical issue for large applications or long-time running simulations. PVM provides also a dynamic resource management and process control functions, user can add or delete hosts at will, giving a flexible control over the amount of computational power being utilized, thus leading to more efficiency.