UCL HEP Group
Computing Update (Mar-2000)
Computing centered around 4 systems:
|Tru64 UNIX ||Tru64 UNIX ||SMP Linux ||NT4
|---------- ||---------- ||--------- ||---
|Alpha-stn ||Alpha-stn ||DELL dual-proc PC
|500/400 ||XP1000 ||Precision Wkstn 610 ||Optiplex
|EV5 ||EV6 ||2 * Pentium Xeon ||Pentium
|400 MHz ||500 MHz ||2 * 400 MHz
|512 MB ||128 MB ||128 MB ||64 MB
|DLT 7000 ||DLT 4000 ||DLT 3000 ||Travan
|9/9/9/9 GB ||18/18 GB ||9/18 GB
|(StorageWorks) ||(StorageWorks) ||(internal) ||Internal
- Main o/s is UNIX (Tru64 & Linux).
- NT is used where necessary.
- VMS is
no longer accessible to users.
- Our desktops currently comprise about 30 PCs, plus 4 Alphastations and
- About 2/3 of our PCs run Linux.
- Remaining 1/3 run NT with access to UNIX system via Exceed and Samba.
- Dual-booting PCs largely abandoned because of management problems.
- Our original plan to keep all NT machines identical has proved
impractical to maintain (due to e.g. hardware differences, software
licencing, different peripherals, individual requirements).
- Our main disk is in StorageWorks boxes, but is not RAID.
- Backup is to DLT on each of the 3 main machines.
Most machines interconnected via 3-Com 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
switches over Cat5 UTP at 100 Mbps (good for security as well
as network performance and load).
LAN now connected to recently-installed College Gigabit Ethernet backbone.
- high-volume printers (B/W & colour)
- modem access from home (pity that ADSL looks so expensive)
- laptops (acquiring these gradually as the opportunity arises)
- video-conferencing (but so far mainly in the studio)
- conference phone (not really computing, but relevant to
Most of our most useful software is free via GNU, or provided via DEC
Bought software includes:
- AFS, MS-Office, FrameMaker, Visual C++, Mathematica, MS-Project,
AutoCAD LT, Adobe Illustrator
- Main change is due to realisation of expected data-handling load from
new experimental involvements.
- Must plan to routinely handle datasets up to 100 GB.
- => Funding requests for multi-cpu systems with large attached disk arrays.
- How to handle order of magnitude increase in local data-handling
- Management overload does not go away - mainly because "software"
personnel are occupied with experimental commitments. Dropping VMS &
making NT a secondary system have helped, but security measures and
new software & peripherals make new demands.
Original desktop PCs becoming obsolete - will need to start upgrading
Encountered first need to purchase expensive software for involvement
in future experiments (Together for OO development in ATLAS).
What do we do about Windows-2000? Drag our feet probably, but the
College is planning on making its move to NT in this version.
We have some concern that SUNs might be becoming flavour of the day &
we have none!