Sheffield summary for HEPSYSMAN meeting|
Currently the Particle Physics group consists of 5 Academics, 10 Researchers
(Fellows, RAs, Phys. Prog), 7 Ph.D students, which are supported by
In addition we make significant use of the computer centres at CERN
(shift, atlas wgs), RAL (CSF, CSF Linux) and Lyon (HP-UX farm).
- a UNIX "cluster" of ageing Dec-Alpha machines running Digital UNIX 4.0F
- approximately 25 PCs, mostly running experiments via Labview, etc.,
some private machines. Mostly running Linux, some NT/W98.
- approximately 25 Macs, 50% office machines, 50% running experiments.
All currently run MacOS.
Immediate/near term plans
There is a natural move towards Linux on our PCs. We hope to purchase
a server-class PC with RAID to act as a Linux fileserver and to expand
the number of Linux systems. (This over a 1 to 2 year timescale).
We plan either to migrate
the Digital UNIX machines to Red Hat (Alpha) or to run them as x-terms.
There has been some interest in the Mac versions of Linux (mklinux, LinuxPPC)
but here there is concern about lack of support for CERNLIB, etc.
The usual items spring to mind here, including,
- Security - the campus authorities have implemented a firewall over
the past year which, whilst making life difficult from time to time (e.g.
blocking all UDP ports without prior consultation), has significantly reduced
the number of attacks on our machines.
- Achieving a sensible backup policy proves to be difficult. As disk space
becomes ridiculously cheap then machines, particularly those running local
experiments are often upgraded with the addition of many 10's
of Gb of hard disk space to store experimental data on without any thought
given to implementing a backup regime. Often the HEPSYSMAN might not know
about these new disks until they fail. A question of educating the overworked
- Usual pressures of lack of time etc.